Forgive me for starting a review of a rear-wheel drive, 10-cylinder, naturally-aspirated supercar by talking about something frightfully boring, but stick with me, as the implications are very exciting indeed.
The Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD and its all-wheel drive sibling use both port and direct injection. Port involves a low-pressure fuel injection before the intake valve, while direct - better for big power applications due do a decreased chance of knock - sees it squirted straight into the combustion chamber at a much higher pressure.
By combining both setups, a car can use port when appropriate (for instance at lower loads), direct when it needs to, or in some cases a bit of both. Lamborghini has used this method to help the Huracan Evo comply with Euro 6d Temp emissions regulations (sorry, this isn’t getting any more interesting, but we’re nearly there), without the need of fitting a gasoline particulate filter.
The Audi R8 with which the Huracan shares an engine with now has a GPF, making it noticeably more muted than before. Stand behind one doing a full bore launch, and its V10 song will disappear into the wind while the car is still in sight. But the Lamborghini and its Huracan Performante-spec exhaust? Good lord is it loud.
The Evo’s 5.2-litre, 602bhp tribute to natural-aspiration furiously rips through the air in Sport and Corsa mode, lingering long after the car has belted off into the distance. Inside, it’s a glorious church built to worship the dying art of achieving power through displacement, filled with our favourite hymn every time you floor it.
With a 29bhp deficit to the standard Evo and the benefit of all-wheel drive traction removed, it is a fair bit slower to 62mph, with the benchmark sprint taking 3.3 seconds. The supercar still feels silly fast when you’re exploring the 8250rpm redline though, and an increase of three-tenths seems like a small price to pay, considering what you’re getting in return
The standard Evo has a hint of vagueness to it when really pushed in a corner, as the recalibrated all-wheel drive system figures out how best to maintain traction. The RWD, on the other hand, moves around more, making you think about what you’re doing with the throttle rather than simply pinning it to the carpet.
Traction in the dry is decent, but it’s not hugely difficult to get the back end to let go. It’s incredibly easy in the wet, which - predictably - it was for much of our three-day test (thanks, Britain). So long as you’re paying attention, which you ought to be in a car like this, it’s all perfectly manageable, even with everything turned off. It works amazingly well for something originally designed to be all-wheel drive.
It will still get out of shape with the electronic stuff on, although weirdly, it does this more so in Sport. This might be down to the almost excessively sharp throttle in Corsa.
This brings us neatly to the Evo’s driving modes, as this is where it starts to lose some of the brownie points accrued by that engine and the livened-up driving experience given by ditching the prop. The soft Strada mode is best off ignored unless you’re worried about upsetting neighbours when leaving for work in the morning. Sport should be a nice halfway house, but it’s noticeably less rowdy than Corsa, and - frustratingly - the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox shifts up for you at the redline in this mode.
The answer should be to go straight for Corsa, which allows the V10 to make the full extent of its inner rage known. Plus, it lets you hit a hard limiter rather than self-shifting. But it’s far too firm for the majority of UK roads, making the Huracan feel uncomfortable and nervous on some surfaces. Unlike the Aventador, the Huracan doesn’t have an ‘Ego’ mode that lets you mix and match engine/suspension settings.
Another sticking point is the steering. The once-maligned Dynamic Steering system is now fitted as standard, and although it was improved for the normal Evo and feels more natural after having ditched the front driveshafts, it’s still over-assisted and not as predictable as we’d like. Jump into the Huracan after being in a McLaren 570S or Ferrari F8 Tributo, and we suspect it’d feel a little broken for the first few minutes.
A shame, since this makes the Huracan Evo’s wickedly sharp front end tricky to place at first. But stick with it, and the Evo RWD really rewards, and in a way the AWD simply doesn’t. Its bonkers attitude extends far beyond the weird placements for all the controls in the fighter jet-like cabin; this Huracan is a tearaway to the core.
Barring the ultra-special, limited-run stuff like the Sian, the Huracan Evo RWD is probably the best thing Lamborghini makes. All-wheel drive might have become the norm for the company, but a rear-drive Lambo just feels right.