2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 First Drive
Hot Air?: 602-Horsepower Gallardo Replacement Storms In
The Huracan makes a strong first impression. Even with the gorgeous scenery surrounding the Ascari Race Resort in southern Spain, the beautiful collection of hexagons and hard, angry angles easily commands attention. The design typifies the exuberance expected from a Lamborghini, and as the replacement for the Gallardo, the best-selling car in the company's 51-year history, the Huracan needs to do just that.
Theater? First, it's pronounced "who-rah-KHAN." Second, as with the Aventador, turning it on requires flipping a bright-red flap that covers the start button. Press that button and a naturally aspirated screamer erupts: 5.2 liters' worth of dry-sump V-10 that eagerly spins to 8500 rpm. On the way there, the engine makes 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque (the 610 part of the name refers to the metric power rating, the 4 to the number of driven wheels). A slide during the presentation shows that the power curve matches that of the Gallardo LP 560-4's V-10 at low engine speeds, but grows as revs rise until there's a 51-hp difference at peak, which the Huracan makes at 8250 rpm. Pull the right paddle and the dual-clutch transmission selects the first of its seven gears. The new gearbox helps drop the claimed 0-62-mph acceleration to 3.2 seconds, and has the potential for smoothing out the clumsiness of the Gallardo's E-gear.
After you've finished revving the engine and giggling at the pops the exhaust makes, you might notice the improved interior. The supportive and comfortable seats offer a good driving position, though rearward visibility remains minimal at best. The steering wheel feels good in your hands, but there are no stalks behind it; Lamborghini's moved the turn signal, wiper, high beam, and drive-mode select controls onto the wheel itself. The 12.3-inch TFT LCD screen behind the wheel shows a pleasantly large tach, and has a range of displays that includes a full-screen map. There isn't much for the passenger to see, just a small digital screen above the HVAC controls showing battery voltage and oil temp and pressure.
Underneath the interior sits a new and primarily aluminum chassis that uses carbon fiber for the transmission tunnel and rear bulkhead. According to Lamborghini, the material was instrumental for hitting the torsional stiffness (up 50 percent) and weight (down 10 percent) targets. In total, the Huracan's claimed dry weight is 27 pounds heavier than the Gallardo LP 560-4's.
In hardware and design, the Huracan makes a great successor to the Gallardo. But beyond that, it also seems to be a promising driver's car, especially when you consider Lamborghini's claim that it's around 2 seconds a lap faster than the race-inspired Gallardo LP570-4 Squadra Corse around the long road course at Nardo.
I was excited for the prospect, and eagerly exited the pits at Ascari in a white Huracan with the drive mode selector -- called ANIMA (Italian for "soul," as well as an acronym for Adaptive Network Intelligent MAnagement) -- in Sport. Doing so sharpens the throttle response, ups the steering effort, adjusts the power distribution, stiffens the optional magnetorheological dampers, and makes the transmission behave more aggressively. Corsa takes the settings even further.
My excitement quickly turned to disappointment. This Huracan immediately displayed a lack of connection, behaving as if it were a series of parts working independently of each other. It felt like the last-place-finishing Aventador of our 2012 Best Driver's Car competition in that the axles never felt in sync and that you couldn't figure out what it was going to do next. The balance would be smooth to a point, and then it would become unpredictable. The only consistencies were relenting understeer on power, a stability control that intervened aggressively in places where it needn't, and a transmission that, when left to its own devices in Sport, wouldn't downshift on corner entry.
Then I drove a bright-green Huracan. This one was completely different—no unpredictability and significantly less push. This was the drive I was looking for! The electromechanical steering felt great on corner entry, and though the chassis still lacked the balance of its competitors (even the Audi R8, for that matter), the car applied power deliciously, and it predictably tracked out of corners to the curbing. The stability control system was nowhere as invasive as the first car, and the transmission provided agreeable automatic downshifts in Sport. Instead of wasting time managing understeer, here I could revel in the V-10's song and the backfires it made off throttle.
A few inconsistencies remained. Sometimes, a redline shift would be smooth; other times there would be a jolt through the driveline. A Lamborghini engineer explained that this is done on purpose. He agreed that a smooth shift is always preferable, but says Lamborghini customers want to feel the kick; because of this, the Huracan is tuned to shift smoothly when you're steering, but jolt when the wheel is straight. Similarly, Corsa mode necessitates manual shifting. The paddles, mounted to the column, require you to move your hands if the wheel is turned. Ordinarily this would be fine, but couple it with a fuel cut that comes in annoyingly hard and fast, and getting the redline upshift right can be needlessly tricky. Why not give an optional aggressive automatic mode in Corsa as Porsche does?
The Huracan succeeds in picking up where the Gallardo left off, offering a lovely design, a fun experience while cruising, and promise in its hardware. But when the Huracan gets louder and faster, its limits reveal themselves and end unsatisfyingly. The good news? A few tweaks to its software programming and chassis can make it aspire to something more than looking pretty in the valet lot.
For more than 160 additional photos of the 2015 Lamborghini Huracan, head to page two of this First Drive.
|2015 Lamborghini Huracan|
|BASE PRICE||$243,000 (est)|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Mid-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe|
|ENGINE||5.2L/602-hp/413-lb-ft DOHC 40-valve V-10|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed twin-clutch auto|
|CURB WEIGHT||3650 lb (mfr)|
|LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT||175.6 x 75.7 x 45.9 in|
|0-62 MPH||3.2 sec (mfr est)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON||15/21 mpg (est)|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY||225/160 kW-hrs/100 miles (est)|
|CO2 EMISSIONS||1.12 lb/mile (est)|
|ON SALE IN U.S.||Currently|