Lamborghini. The word alone elicits excitement from every petrolhead. Seeing a Lamborghini up close makes even the most non-car person take notice. As for driving one, well, that's a completely next-level experience.
The Lamborghini Huracan is the successor to the popular Gallardo. If you wanted a Lamborghini, but couldn't quite afford the mental Murcielago or jet-like Aventador, the Gallardo offered a great alternative. Here was a car that could still deliver fireworks in terms of driving experience, aural soundtrack and visuals. What a success that car was, and it landed up being Lamborghini's most popular model in terms of sales.
Fast forward to 2014 and there's a new Lamborghini in town. It's the successor to the Gallardo and it's called the Huracan. Visually, well just look at it. True to the unofficial Lamborghini design philosophy of making pretty much every other car look dull and bland, the Huracan looks remarkably like something out of a top-secret military program with wheels. Come to think of it, the only thing that looks even more dramatic is its older brother, the Aventador. Clad in a shimmering matte white paint, my Huracan pretty much stopped the traffic in Cape Town's city center.
The door handles sit flush with the door, until you unlock the car and then they pop out. Climb in, close the door, put your seatbelt on and flip the start button safety catch located in the centre of the dashboard. Put your foot on the brake, depress the button and the big V10 fires up. When I say fire up, I mean unleash a symphony of ten cylinders which lets you know that you're in something very special.
PowerplantThis all-new 5.2-litre V10 engine has 448 kW and 560 Nm, putting it squarely in supercar territory. Power reaches all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission so there's no chance of you stalling or burning the clutch out. Great. With all that power, performance is going to be exceptional. While I didn't have the bravery to try it, Lamborghini claims the Huracan can hit 100kph in just 3.2 seconds. I find the fact that the Huracan can hit 200kph in just under 10 seconds far more impressive.
I feel sorry for these supercar manufacturers as they're forced by governments to be as economical as possible. Lamborghini has had to put in trivial things like Start/Stop technology and cylinder deactivation. I suppose these technologies do help slightly, as Lamborghini claims a fuel consumption figure of 12.5L/100km.
InteriorClad in a vivid lime green colour, the interior of the Lamborghini Huracan is an interesting place to be. I particularly loved the infotainment screen that was integrated into the driver's binnacle, removing the need for a secondary screen which would then complicate the interior. The centre dashboard is dominated by a row of switches, reminiscent of a fighter jet.
Here you'll find things like window controls and hazard lights, but I found the most important thing here is the nose lift, which raises the front of the car by a few centimetres so you can clear speed bumps and steep driveways. Despite being a hardcore supercar, you still have plenty creature comforts like satellite navigation, climate control, park assist and reverse camera.
The seats are comfortable for a tall adult and despite the Huracan being very low, access is straightforward. The most important thing in the cabin is the epic multi-function steering wheel. This clever wheel has negated the need for things like wiper and indicator stalks, and the buttons are located neatly on the wheel itself. At the bottom of the wheel is a red button, marked 'Strada', 'Sport' and 'Corsa'. These are your driving modes. I had the car mostly in sport mode which made the exhaust a lot louder and coming off the throttle resulted in big backfires and pops, which delighted onlookers.
PracticalityGone are the days when supercars were hot, uncomfortable and impractical vehicles that terrified you when you used more than half throttle. McLaren turned the supercar industry on its head with its effortlessly simple to drive and traffic jam friendly MP4-12C, and Lamborghini has followed suite. The Huracan is so simple to drive and as mentioned earlier, there's no risk of stalling. You could have the car in normal mode, climate control gently blowing 18degC cool air and have Classic FM on while sitting in peak hour traffic, and you wouldn't feel like the car or you were suffering. It's clear that Lamborghini has really wanted to make this car a candidate for a daily driver. But that's not what supercars or Lamborghini are about.
The DriveOnce I had left the cramped and busy confines of Cape Town's centre, it was time to see what the latest offering from Lamborghini could do. I headed for the mountains and engaged Sport mode and put the gearbox in manual, so I could change gears using the steering wheel mounted paddles. What an incredibly hands-on vehicle. With that V10 engine screaming behind you, you're in for a very dramatic and visceral experience. You put your foot down and the car leaps ahead in a savage manner.
The car's outright pace is exceptional and overtaking is simply a case of changing down a gear, and then flooring it. There's no drama either when it comes to corners, and the car's all-wheel drive does a good job of maintaining maximum traction. Essentially, the car doesn't feel like it wants to kill you and pushing the limits is more confidence inspiring than previous Lambos.
Conclusion and SummaryThe Lamborghini Huracan continues where the Gallardo left off, only this time its faster, lighter and greener. It's a superb thing and the technology from parent company Audi makes this a terrific offering. If you're after a supercar that delivers an experience that touches four of your five senses, then take the plunge. Your children don't need a university education, but you do need the Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4.
We Like: Looks, engine, performance, technology, easy to drive.
We Don't Like: Lack of visibility around you. This car has many blind spots! Speed bumps and steep driveways mean the car can easily scrape.
Lamborghini Huracan Quick Specs
|Engine||5.2-litre, naturally-aspirated V10|
|Transmission||Seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox|
|Wheels||20-inch alloy wheels|
|0-100km/h||3.2 seconds (claimed)|
|Top Speed||325 kph|
|Fuel Economy||12.5L/100km (claimed)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||80 Litres|