Picture this. You have a brand spanking new Lamborghini Huracán at your disposal and a selection of some of Japan’s best driving roads. What would you do? If you wouldn’t go absolutely flat-out and make the most of the day, I don’t think you could really consider yourself a true petrol head. Of course, an opportunity to drive such an important Italian supercar doesn’t come along every day, so you’d owe it to yourself to find out what the car is all about – within reason of course. Empty roads are a fun and everything, but we do have common sense here and safety should always be your number one concern.
Like most test drives I do, it was the Hakone area that I decided to drive the new baby Lambo out to. No car can hide anything on these roads, and that is precisely what I was after. I wanted to know what the Huracán was all about, how it stacked up against all the other cars I’ve brought here in the past, and to see how it rates as the replacement for Lamborghini’s most successful model ever – the Gallardo. It’s hard to believe, but the Gallardo was in production for 10 years, yet still managed to look current and modern up until its very last year of production. That’s a real triumph for the guys in Sant’Agata Bolognese, but who the hell has time to rest on their laurels? The supercar market has never been stronger and more competitive than it is right now, and Lamborghini knew that if it didn’t come up with a worthy replacement it would simply lose out.
But given the way that Lamborghini has been doing things lately it wouldn’t be possible for them to screw up this car even if they tried! Just getting into the Huracán, you can’t help but mutter to yourself ‘f#$% yeah!’ It feels and looks like a next-gen supercar, and in the process creates anticipation – an inner need for you to hit the red starter button and let it rip. But before we get to that, it’s the design I want to touch on.
There’s always been something about Lamborghinis – an underlying trait that makes them so instantly recognisable. The need that Ferruccio had to rile up Enzo Ferrari has been passed through every single car they have ever made, and in the latest models – namely the Aventador and the Huracán – that message is loud and clear, albeit in a more polished and refined way.
Much like V12-powered Aventador, the angular, stealth fighter like design cues have been taken to new extremes with the Huracán, and you really have to take a few steps back to appreciate its form. It’s a very emotional car to look at – every line says a lot, because aside from sculpting its overall shape, they’re all there for functional reasons.
The car is dotted with interesting details – the way the LED taillights are integrated into that thin strip over that honeycomb grille; the way the exhaust tail pipes are sliced at an angle to fit into the overall shape created by the complex diffuser.
The Huracán is in no way a car for those that want to blend in. This car attracts a lot of attention and immediately stirs up emotion in people’s eyes. Even finished in this understated dark metallic silver hue called Grigio Lynx, the new baby Lambo makes bystanders smile, wave and throw you countless thumbs up – even in Japan, which trust me, says a lot! If you’re the sort of person who’d prefer not to stand out, I’m sure you can find a Bentley dealer somewhere else.
No, the Huracán has been created to make a statement, or rather help its owners make one.
But then again, where I took the car there was no one to impress. I wasn’t fishing for compliments or trying hard to be seen, I was there to let the car talk to me. Okay, so I’m sounding overly poetic here and I apologise for that, but come on – if you had this car in your possession for a few days wouldn’t you want to let it speak to you?Getting Lost In The Details
By this point in the day I had already taken the car for a few runs on the Turnpike to test out its high speed capabilities and handling prowess through a section of tight second and third gear corners. And let me tell you something – I was very happy that the Huracán is specced with the big brakes it has. Those massive 8-pot Brembo front callipers and 4-pot rears are an absolute godsend when you have this level of performance at your beck and call. Thankfully, the carbon ceramic rotors showed no signs of fade whatsoever, which was impressive because pretty much any car with steel brakes that I’ve taken on this route had developed some sponginess in the pedal by this stage.
So I knew I was good to go. I still had most of the afternoon at my disposal and a ton of roads to play with…
But there was the interior to explore first – and this is something I want to share with you as it truly impressed me. Like most supercars, having a coherent and tangible design theme throughout the car is very important. Everything must tie in together and have sense of continuity and belonging. The Huracán’s cabin gets top marks for that as it manages to do it without begin tacky.
The jet-fighter-meets-Alien theme is even carried through to the floating instrument binnacle. This would be too much in any other car, but it looks so right here.
