The Lamborghini Huracan – Look Elegant, Go Fantastically And Stop Beautifully (Part 2)

8/5/2014 9:50:50 PM

The Huracán’s architecture does little to crystallise what it might actually deliver on road and track. An all-new chassis that’s largely aluminium, with carbon fibre utilised for the central tunnel, rear bulkhead and B-pillars, is ten per cent lighter than the Gallardo’s aluminium chassis and a whopping 50 per cent stiffer in terms of torsional rigidity. This is good news. Yet the Huracán comes in at a dry weight of 1,422kg – 92kg more than a McLaren 650S and 42kg more than a 458 Italia. Not so good.

Of course, the Huracán is packing more hardware than its rivals. The new electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch centre differential runs a nominal 30:70 front-to-rear torque split but can send as much as 50 per cent of drive to the front wheels or 100 per cent to the rears. It is fed information from a unique system of three accelerometers and three gyroscopes placed at the car’s centre of gravity. Dubbed Lamborghini Piattaforma Inerziale (‘Inertial Platform’), it enables the car to adjust all of its systems in real time for ultimate response and stability. It’s brain- twisting stuff, and LPI also controls the new (optional) magnetorheo logical dampers ($4,240), the ESC system and, should you be mad enough to choose it, the variable-ratio Dynamic Steering, more of which later.

The Huracán's bucket seats are highly supportive

The Huracán's bucket seats are highly supportive

Beneath all the technology there’s something we can all take comfort from: an evolution of the Gallardo’s 5.2-litre V10, now with a dual injection system. Direct injection allows a high compression ratio of 12.7:1 and hence more power, while multi-point injection improves efficiency and emissions at lower loads. The numbers are sensational, but such is the evolution of the supercar that 602bhp at 8,250rpm and 413lb ft at 6,500rpm is merely competitive. The Huracán covers 0-62mph in 3.2sec, 0-124 mph in 9.9sec and can reach at least 202mph. Again, stunning numbers, but some way off the pace of a 650S or a Speciale. Does it matter? Not to me, but trundling down the Ascari pitlane in a searing yellow Huracán, doubts are circulating. Please let it be good…

An electronic handbrake is standard

An electronic handbrake is standard

The weird thing is that this all-new car with an all-new chassis feels instantly and unmistakably a bit like a Gallardo. What’s weirder is that it’s a very different car inside, with all the major controls migrated to a Ferrari-style steering wheel-cum-control centre. With no stalks to get in the way, the old gearshift paddles borrowed from an early Bentley Continental GT that were always just a stretch too far away are banished, in their place long ears of cool metal. The wheel itself is a smoothed-off hexagon and behind it there’s a fantastic 12.3-inch TFT screen that can display one huge rev-counter, just the satnav screen or any number of permutations in between. It’s cool and it works beautifully.

The Huracán features double-wishbone suspension at each corner

The Huracán features double-wishbone suspension at each corner

So everything you see and touch is all-new, the hexagon theme is literally everywhere and even on the smooth surface of Ascari’s pitlane there’s less tension to the ride than you’d experience in the board-stiff Gallardo. The new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, known as Lamborghini Doppia Frizione, is a revelation after the clunky old e-gear single-clutch automated manual, which evolved into something approaching acceptable but was always very compromised. LDF, by comparison, is clearly going to be dreamily effective. I’ve clicked the little red ‘ANIMA’ switch at the base of the steering wheel from Strada to Sport. Corsa can wait for now. Like Ferrari’s manettino, ANIMA (that’s Adaptive Network Intelligent Management, and also the Italian word for ‘soul’…) adjusts the gearshift speed, suspension, stability control and the four-wheel-drive system. Should a Lamborghini draw so much inspiration from its noisy neighbour over in Maranello? I’ll leave that for you to decide.


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