2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Review

For seven years, Lamborghini sold the Gallardo alongside the Audi R8. And despite sharing more with the Audi than most Italians would like to admit, the Gallardo was a true Lamborghini. Meanwhile the Audi R8 was every bit the stoic German. How did the Gallardo do it? Emotional distance. As cliché as it sounds, the Lamborghini felt more temperamental, although not always in a good way. That fiery disposition made it salacious at mere idle and a baying brute at the limit.

2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4

The Gallardo’s successor, the Huracán, incredibly is even closer to the R8 under the skin, but is galaxies apart from the Audi in terms of impression and intent. The R8 already has a reputation as an everyday supercar, faster than a speeding bullet, able to carry small groceries in a single trunk. With the Huracán, we wanted to find out if it offers the same benefits without dampening that scalding Italian attitude.That difference from old to new starts with subtlety: the Huracán’s “dynamic wedge” shape doesn’t boast; there isn’t a single clingy component demanding your attention. The package fits together so well that you can’t just look at one thing, you have to look at everything. There are details atop details, from the Y-shaped LED daytime lamps to the side glass that tucks into the body like an alien canopy. The designers worked to build in enough downforce that the Huracán wouldn’t need active or moving aerodynamic devices. So whereas the Gallardo Superleggera looked good with a wing, putting such spoilage on a non-competition Huracán should incur one of those NHTSA-sized, $14,000-a-day fines.

There are some hitches to just getting in and driving. There’s no reflexive ease to the start and transmission procedures. We always need to remind ourselves of the steps to the dance and “Oh, that’s right, pull this for Reverse.” Lamborghini changed the shape of the Audi buttons lining the waterfall console, but it looks too close to the A4. The Italians also carried over that funky two-step process of pushing a button and turning a knob to control fan speed. The Huracán ditches Audi’s stalks on the steering column by placing buttons on the wheel. The result is fiddly, but okay.

It’s a fine office, though. The cabin trim feels like eight different shades of Black Hole, and you sit so close to the ground that Lamborghini should offer a bucket-and-pulley system on the options list. The seats are firm and supportive where they need to be, and comfortable everywhere. The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel has three full-screen modes that focus on shifting at the limit, testing the terminal velocity, or using navigation. Every other important function that doesn’t involve changing gears is on a row of toggles on the center stack. In truth, the only item we wish the Huracán had is a blind spot detection system. You can’t see anything at the rear three-quarter, and visibility out the back window was compromised by reflections in the transparent engine bay cover on our tester. That clear cover is a $7,000 option, by the way.

In the startup drive mode, Strada, there is zero aggression in the Huracán unless you ask for it. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is so quick to shift up that you’ll be in its top gear around 40 miles per hour. At stoplights, the engine shuts off to deliver a claimed ten-percent increase in fuel economy. The optional $6,900 magnetic suspension on our test car is another sound and supple example of Lamborghini’s wise application of technology, and it comes with the ability to lift the front end over hazards. The $2,400 dynamic power steering flows between 9:1 and 17:1 ratios, so the turning circle is dinky and parking lots can be invaded without fear of 87-point turns. All of it makes the Huracán easier around town than the Gallardo. It’s less rumbly, with a finer edge, but just as exciting as its predecessor at low speeds. The mid-range beat of the 5.2-liter V10 and the contrapuntal clicks, whirrs, whines, and swift intakes of air never go away, nor does the exhaust note. Which is as it should be.

At the other end, when it’s time to unleash the bull from the pen, oh, Dios mio, the Huracán is astonishing. No, it’s astonishing times two. We drove it last year at the Lamborghini Accademia at Laguna Seca, and although we liked it, it didn’t make us rave. With more time behind the wheel, driving on canyon roads, we can’t stop raving. Flick the drive mode over to Sport, and the Huracán’s reflexes turn lithe and lethal.

First there’s that Lamborghini sound. (That, the badge, and the looks are 100 percent of the reason Lamborghini lasted as long as it did before Audi took over.) It’s not the wail of a Ferrari, nor the volcanic bass of an American muscle car, but the ultimate expression of a midrange howl. The Huracán sounds like the yowl of a man gone mad by possession or homicide, filling the ears and shaking the chest. It might wear Renaissance finery here, but in its ten-cylinder clamor live the last furious howls of the barbarians that invaded Rome. And the more you work the throttle, the more you get.

The Sport setting throws a set of 45-pound plates on the steering rack, which is a touch heavy for the purpose. Work the steering and the throttle smoothly and you’ll find the Huracán doesn’t just take turns, it pivots through them seamlessly. The active electronic differential at the front axle is so efficient at distributing power that the coupe feels like it skips through the cornering process. You’re headed into a tight left, then suddenly you’re powering out on the other side. The magnetic suspension is undoubtedly a worthy aid in this, tempering the increased strength and stiffness of the new aluminum and carbon fiber chassis with supple responses.

Lamborghini’s engineers put three accelerometers and three gyroscopes at the Huracán’s center of gravity to feed readings to the performance systems. The idea is that instead of waiting for the tires to slip and having that information relayed to the brain and then having the brain respond, the car’s electronic brain is already aware of its lateral acceleration rate and prepared for action when the line is crossed. We don’t know how much this wizardry helps, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

Understeer awaits if you color outside the lines of physics, but ease up on the throttle and the Huracán’s all-wheel drive will work its signature tick! move, clicking the coupe back onto its line. Go off the reservation entirely and the standard carbon brakes with six pistons in front and four out back are quiet, massively capable, and appear ready to put in overtime.

Yet the Huracán is so easy to command through apexes at thrilling speeds – and with that blinding sound – that there is no need for heroics. Corsa mode offers more more thumping and bumping and leeway, but we only tried it out just to say we did. We’re not against excess but we do enjoy the perfect amount. When everything so right in Sport for street driving, why runneth that cup over?

When the Gallardo slipped into its chrysalis, what emerged is a new car that is not a variation of what came before. The Huracán, has the “emotional distance” to keep it from being compared to any other car save its mortal rivals, and it’s got enough dynamic range to stun those rivals as well. It’s an admirable performer when goaded and a daily driver so amenable that anyone who can get in it can drive it. They might need help getting out, though.

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