Lamborghini Huracan


Debut: 2014
Maker: Lamborghini
Predecessor: Gallardo



 Published on 7 Aug 2014 All rights reserved. 

After the long-running Gallardo dynasty we see a successor styled and engineered in much the same format...


The idea of small Lamborghini is not new. In the late 1960s, Ferruccio Lamborghini needed a V8-powered car to supplement his V12 flagship models (Miura and Espada) and provide the financial stability it desperately needed. It was supposed to be cheaper and produced in larger quantity, i.e. 1000 units a year. The result was a mid-engined 2-plus-2-seater called Urraco launched in the early '70s. Somehow, the car sold fewer than 800 copies because of all sorts of problems – build quality, reliability, oil crisis and the financial problem of Lamborghini itself. Sant'Agata built another 2 follow-ups in the next decade, Silhouette and Jalpa, but their market reception was no better. After 1988, it no longer built small Lambos.

Things changed a lot when Audi acquired Lamborghini in 1998. The first thing Audi wanted to do was to relaunch a small Lambo, one that would beat Ferrari 360 Modena in performance as well as day-to-day usability, and turn Sant’Agata to a profitable operation. It did. Thanks to strong financial and engineering backing, not to mention the quality control know-how and quality components supplied by its mother company, the Gallardo was incredibly well made for something rolled off Sant'Agata. Well, not that the whole production was carried out at Sant'Agata. Its aluminum spaceframe chassis was actually built in Neckarsulm of Germany, and its V10 engine was also designed and built by Audi. This made business sense as the Gallardo shared platform with Audi R8. Through unique styling and tuning, Lamborghini managed to keep the raw edges it needed. In the 10 years from 2003, it sold 14,022 Gallardos, outselling Murcielago by 3.5 to 1 and accounting for half the accumulated production of Lamborghini in its 50-year history. Ironically, it was also the first ever profitable Lamborghini!


Its wedge shape is set by Marcello Gandini's very first Countach – that's more than 40 years ago, incredibly.


When the formula is successful, it is difficult to find the motivation to try something new. Ferrari’s Luca di Montezemolo might be different, but the German are not. That’s why after the long-running Gallardo dynasty we see a successor styled and engineered in much the same format. Yes, the new Huracan looks every bit like a Lamborghini. Its wedge shape is set by Marcello Gandini's very first Countach – that's more than 40 years ago, incredibly. However, perhaps we have got used to that shape, or perhaps its sharp edges have been largely rounded off, it no longer delivers that visual impact as I first saw the Countach in person. I doubt if Mr. Lamborghini or Gandini would have agreed with it. Lamborghini was supposed to be radical and revolutionary. Now under the administration of Audi it has become conservative, keeping the old shape and format unchanged and seeking only small evolutions each generation. It sounds more Porsche than Italian. I am puzzled…

Having said that, the Huracan is still an exotic design. It differs from the Gallardo and Aventador in detailed features and surface treatment. Its signature is the large piece of flat surface resting at the top edge of the doors. It extends backwards, slips under the blade-style C-pillar and disappears inside the engine intake. This arrangement is simple and clever, even though I suspect it copied the idea of the 2010 Lotus Esprit concept designed by Donato Coco. The rest of the car is slightly curvier and crisper than Gallardo. The slimmer headlights and taillights are full LEDs. At the back, the engine lid is covered with retro-style louvers, though I prefer the optional glass window which puts the V10 engine in good display. Overall speaking, the car looks beautiful, if not very original or innovative.


Lamborghini was supposed to be radical and revolutionary. Now under the administration of Audi it has become conservative...


The Huracan has grown a bit to give more interior space. Its overall length and width have been extended by 114 mm and 24 mm respectively, while the wheelbase is stretched by 60 mm. However, the roof still stands at 1165 mm above ground, keeping the Lamborghini as the lowest car in its class. Kerb weight has increased by 32 kg to 1532 kg, so it continues to be heavier than Ferrari 458 and McLaren 650S. Considering it has 4-wheel-drive system, that is acceptable I would say.