It has the job of shading the full digital color display, onto which a large rev counter and navigation maps are displayed.
Many people aren’t particular fond of analogue gauges being dumped for an LCD screen, and depending on the car in question, I’m of the same opinion. But again, it all feels so natural in a Lamborghini – like it really belongs here. Add to that the fact that it just works so damn well, you quickly forget you’re looking at digital instruments.
The floating center console is something I really liked as it frees up some usable space to throw your phone on. Mind you, it’s hard and awkward to reach, so I doubt that anyone but the passenger may actually use it.
Above a series of toggle switches, there’s a secondary smaller LCD screen that auxiliary gauges are displayed on. Oh, and the start button is pure theatre – it’s the same as the one used in the Aventador with a flip-top red cover on top. Yep, Lamborghini does these things very well, but that’s because it’s in a Lamborghini. Put a start/stop button like this in any lesser car and it would be pretty cheesy.
There’s another small detail that I should really talk about too – something that’s tucked away behind the seats so you hardly know it’s there. Until you fire it into life that is… The 5.2L naturally aspirated 90-degree V10 that powers the Huracán has been carried over from the Gallardo, but in the process was massaged to produce 610hp and 560Nm. It’s finally accompanied by a worthy transmission too – a 7-speed twin-clutch unit which couldn’t possibly be a better match for the rev-happy fury that this motor unleashes on the car’s all-wheel drive underpinnings. I’m so glad to see that the neck-snapping transmission that featured in the Gallardo is finally gone – all Lamborghini has to do now is develop one for the Aventador…
But enough with the details, it’s time to hit the most important button in the Huracán, select ‘Corsa’ mode and start throwing it through some proper corners.Time To Drive
This is where the Huracán belongs – not in congested city centres seeking attention. It may be a beautiful car to look at, but it doesn’t really make full sense until you get to tap into those 600-plus horses and take full advantage of the grip available. Compared to the Gallardo Superleggera I drove a few years back, it’s obvious that there have been some changes and improvements, first of which was ensuring the handling was as easy and approachable as possible. This is Lamborghini’s entry-level car after all…
While I’m sure future Superleggera models will be more edgy, the Huracán is like a super-powerful Italian version of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. I’m in no way dumbing down the experience here, but it’s really easy to throw around corners. There’s also plenty of power available right throughout rev range, and with the sort of response that makes us still love naturally aspirated engines in a turbo-crazy world. Plus, the strong yet linear delivery of the big capacity motor allows you to get on the power early out of corners to use all the might of the AWD system.
What Lamborghini has done here is very smart. I’ve driven plenty of fast supercars that are scary as hell on the limit, and that detracts from the whole experience. In the Huracán, if you leave the stability control on you can drive like a complete moron if that’s your thing. Switch it off and put it in Corsa and the car does become a little livelier, but if you go over the edge you’ll find understeer that’s mostly easy to deal with.
Maybe it’s the reason why we haven’t seen images of crashed Huracáns floating around on social media…
I spent a great deal of time going and up and down this favourite stretch of road of mine, enjoying the car so much until I had to park up.
Why? Well to ponder over things. Most of the time when I take a break on these drives it’s because I willingly stop myself before I overdo things. I get out of the car with sweaty palms, heart pumping from adrenaline and I take a breather. But with the Huracán it was different. I was able to push along at the limit of grip for so long that I became totally satisfied.
I had found a rhythm, a beautiful interaction between myself and the car, the car and the road, steering, braking and those bullet-fast gear changes. I could have spent an entire week up here, lost in this harmony of man and machine.
On roads like these the Huracán is a joy to drive. You have the perfect mix of performance and usability all mixed in with the sort of soundtrack that makes a supercar, a supercar.
And as a further example of how accessible that performance is – not to mention the electronics that keep you on the road – here’s a quick demo of a launch control assisted start. 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds all day long!
Lamborghini have been smart to tune the Huracán in this way. They have created a supercar that anyone could handle, and in doing so have left themselves space to create more challenging versions in the future. Which begs the question: when will we see a Superleggera version coming out? Or even better, when can I get behind the wheel of a Balboni!
Dino Dalle Carbonare