Words by Phuti Mpyane
“Huracán was a fighting bull of the Spanish Conte de la Patilla breed who fought in August 1879 in Alicante. His unyielding character made him invincible” – LAMBORGHINI
It looks and feels a whole world different from the Gallardo it replaces but all of the hallmarks, the aluminium and carbon-fibre tub, AWD underpinnings and rear-mounted 5.2-litre V10 engine, are still there. Its arrow shape quickly reminds you that the Huracán is built by a rebellious faction from Sant’Agata, Italy, rather than an army of well-behaved, collared scientists from Ingolstadt, Germany, in the Volkswagen Auto Group. In all honesty, it’s a sensual shape with a low nose and jutting rear. Its engine is displayed proudly at the rear like a bragging right and it’s utterly ridiculous how close to the ground it stands. It’s the natural stance of these sports cars but the Uh-ra-can (H is silent) is also equipped with adjustable suspension that lifts the front-end should you encounter a massive speed hump.
It gets better when you finally wiggle your torso past the high-level side pillar. You are treated to a stylish and snug cabin that pushes all the buttons that a fighter-jet should. Its digital display pod is reminiscent of the 2007 Reventon and though the finest materials aren’t used, it has a modicum of lavishness and decadence in its details. Despite switch-gear borrowed from Audi, including the key from old Audi cars, you really have to learn where some of the basic functions are placed; for instance, the electric window winders are hidden on the central command section, and the turn-signals are placed on the steering wheel, and they are masked and operated like a sound system’s volume or track selector.
It looks and feels a whole world different from the Gallardo it replaces
What counts is that it’s a fully resolved and painfully desirable place to be that’s inspired by the likes of the Grippen and Euro-fighter jets business areas. To get the party started, you must un-flip a bright red cover that protects the starter button, and the naturally-aspirated V10 jumps to life with a startling sharp crack of revs. As I sat there while it idled, drinking all of this in, its voluptuous curves protrude proudly from its wing mirrors and the gold bull in the centre of its three-spoke steering wheel, along with an array of brain-fuddling switches, lined-up on its dashboard; all these features make this an occasion worth savouring for a while. The view ahead is also clear because its stubby bonnet disappears out of sight as soon as it extends out from the A-pillars.
Exciting Gear Changes
To get it moving is not as cut and dried. The transmission controls are separate; park, neutral and manual merely being buttons, and the reverse gear a small pull-back lever. To get it to actually move forward, you pull on either of the flappy gear change ears on the steering wheel and first gear is engaged. At this point, the concerto still hasn’t begun. The Huracán’s default state – known as Strada (street) – keeps one of the exhaust butterflies shut and this Lambo settles down into a largely inaudible hum while its intelligent and impressively adjustable transmission slides into agreeable, almost imperceptible, automatic shifts. It cruises and goes through gears like a regular car would and it’s surprisingly supple on the road, with none of the associated hard jarring and highly mechanised ride quality appreciated by the segment.
Initially questioning the fitment of an entertainment system which streams music via Bluetooth, an incorporated hard drive and radio, it’s during these off-boost circumstances that alternative musicality is integrated. Its system outputs crisp and loud enough playback to enjoy a bit of Zano or Kafele. To transform it into a fierce monster, you simply bury the throttle deep into the foot-well, but that’s a classic chicken move. The truly dedicated will prime it properly through selecting Corse on its engine mood selector; this renders all of its exhaust butterflies fully open, sharpens throttle response and its excellent 7-speed transmission goes into hyper sequential mode and hits the limiter for sixes. In Corse mode, the gearbox can rapidly gear-down from fifth to second in one tug of a down-shift paddle.
You can leave the box, virtually Audi’s R-Tronic instead of the horrible e-Gear from the Gallardo, to its devices or take total responsibility for gearshifts, in which case you can tailor shift styles from typical, autonomous DSG-like prods or pretend it’s a manual while introducing perfectly timed throttle lift-off as the rev needle licks 8000rpm where it starts to sound like automatic machine-gun fire. The engine overruns are also to die for. In essence, it’s an Audi engine but undeniably Lamborghini’s fingerprints are left all over its fury. It punches out 441kW at 8250rpm and will run to 325km/h having blitzed past 100km/h in 3.2 seconds.
A Ride to Remember
Leave it in lazy mode and it’s as docile and subtle, you’d think it was a GT. You can slip into the relaxed mile-munching method, lean back into your thoughts and enjoy a ride quality that is surprisingly pliant and just perfect for crossing provinces. In full flight, the Huracán LP-610 feels like it’s set up for fierce thrust. There is ultimate body control with each and every metre it devours and the steering, though not as razor sharp, is direct and feelsome.
By the time the needle hits 4500rpm, it’s already shouting like a yob, and the speed is quite brisk. If it’s fitted with carbon ceramic brakes, which are strong and fade-free, then you are protected. It’s such an addictive thing to keep winding up and down the rev range and I find myself searching higher revs for even more speed and testing its vocal range. The scream builds slowly then sharply rises and crescendos with a rapturous shriek so loud and pure it can bring Karyn White and Lisa Fischer to tears with its intensity. By now, it’s the beginning of brutality on mechanicals, humans and any buildings in ear-shot.
It’s such an addictive thing to keep winding up and down the rev range
Is this rationalization enough for essentially the same car but with a cooler sounding Italian name, a cockpit style cabin, four big, shiny bazookas sticking out back, a gold bull on its steering wheel and the most effective and automated social PR machine on the planet?
Price: Huracán LP 610-4 Coupe – R4 999 000,00