As before, you get into the cockpit through normal hinged doors, something still separate it from the flagship V12 model. Entry is not as difficult as the latter because its aluminum spaceframe chassis has less prominent door sills. Once inside, you would find the space it offers is pretty good – certainly more generous than Gallardo – although outward visibility is still poor due to the fast-angle and far-forward windscreen, the high waist lines and near non-existent rear view. No complaints for the supportive bucket seats though.


The new interior design has really lifted the game...


While the interior design of Gallardo was boring, the Huracan has really lifted the game. Inspired by the 1967 Marzal concept (the forerunner of Espada), it employs hexagonal elements as the main theme – the 4 air vents, instrument pod, steering wheel, some buttons and decoration patterns on the glovebox. Whether you like that depends on taste, but everybody should love the 12.3-inch reconfigurable TFT instrument for its clarity and functionality, as is the effort to put many buttons on the steering wheel for the ease of access. One of them is the new “ANIMA” (means “soul” in Italian) switch, which mirrors Ferrari’s Manettino switch and allows you to choose among Strada (street), Sport and Corsa (race) modes, altering throttle response, exhaust noise, gearshift, steering, damping, 4WD and traction control. Sadly, you can’t have different settings for individual systems, say, Corsa gearshift and Strada damping, unlike Ferrari or McLaren, so not always you can find the best suitable settings.

Fire the engine and you will hear a familiar sound. That is because the 5.2-liter V10 is kept. However, thanks to a few modifications such as new intake and exhaust, slightly higher compression (12.7:1 instead of 12.5:1), the adoption of dual-mode injection and automatic stop-start, the engine finds another 50 ponies and 15 pound-foot of torque, bringing the total to 610 hp at 8250 rpm and 413 lbft at 6500 rpm. Meanwhile, fuel consumption is reduced by 16 percent and CO2 emission drops from 351 to 290 g/km. Although it isn’t as free-revving as Ferrari’s 4.5-liter V8 or as punchy as McLaren’s 3.8 twin-turbo V8, the Lamborghini V10 still impresses with a linear power delivery and enthusiasm for rev. 5000 rpm is just the beginning of its fun zone, which extends all the way to 8250 rpm. The hard-edged exhaust note and pops and crackles on overrun support this thrilling experience.


Fire the engine and you will hear a familiar sound.


Although its quoted top speed stays at 202 mph, the Huracan feels significantly faster than its predecessor, if not as fast as McLaren 650S. This is also evident in its 0-60 mph, which drops by half a second to merely 3.1 seconds. Most of the improvement actually comes from the R8-sourced 7-speed twin-clutch gearbox, which finally replaces the notorious E-gear together with manual gearbox. It shifts quickly yet smoothly thus is no longer the Achilles’ heel of Lamborghini. Big brother Aventador must be jealous.

Of course, the big Lambo still enjoys the exclusive use of carbon-fiber monocoque chassis. However, the cheaper Lambo is no ordinary either. Its aluminum spaceframe construction is now strengthened with a transmission tunnel and rear bulkhead made of carbon-fiber. That makes it 50 percent stiffer torsionally and 10 percent lighter than the full-aluminum chassis of Gallardo (take note, Ferrari). As before, the chassis is assembled at Neckarsulm (where the next generation R8 will be built alongside) and then shipped to Sant'Agata for final assembly.


New chassis reinforced by carbon-fiber transmission tunnel and rear bulkhead.


Apart from chassis, the compulsory 4WD system is also improved. Previously, Gallardo employed a passive viscous-coupling to engage the front wheels only when the rear wheels started sliding. On the Huracan, it has been upgraded to an electronic-controlled system using Haldex multi-plate clutch to engage the front axle, just like Aventador. This allows its normal torque split to be set at 30:70, and vary between 50:50 and 0:100 when necessary, thus greatly enhances its handling. Another significant upgrade is the introduction of magnetorheological adaptive dampers (like Ferrari), which should improve its ride quality a lot. Other advances include an active variable-ratio electrical power steering, standard ceramic brakes and the aforementioned ANIMA control system.

