Snobbishness - that’s the response a lot of petrolheads seem to have to the Lamborghini Huracan. You’ll find all the arguments against Sant’Agata Bolognese’s supercar very familiar - it’s nothing more than an Audi R8 in triangular drag, it’s too soft, it’s not a ‘proper’ Lambo.
We can’t imagine Lamborghini cares all that much what keyboard warriors think - the Huracan has been a sales smash hit for the company, equalling the Gallardo’s total sales in half the time. And yet, its new version of the Huracan appears to be a very effective way of getting the haters to STFU. Introducing, the Lamborghini Huracan Evo.
The headline-grabbing aspect of the Evo - now the standard version of the Huracan - is the Performante-spec 631bhp engine. But what’s more important is the added stuff the Perf doesn’t have. Namely, the rear-wheel steering and Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI) processing unit that works with the electronic driver aids, torque vectoring and the all-wheel drive system. Both of these things are fitted as standard to the Evo.
But let’s ignore all that, at least for now, and talk about that engine. 10-cylinders in a vee configuration is, I’d argue, the greatest engine layout ever devised. F1’s angriest and most aurally-pleasing era featured V10s, don’t forget. And while the 5.2-litre Audi unit can’t compete with all-time 10-pot greats like the 4.8 Yamaha lump in the Lexus LFA nor the vaguely F1-derived 5.7-litre V10 in the Porsche Carrera GT, it remains a fantastically noisy tribute to natural-aspiration.
It’s a familiar engine owing to its use in the closely related R8, but there’s a sense of fury here the Audi can’t emulate. In comparison, it’s like the Huracan’s German cousin is holding back a little. But in the Huracan Evo, zero f*#!s are given. There’s a harder edge to the noise here, with an addictive shriek exploding through the cabin as the 8000rpm redline is swiftly approached.
The delivery, particularly in Corsa mode, seems more aggressive, and you’d swear the power gap between this and the Audi is more than a paltry 21bhp. Set to this angriest mode, the rev limiter is absurdly hard, and should you choose this moment to squeeze the right-hand column-mounted gear shifter, the dual-clutch gearbox will savagely smash one of its seven ratios in place.
That’s all well and good, but the important thing is that this V10 has at last been slotted into a supercar that truly does it justice. The original Huracan’s front end has a reputation for wanting to push wide, but go searching for understeer in the Evo, and you’ll soon give up. It’s an incredibly neutral car, and one in which you won’t find much going on at the rear either. Well, other than the steering.
It’s that small amount of wheel angle at the back that makes the Evo feel all the more agile and eager when it comes to rapid changes in direction. To go with that, there’s a supply of traction you’re unlikely to ever reach the end of.
The Dynamic Steering is new, and although alarm bells ring as soon as you find out there’s no choice but to have it (passive steering is no longer an option), it doesn’t feel as unnatural as you’d fear. It’s not as predictable or laden with feedback as the hydraulic setup in a McLaren 570S, but you’d be a fool for expecting it to be. The weight is good, and the speed is welcome, even if it is almost violently quick away from the centre point.
To unlock the full Hulk-like rage of the Huracan, you have to be in Corsa mode. Unlike the Aventador, there’s no ‘Ego’ setting to let you mix and match aspects of the Evo’s character, and that’s a shame. Corsa brings with it a painfully firm ride that’s going to be unpleasant on anything but race tracks and the kind of silky smooth back-roads that aren’t a thing in the UK. You’re probably not going to want to stick with that for very long.
Go for the more compliant Sport mode and the suspension behaves itself, but at the same time, the V10 is quieter and less ferocious in its response. You’ll also have no limiter-smashing antics - in this middle drive mode, the dual-clutch gearbox shifts up for you at the redline. Boo and hiss.
I found myself opting for Corsa and putting up with the more unsettled ride and its tendency to make the car more nervous, as the payoff is worth it. But even set thusly, the Huracan Evo isn’t as engaging as you’d like - the more you push on, the more of a sense of disconnect you feel as the all-wheel drive shifts the power around to make your progress as brisk as possible.
And I’m fine with that. The aforementioned McLaren may be in another league when it comes to driver connection, but it can’t hope to rival the drama nor the sheer silliness of the Lamborghini. The noise it makes, the way it looks, the attention it gets, and the absurdity of the interior; as if to separate it as much as possible from the logic and elegance of that Audi I must stop mentioning, Lamborghini has ensured nothing is where you expect it to be.
Why have electric window switches on the doors when you can hide them somewhere in a bank of weird rocker switches? Who needs indicator or windscreen wiper stalks when it’s far more fun to chuck a load of buttons at the steering wheel instead?
Lamborghini may have given the Evo a more up-to-date infotainment system which is…fine on the whole, but the company’s priorities remain abundantly clear in here. For an example of what I mean, you merely have to glance down from the touchscreen and see the start button and the red flap it partially hides under. Handy if you want to pretend you’re about to launch a salvo of Sidewinder missiles.
"It’s the right amount of daft - silly enough to be fun, but well-executed enough to give something like the Ferrari F8 something to worry about it"
There’s far too much seriousness in the supercar world, so it leaves me overjoyed to see that Lamborghini - even while adding a whole host of new tech to the Huracan - is still happy to indulge the inner five-year-olds of its buyers.
You could say the same about the Aventador, but as much as I adore that V12 nutcase, it would all too often be infuriating to use. The Huracan Evo, on the other hand, channels that same spirit, but without the headaches. It’s the right amount of daft - silly enough to be fun, but well-executed enough to give something like the Ferrari F8 Tributo something to worry about.
It’s taken five years, but the Lamborghini Huracan has arrived.