The Lamborghini Huracan may be popularly perceived as a social rave, but it is an engineering masterpiece and a daily-driver supercar.
As Lamborghini’s smaller sports car, the Huracan replaced the Gallardo in mid-2014. It is a righteous successor to an exotic reigning champion of supercar finesse and style. New for 2016 is the rear-wheel drive model, today’s tester, the Huracan LP 580-2. There’s also the all-wheel drive Huracan LP 610-4, with about 602 horsepower.
There are coupe and convertible versions of the AWD model, but there is only a hardtop of the RWD model. A new setup for springs and stabilizer bars on a double wishbone suspension improves torsional rigidity by 50 percent over its predecessor, the Gallardo LP 550-2.
Whatever the Huracan does not have or does not do, you do not need or will find a way to do without — and you will like it.
With positive support from parent company Volkswagen Group, the Huracan shares architecture with the Audi R8. Comparable exotics include the Ferrari 458 and McLaren 650S, as well as new and less expensive supercars like the Acura NSX, the Aston Martin Vantage and even the Corvette Z06.
Pricing for the LP 580-2 is a reasonable entry point for a V-10 supercar. It costs $204,595, including the $3,495 freight charge from Modena, Italy, and the $1,300 gas-guzzler tax, or GGT.
It’s the options that get you. The tester cost $238,795 and included extras that most would want, such as the transparent engine-bay cover for $7,000. One look at this car in the bright Rosso Red paint (a $2,500 option), and the driver is immediately guilty until proved innocent.
Darn that V-10, but it’s worth the GGT. Fuel economy is not terrible. The EPA cites mileage of 17 mpg city, 21 highway and 17 mpg combined on the recommended premium fuel. On a daylong drive, I managed 19.9 mpg. But the mpg also drops precipitously when the right foot goes down frequently. The 22-gallon tank allows for around 366 miles of driving, with restraint.
For the starting price, the owner gets a hybrid aluminum and carbon fiber chassis. The naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 with direct injection and cylinder deactivation has 572 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 398 foot-pounds of torque at 6,500 rpm. But 75 percent of that pulling power is available at 1,000 rpm.
The seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission gives such quick shifts in Sport mode that its speed would humiliate a lightning strike. There are automatic and manual driving options, as well as performance choices of Strada (normal), Sport and Corsa (track).
Sport opens the pipes, sharpens the shift points, gives hefty throttle blips on downshifts, and loosens the stability and traction reins for some slide through the corners. But even when I jumped into the throttle in Sport mode and held on for the howitzer blast of power, there was no pull left or right — just straight-ahead traction in a blazing chorus of cylinders.
There is absolute engagement of gears from start off to flat out. It almost behaves as a stepped transmission. Of course, there is launch control, but that type of hole shot is less dramatic than flooring the pedal at about 30 mph and feeling the car bust loose and leap forward with predatory intensity.
Lamborghini cites zero to 60 mph acceleration in 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 199 mph. The 14.6-foot-long, mid-engine car has a dry weight of 3,062 pounds. (Lamborghini does not cite wet curb weight, such as when loaded with fuel, but figure another 122 pounds for a full tank.)
The magnetic ride suspension shows its superiority with sensitive, millisecond adjustments. After six hours on the road, passengers experienced no fanny fatigue or tweaked necks. The steering is light, direct and precise, requiring minimal inputs to clip the apex.
The standard steel brakes (14.37 inches front; 14 inches rear; ventilated and cross-drilled) have aluminum monoblock eight-piston calipers at the front and four-piston binders at the rear. The stopping distance at 62 mph is just 104.7 feet, which is 3.6 feet shorter than the rear-drive Gallardo.
Inside, breathe deep the rich aromas of leather and microsuede with the console controls (from Audi). It is an efficient and easy-to-access layout. And the foot-wide gauge array can be electronically changed into a full video screen with a large RPM gauge and other essentials.
The interior is cockpit-compact, but this is a wide car, and there is wide shoulder room of almost 55 inches door to door. There is long legroom and headroom for a 6-foot-3 driver — and maybe even taller — which is also surprising for the car’s low 46-inch height. But the doors are not hugely broad (unlike a Corvette). The tight turning circle makes maneuvering easy in tight quarters, though the company does not issue that specification.
The leather-lined buckets are bolstered for performance driving, but not so severely as to restrict a graceful entry and exit. They are surprisingly comfortable for an all-day drive — and that’s without lumbar adjustment. There’s no seat cooling, either, but heaters are optional.
I’m still not sure why this car costs nearly a quarter of a million dollars, but it may pencil out as its assets are tallied. There’s a premium for brand prestige; there’s a premium for the technology. And the starfighter styling is pure artwork. However one justifies the purchase, there will be few complaints with regard to the Huracan as a daily-driving supercar.
Mark Maynard is online at email@example.com. Find photo galleries and more news at Facebook.com/MaynardsGarage