On the road, the seamless gearshifts and supple ride – at least in Strada mode – bring a refinement you can't imagine on Gallardo. The new steering is not only lighter but also has kickbacks eliminated. Now the small Lambo is truly comfortable to be driven every day on normal roads.

As expected, switch to Sport mode sharpens the powertrain response, tightens the suspension, weighs up the steering and intensifies the exhaust note. It still isn't as sharp as Ferrari 458 though. The Ferrari's ultra-fast and precise steering, even faster gearshifts, angrier barks and perfectly calibrated stability control are just too much for Huracan to match. The Lambo feels not only heavier but also understeers more when it approaches corner. Strangely, switch to Corsa mode actually transfers more torque to the front wheels and intensifies the understeer. At no time it feels as sporty as the Ferrari as well as McLaren.


With more understeer and a heavier feel, Huracan is not as sharp as Ferrari 458...


Another downside is the active steering. In principle it works the same way as the active steering we criticized so much on the BMW 5-Series E60 some 11 years ago, i.e. it varies the steering ratio not only according to speed and steering angle but also some other factors. When it senses the car understeers, it tightens the steering ratio to compensate. Vice versa for oversteer. Unfortunately, it is probably too clever for the driver to predict its behaviour, thus it is difficult to dial in the necessary lock to get your desired response. Therefore, it is better to skip this option and stick with the standard steering rack.

On the positive side, the Huracan is undoubtedly less edgy to drive fast than its Ferrari and McLaren rivals. Its safe understeer and the extra traction and grip offered by its electronic 4WD system give it a more secured driving manner. However, if you want to go cross country or to exploit hundreds of miles on unfamiliar country roads, Porsche 911 Turbo S or some front-engined GTs are better options. To most people who could afford a supercar like this, they are likely to put driving thrills on top priority. The Huracan is definitely better than Gallardo in this respect, but it still fails to match the mighty Ferrari and McLaren.
Verdict: 
 Published on 11 Dec 2015
All rights reserved. 
Huracan LP580-2

30 horsepower less and no 4WD, but more fun compensates.


6 years ago Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni proved that less could be more – by ditching 4-wheel-drive system, the car achieved sharper and more interactive handling than the standard Gallardo. Thanks to its unexpected popularity, now the 2-wheel-drive derivative becomes part of the permanent lineup of Huracan.

As implied by its name, Huracan LP580-2 has its V10 detuned to 580 horsepower, or 30 hp less than the 4WD version. Lamborghini said that is necessary to avoid overwhelming its traction. 580 vs 610 ponies, does that make any difference? Ferrari 488GTB and McLaren 675LT have even more power and torque yet their chassis seem to have no problem to cope with. The V10 now produces its peak power at 8000 rpm, 250 rpm lower than before. Likewise, its maximum torque is reduced by 15 pound-foot to 398 lbft. By the way, like the recently updated LP610-4 (or Audi R8), this V10 has added cylinder deactivation technology to save fuel. CO2 emission is reduced from 290 to 278 grams per km.

On the road, the said reduction of horsepower is not perceptible. This is still a fabulous V10. It revs and screams madly on wide open throttle. Maybe it’s not as fast as the aforementioned turbocharged rivals, but subjectively it feels more thrilling. Moreover, with a top speed just shy of 200 mph and 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds, the LP580-2 is still mighty fast! Sometimes I wonder why people pursue for performance higher than this.

Having ditched the front drive shaft, multi-plate clutch and front differential, the LP580-2 is 33 kg lighter than the 4WD model. It could have been lighter still if its chassis were designed as an RWD from the outset. Inevitably, weight distribution is worsened from 43:57 to 40:60, but the point here is a more transparent handling characteristic. By softening the front suspension a little and using bespoke wheels and tires, the car has shifted its balance from understeer to neutral or even oversteer. Driving in Sport mode, the slightly numb initial response of LP610-4 no longer presents, replaced with a keener turn-in. If you push it harder in corner, the RWD car will oversteer readily. Unfortunately, the electronic stability control is too eager to intervene, and it intervenes abruptly to spoil the fun.


The point here is a more transparent handling characteristic...


