£181,895 Price range
Lamborghinis of the past had a reputation of being something of a chore to drive; depressing the clutch pedal required herculean strength, the steering could only be operated by arm wrestling champions, while all-round visibility was just plain awful.
For the last fifteen years or so, however, Audi’s influence on the marque has all but banished those traits. Their latest effort, the Huracan, is one of the most usable supercars that money can buy. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that this latest baby Lambo has lost its character though – the striking looks and wonderful engine put paid to that.
The first thing that strikes you when you sit inside the Huracan’s cabin is the quality of the materials. There is soft leather on nearly all of the surfaces, and it feels as opulent as you’d hope a near-£190,000 car would feel. Take it all in for longer, and you’ll notice the small details which make the cabin feel so special.
The centre console features a “fabulous array of toggle switches”, the gear shift paddles behind the wheel fall to hand perfectly, while the starter button adds a little extra theatre. A stunning TFT screen – similar to the Audi TT‘s but with Lamborghini-designed graphics – replaces the regular dials. Here you can adjust the display to show the speedo, rev counter, sat-nav instructions, or a combination of the above. Unlike Lambos of old, visibility is excellent too, you can even see out of the back. Almost.
The main bugbear that testers have with the cabin involve the seats. Several critics noted that the regular chairs are very uncomfortable on long journeys, especially lacking under-thigh support. The pricey fixed-back carbon fibre buckets are described as “ultra supportive” for hard driving, but aren’t any less back-breaking if you’re spending a few hours at a time behind the wheel.
There are many things to commend the Huracan for, particularly when it comes to the way it drives. The ride is supple for a supercar and much better than the old Gallardo, with excellent damping – described by one tester as “unflappable” – isolating road noise very well indeed. The damping can be tweaked to suit your mood with the switch on the steering wheel. Referred to as “ANIMA” it stands for Adaptive Network Intelligent MAnagement, and also translates as “soul” in Italian.
The four-wheel drive system offers “incredible” traction, which combined with carbon ceramic brakes offering fantastic feel and power, make the Huracan one of the fastest cars point-to-point on sale today.
One thing that slightly divides opinion though, is the chassis balance. When combined with prominent electronic traction and stability systems, it results in a car which has a safety net of mild understeer when pushed. Some critics accept that this is a car which will sell well, and therefore has to cater for some slightly less talented drivers, but others wish it has a slightly more exciting set up.
One thing testers do agree on is that buyers should avoid the adaptive steering, which adjusts the sensitivity of the rack depending on road speed. Pretty much every reviewer prefers the far more natural-feeling regular setup, so don’t waste your money on it.
The 5.2-litre V10 is carried over from the old Gallardo, but with a few minor updates. Testers love the noise that it makes, on startup it is more than loud enough to make the neighbours jump. Explore the upper reaches of the rev-range, and it emits a spine-tingling howl. The only minor criticism is that it can sound a little fake on occasion, thanks to an artificially-enhanced exhaust crackle on the overrun.
There are no complaints about the performance on offer, though, power output now stands at 602hp, produced at a heady 8,250rpm, while torque is 413lb-ft. In a car weighing 1,532kg, this results in a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds, and a claimed top speed of 202mph.
Due to the fact that nearly all Gallardos were sold with the semi-automatic gearbox, Lamborghini won’t be offering a manual option with the Huracan. This may be a shame for the driving purist, but in truth it is no bad thing. The seven-speed dual-clutch unit is a massive improvement over the old single-clutch gearbox, offering “a level of finesse that always eluded the Gallardo.” The shifts are smooth and a fast, and “positive enough to make you feel connected”.
First thing’s first: this is a near £200,000 supercar, so it isn’t cheap to buy, run, or service. It is however, marginally less expensive to buy than either the Ferrari 458 or the Mclaren 650S. To try to take the sting out of the fuel bills, the Huracan features stop start technology, but in truth you’d still be lucky to achieve 20mpg in regular use.
A set of four new tyres will set you back comfortably over £1,000, and servicing costs will be huge. Mind you, if you can afford one, it’s doubtful that any of this will matter…
The Huracan is regarded by many testers as “the most capable and accomplished car Lamborghini has ever made”. Not only is it fast, exciting and surprisingly easy to live with, but it looks gorgeous too.
Whether or not you should choose one over the Mclaren or the Ferrari will come down to personal preference. The 650S is even faster in a straight line, and rides brilliantly for a car of this type, while the 458 has perhaps just a little more theatre and fun when driving at nine or ten tenths.
That last point will surely be addressed with more hardcore versions that are sure to follow. For now, though, the Huracan still remains one of the most complete supercars money can buy.