Prior to German Audi acquiring Italian Lamborghini, Iain Robertson was unable to fit within any of the marque’s tight cockpits, which is why he wears American clothing, because designer Italian gear would look more than faintly ridiculous!
Admitting that size counts for a helluva lot, when trying to slot two metres of my height into Italian exotica, the vast majority of that nation’s supercars have been strictly off-limits to me. When I (regretfully) missed out on buying a (Ferrari) Dino 246GT in the mid-1980s, I scarcely contemplated that surgery may have been required. However, Audi’s judicious, northern European refettling means that I can get ‘comfortable(ish)’ in Lamborghini’s latest Huracán EVO: the next generation V10 super-sports car.
The Huracán EVO is the very definition of the term ‘evolution’: it is that vital step ahead, redefining the supercar segment parameters. For the wealthy business boss, it is remarkably easy to drive, while delivering the most responsive, sensory and agile driving experience, in almost any environment (except maybe the depths of winter). Powered by a 5.2-litre, naturally-aspirated Lamborghini V10 engine (also used by Audi in the R8), it has been uprated to produce even more power (640bhp) and a determinedly guttural, perhaps even Germanic soundtrack, thanks to the use of Titanium intake valves and a refined lightweight and unrestricting exhaust system.
Tipping the scales at 1,422kg, which means that it is hardly a ‘lightweight’, the Huracán EVO covers the 0-60mph sprint in a mere 2.6s and 0-125mph in a blistering 9.0s, running out of puff at around 205mph. To keep it on the road, it features both rear-wheel steering and a torque vectoring system that works on all four wheels, controlled by a Central Processing Unit to manage its dynamic behaviour. It monitors, in real-time, the dynamic vehicle attitude in respect of lateral, longitudinal and vertical acceleration forces, as well as roll, pitch and yaw rates, although mashing the throttle pedal into the carpets will soon prove that The Laws of Physics cannot be over-ridden.
The car’s power steering provides helpfully higher responsiveness in corners, while demanding only minor steering angles. Three driving modes, Strada, Sport and Corsa, allow the driver to dial-in dynamic settings, on-demand. While the latter of the three is almost solely for that occasional racetrack foray, although quite why you might wish to indulge in such derring-do, at probable and immense on-cost to the car, is open to question, its beefed-up damping and even more urgent responses are not really feasible for on-road ‘projectiling’. You can regard Sport as being little more than an enhanced version of Strada, which is great for autoroutes, preferably in some parts of Germany.
Yet, this Lambo is not short on creature comforts and a new 8.4-inch HMI capacitive touchscreen, located in the centre console, just above the start button, puts connectivity at the driver’s fingertips, with multi-finger gesture control as an added bonus. It governs most of the car’s functions, including seats, climate and the status of the chassis in real-time, while placing infotainment (Apple CarPlay and smartphone integration) at the cabin occupants’ disposal. However, hopes of carrying much more than a briefcase may temper your mood.
Wholly fresh trim detailing features a number of bi-colour and trim options, as well as luxurious Alcantara. Lightweight materials such as Forged Carbon Composites and Lamborghini’s patented Carbon Skin are available and are highlighted by the new customisable ambient lighting within the cabin. Both exterior and interior of the Huracán EVO are designed to maximise customer choices.
The driving experience follows customary Lamborghini practice, being both involving and potentially terrifying in near equal measure. Actually, the latter is not true, as it is an impression fostered by various ‘enthusiasts’ over the years, who wanted to remain in that exclusive territory of having experienced a Lambo at very close quarters. The handling envelope is prodigious and the sheer raucousness of its off-beat V10, which is located just over the driver’s shoulder, is one of the most inspirational elements of this supercar.
Of equal import is the enormous amount of aerodynamic enhancement carried out by Lamborghini at its St Agata factory. Hugely evocative slashes, cavities and air-guzzling holes in the bodywork are all designed for purpose, whether for drawing-in cooling air, or exhausting hot air. Spoilers and splitters are beautifully integrated and the near-naked rear-end of the car, with the exhaust tail-pipes jutting from the rear of the engine, follows race-car rules. Intriguingly, the EVO version of this car is around five times more aerodynamically efficient than the original Huracan, which highlights the vast improvements wrought.
What I can tell you, away from the near shock of being able to slot my form into the car’s cockpit, is that it drives beautifully. It has its edgier moments, when you try to break the traction of its enormous rear tyres but such exploits are best reserved for private circuits, rather than the public highway. There is no gear lever for the automated-manual transmission, which relies on either appropriate button selection, or the use of the steering wheel-located shift paddles.
Thank heavens that Audi ‘saved’ Lamborghini. Sales are very strong and the worldwide demand has ensured a full order book. The first customers for the new Lamborghini Huracán EVO will receive their cars in spring 2019, at a proposed retail price of £165,256, prior to selecting the catalogue’s worth of options. Admittedly, it is not the most affordable, or even practical of sports cars but it compares favourably with its supercar rivals from McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari in most respects.
Enigmatic character cars are still available in an era of tremendous automotive change. While every business customer will take an enormous tax-hit and you need to have a decent bank balance to even contemplate Lamborghini ownership, it is fast, dependable and guaranteed to turn heads, anywhere!