Switch to Corsa (race) mode is supposed to raise the threshold of electronics, but strangely, it also shifts the balance back to understeer, though not as severe as Strada mode. Lap time is reduced as a result of less slippage, but so is the driving excitement. In Corsa you may turn off the stability control completely, but doing so will reveal a wayward handling. Lamborghini’s electronics is not as brilliant as Ferrari’s Side Slip Control, or to lesser extent McLaren's Brake Steer, which work flawlessly yet invisibly behind the scene.

The same goes for the steering, which is no more feelsome than that of the 4WD car. Tick the optional active variable steering and it adds an extra layer of unpredictability.

By ditching the 4WD hardware and standard ceramic brakes (it uses steel brakes instead), the LP580-2 can be made 15 percent cheaper than the 4WD model, although Audi R8 Plus remains a better bargain. It is more fun to drive than both the Audi and the standard Huracan. Unfortunately, the flawed electronic control fails to release its full potential. As a result, it still lives under the shadows of Ferrari and McLaren.
Verdict:
 Published on 27 May 2017
All rights reserved. 
Huracan Performante


The Performante is no longer superlight, but it has more performance than its name suggested.


Traditionally, the higher performance version of small Lamborghini is called Superleggera, which means superlight. The reason is obvious: the first generation Gallardo Superleggera cut 100 kg from the standard car even though it retained the 4WD system, while the second generation model slashed 70 kg for a 1430 kg kerb weight. Unfortunately, as the standard Huracan has already employed a lot of lightweight carbon-fiber (including part of the load-bearing chassis), the third generation high-performance small Lambo manages only 40 kg saving from the standard Huracan, so it has to abandon the Superleggera label and opted for a new name, Performante. Its kerb weight is now 1492 kg, heavier than a Ferrari 488GTB and quite a lot more than McLaren 675LT (1328 kg). Even the aluminum-and-steel 991 GT3 4.0 can undercut it by 62 kg, although you might argue that it is still remarkably light for a car with a V10 engine and 4-wheel-drive hardware.

Another thing the Performante unlike its predecessor is that its production is unlimited, so it will sit permanently above the standard LP610-4 and LP580-2 in the line-up. Price starts at £213K in the UK market, compared with £181K of the LP610-4 or £183K of Ferrari 488GTB. It is hardly a bargain, but considering the performance it offers, the price is probably worthwhile.

What kind of performance? We are talking about a Nurburgring lap time of 6:52, beating Porsche 918 Spyder by no less than 5 seconds and is currently the record holder if you ignore some thinly disguised race cars or a mysterious electric car that nobody knows if it would be made into production. Yes, the Performante does that with “only” a naturally aspirated V10 displacing 5.2 liters, and without any kind of electrification, so incredible that many doubted its record claims until Lamborghini released the in-car-cam footage. We’ll dig deeper into its technical side and see why it could be so fast on track.


A Nurburgring time of 6:52 is incredible for a car with only a naturally aspirated V10 and without any kind of electrification...


The Performante looks more aggressive than its siblings thanks to a number of exterior revisions. Up front, the front splitter is larger, more pronounced and is arranged in double-plane. Changes to the side is more subtle, basically limited to blackened sills, door graphics and a set of ultra-thin-spoke lightweight wheels. More dramatic is the tail, which includes a high-mounted wing, a massive diffuser and the exhaust is thoroughly rearranged – now twin instead of quad-exhaust, mounted higher and closer together to make room for aerodynamics. Overall, it trades some design purity for aggressiveness and functions.

Speaking of aerodynamics, the front splitter is active. It incorporates 2 movable flaps, which open to reduce drag and close to enhance downforce. However, the highlight of the so-called ALA
(Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva, or simply Lambo active aero) package should be the rear wing, which is unquestionably innovative. Most other supercars use hydraulically adjustable rear wing to alter downforce and drag to suit driving conditions. The downside is more weight. Unlike them, ALA uses a fixed carbon-fiber rear wing, but this wing is made hollow, as are the pair of vertical supports. At the base of each vertical support, there is an intake duct, which draws air from the fastback through the inner channel of the hollow support to the hollow wing. As the channel narrows, the air flow is speeded up and blows out from the small slots at the underside of the wing. This high-speed jet stream fills the partial vacuum region behind the wing, altering the underside air flow and the result is reduced drag. When the movable flap at the intake duct is closed, no air will be drawn into the wing, thus its raised angle will guide the air flow upward and generate downforce. As a result, the ALA wing manages to alter between high-downforce and low-drag mode without using hydraulic actuators at the wing. Lamborghini said at high-downforce setting the rear downforce is increased by 7.5 times over the standard Huracan. Sadly, it did not reveal the actual downforce figure for either cars, so we have no way to judge if it can match a, say, 911 GT3 RS.



ALA rear wing is innovative in the sense that it is fixed yet variable.


Another useful trick of the ALA rear wing is the ability to alter the left and right downforce to help cornering balance, something like Pagani Huayra. This can be easily implemented by altering the air flow into each side. In fast bend, the inside half of the wing will be set to produce more downforce, countering the weight transfer under g-force and pressing the inside wheel harder to the road. The result is better grip and less roll. Of course, it doesn't function as well in slow corners.

To make possible the hollow rear wing and its supports, Lamborghini's forged carbon-fiber composites made its debut for the first time on production car. I am not sure if it can better Pagani's carbon-titanium for strength-to-weight ratio, but it is denser thus allows the wing components to be made hollow yet strong enough. Speaking of this state-of-the-art material, the Huracan Performante also uses it to construct the front splitter, engine lid, rear bumper and diffuser. In addition to the lighter forged alloy wheels and exhaust, the whole car is 40 kg lighter.

It could have been lighter still if today's millionaires were willing to sacrifice creature comfort like air-conditioning, infotainment system, carpets and power-everything. Since they don't, the Performante is a livable supercar. Its cabin is trimmed with Alcantara and carbon-fiber more for looks than actual weight saving. I still dislike its edgy design though. The graphite finish of the carbon-fiber surfaces adds further flamboyance and distraction.



No creature comfort sacrificed, and now even more flamboyance.


Changes to the 5.2-liter V10 are relatively modest. Its intake manifold and exhaust have been reworked to improve breathing, while new titanium valves cut weight and lift rev. Valve lift is increased, too. Brilliantly, these changes don’t make its output any peakier. Its maximum output is 640 horsepower released at 8000 rpm, which is 40 hp up and 250 rpm down, while peak torque is increased by 29 to 442 pound-foot at the same 6500 rpm. Mid-range torque cannot compete with its turbocharged rivals, of course, but still it offers at least 70 percent of peak torque from as low as 1000 rpm. 0-60 mph acceleration is said to be improved by 3/10ths to merely 2.8 seconds, while 0-124 mph is a full second quicker than the standard LP610-4 at 8.9 seconds, even though it is no match for Ferrari 488GTB (8.3s), let alone the new McLaren 720S (7.8s). Top speed remains unchanged at 202 mph.

The dual-clutch gearbox, Haldex 4WD system and steering are practically the same as before, but they are predictably recalibrated. The suspension is benefited from stiffer setup – springs and anti-roll bars get 10 percent stiffer, while bushings are 50 percent firmer. One crucial upgrade contributing to its record Nurburgring lap time is the new set of Pirelli Trofeo R tires. Yes, the same super-sticky, track-oriented rubbers fitted to McLaren 675LT and Pagani Huayra BC. Since they wear out as quickly as Donald Trump changes his attitude on China, the standard road tires are Pirelli P Zero Corsa instead.

On the Road

One thing Lamborghini still differs from its rivals is using big naturally aspirated engines. The 5.2-liter V10 is as free-revving and responsive to throttle as you can imagine. It can spin to 8500 rpm accompanied with an angry roar that masks all turbocharged motors. It offers plenty of torque low down but overall the power delivery is linear and controlled. The twin-clutch gearbox also seems to change swifter than the standard car’s, so the gap from Ferrari is closer than ever. Does the car feel fast? Yes, of course, if not as explosive as McLaren or Ferrari, but the extra noise makes up the small gap.


The new car feels a lot more precise and confident-inspiring to push to the limit.


However, what elevates the Performante to a higher level is its handling, which is much transformed from the LP610-4. While the standard car is criticized for too much understeer and too little driver interaction, the Performante feels sharper, more agile and more precise. It might be the effect of ALA or the stiffer suspension or the grippier tires, or most likely the sum of all changes, its turn-in is noticeably sharper, while understeer is nearly non-existent. The front Trofeo R tires offer huge amount of grip and keeps the nose on rails. In Corsa (race) mode, the recalibrated active variable-ratio steering has replaced its notorious unpredictable manner with a measured linearity, thanks to a much narrower variation range. As a result, the new car feels a lot more precise and confident-inspiring to push to the limit.

On a fast circuit, the Performante flows through corners with minimum fuss. Its huge grip, downforce and precision suit a fast track. Predictably, with 4WD it is not as playful as the rear-drive Ferrari, McLaren or 911 GT3. You can induce oversteer in Corsa mode with heavy braking in corner entry, but the angle is subtle, and it won’t sustain for long, because the front wheels will regain traction shortly afterwards. This manner is unlikely to change until Lamborghini replaces the Haldex system with something capable of torque vectoring. As a result, purist drivers will prefer Ferrari and McLaren for their extra feel, interaction and balance on throttle. The Lambo is built with a different philosophy: precise, fluent and lose no time in slipping. It is a very effective track car, and that’s why it can break Nurburbring record, but it is not necessarily the most exciting to drive.

On poorer roads, the stiffer suspension inevitably returns a busier ride, but overall it is still livable enough for day-to-day drives. It seems to leave some space for a Superleggera derivative to be developed – what if it slashes more weight by ditching equipment, sound insulation and using plexiglass windows etc.? and what if Lamborghini stops chasing lap time and ditches 4WD for more agility? No, I don’t think that will happen considering how successful its sales now (and the SUV is just around the corner). Yes, this is a 5-star car in no doubt, but it is a little bit disappointing to find out that, although it has finally realized the potential of Huracan, it fails to open a new era.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout
Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
0-124 mph (sec)
0-150 mph (sec)
Huracan LP610-4
2014
Mid-engined, 4WD
Aluminum spaceframe + carbon-fiber
Aluminum, carbon-fiber
4459 / 1924 / 1165 mm
2620 mm
V10, 90-degree
5204 cc
DOHC 40 valves, DVVT
VIM
DI
610 hp / 8250 rpm
413 lbft / 6500 rpm
7-speed twin-clutch
All double-wishbones
Adaptive damping
F: 245/30ZR20
R: 305/30ZR20
1532 kg (1422 kg dry)
202 mph (c)
3.1 (c) / 2.5*
5.7*
9.9 (c)
13.3*
Huracan LP580-2
2015
Mid-engined, RWD
Aluminum spaceframe + carbon-fiber
Aluminum, carbon-fiber
4459 / 1924 / 1165 mm
2620 mm
V10, 90-degree
5204 cc
DOHC 40 valves, DVVT
VIM
DI, cylinder deactivation
580 hp / 8000 rpm
398 lbft / 6500 rpm
7-speed twin-clutch
All double-wishbones
Adaptive damping
F: 245/35ZR19
R: 305/35ZR19
1499 kg (1389 kg dry)
199 mph (c)
3.3 (c)
-
10.1 (c)
-
Huracan Performante
2017
Mid-engined, 4WD
Aluminum spaceframe + carbon-fiber
Aluminum, carbon-fiber
4506 / 1924 / 1165 mm
2620 mm
V10, 90-degree
5204 cc
DOHC 40 valves, DVVT
VIM
DI
640 hp / 8000 rpm
442 lbft / 6500 rpm
7-speed twin-clutch
All double-wishbones
Adaptive damping
F: 245/30ZR20
R: 305/30ZR20
1492 kg (1382 kg dry)
202 mph (c)
2.8 (c)
-
8.9 (c)
-




Performance tested by: *C&D




AutoZine Rating

LP610-4


LP580-2


Performante



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