A snorting, thundering Bolognese bull at the core, yet atypically amiable for a Lambo – the Huracan is a universal charmer
Lamborghini is arguably the last of the pedigree supercar makers which still manage to gratify the hairy chested, moustached, tattooed guys from the 70s. In a world where even the likes of Ferrari are deserting the purist charm of naturally aspirated motors in favour of forced induction, Lamborghini refuses to choke of guilt for melting a few ounces of ice in Antarctica. They continue to offer their cars with only the most fun-to-drive, free-breathing engines known to humans.
Price: Rs 3.4 CR (ex-showroom)
It’s not that they haven’t mellowed down though. Life has become safer, people don’t die of cholera anymore, and waxed chests are no more derided. As an event in the chain, Audi AG, the German owner of the Italian thoroughbred brand has infused modern technology and robustness to make new Lambos much more accessible and enjoyable for a wider audience. While the transition is welcomed by a sweeping majority, the old worldly fans of the brand don’t quite approve of Lamborghinis which don’t scare. The hairy, scary Diablo and Murciélago cars of yore, which thrilled like an Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece, claiming some lives en route, still adorn the bedroom walls of the ‘real men’ as they call themselves. The Huracan, by that yardstick, is different, to say the least. It’s as friendly, surefooted and reliable as a modern day supercar could ever be.
The interior is akin to the cockpit of a fighter jet with a hexagonal theme. Flat bottomed steering wheel features extended pedals and three drive modes to choose from
Design and styling
Under the skin, the Huracan employs aluminium along with carbon fibre for a 10-per cent weight reduction and 50-per cent increase in rigidity as against its predecessor, the Gallardo. You don’t really need to peel off the car’s skin to witness its friendlier demeanour though. The cuts, the slashes, the angles and the polygons you see in abundance on Lamborghini designs are visibly less prevalent here. Don’t mistake us though, the Huracan is razor-sharp, and with the steeply raked bonnet that drops in line with the windscreen you’d struggle to find a slipperier visage in the motoring world. It doesn’t, however, have the angular elements which have been the very definition of Lambo design. The toothy eyed Huracan is low, slippery and bladelike, though it does have a degree of gentleness to it, which ardent Lambo fans can witness in a fleeting glance.
The naturally aspirated 5.2 litre V10 engine is shared with the Audi R8 V10 Plus, and is one the few big engines which have not been turbo’ed yet
Oh, and it also lifts its skirt up to tiptoe over speed breakers. We love it, while some don’t, though. Performance is brisk, if not blistering with a claimed top speed of 233 km/h. Redlined at 5000 rpm, the engine pulls cleanly from low revs and builds pace at a reassuring rate. There is a steady gush of torque flowing through the mill from lower to mid revs, endowing the diesel powered C-Class with an ability to handle overtaking manoeuvres with utmost ease.
12.3 inch all-digital TFT instrument screen allows navigation and access to all key controls and functions
The Huracan hides a small trunk space under that sharp snout. Good for a couple of small bags
A successor to the utterly successful Gallardo, the Huracan (Hurricane in Spanish), named after a Spanish Bull is powered by a 5.2 litre V10, which it shares with the Audi R8 V10 Plus, albeit with 52 more horses, thanks to a new dual-fuel-injection system and revised intake. Power is rated at 602hp (610PS) with a 0-100 sprint time of less than 3 seconds. Drive is transmitted to wheels via a seven speed dual clutch transmission supplied by Audi, and an all wheel drive system makes this baby Lambo one sure-footed quadruped.
Interiors and cabin features
Get inside and you are greeted with a properly modern, angularly styled cabin with retro elements. The driver’s seat might as well be the cockpit of a fighter jet. The controls are quirkily unusual, and it takes a moment to get used to the new order, even for those who are no strangers to driving exotics. The engine start / stop button is protected behind the aircraft style hexagonal safety toggle, as though it were meant to launch a nuclear tipped missile. To be honest, it actually does.
Dab the starter button and the V10 engine snarls to life with a loud roar settling down into a raspy drone. There is no drive selector lever to control the car’s motion. The Huracan pushes the conventional notion of PRNDL aside and introduces a new set of rules to be complied with. An angular frame with R inscribed over it needs to be pulled back to engage reverse. Press P to put the car in Park mode, or M to enjoy a fully manual drive. There’s no D mode here, though. You just pull the extended flappy pedal behind the steering to engage the first gear and go. It’s all a bit different to any other car you’d have driven. It doesn’t require much time getting used to, though.
The A/C vents are hexa-shaped, so is the instruments hood, the shape of the screens inside, the levers, the seats, and pretty much everything else. The row of switches on the centre console is, again, a quirky set. For example, the power window control requires to be pushed down for the windows to go up and vice versa. Interestingly, you can see some of the buttons on the centre console having been picked from the Audi bin. We even spotted a door lock / unlock button similar to the one on the VW Jetta we had as a tracking car. Minor foibles apart, though, the cabin possesses a matchless personality, and is unlike anything you would ever have experienced.
The instrument cluster features a 12.3-inch TFT screen that can be configured to show a tachometer, speedometer, audio, phone, navigation maps and directions. At the centre, ahead of those buttons we just mentioned, you have three digital gauges metering oil pressure, temperature and battery charge.
There is a wee bit of space behind those beautifully crafted seats with aggressive bolstering – enough for a couple of small haversacks probably. Rear visibility is next to absent, thanks to the engine cover. Thankfully, there’s a rear view camera – or if you still wish to use the rear view mirror you have the option of going for the transparent glass cover, which will set you back by about 7 lakhs. Just a small example of how much more you can spend customizing this car after having paid nigh Rs 4.5 crore OTR for the standard equipment in Mumbai.
The flat bottomed steering wheel features mounted controls, again quirkily positioned and meant to control things we generally don’t via steering wheel. At the bottom of the wheel, you have the three-mode system toggles between Strada (street), Sport, and Corsa (race). Switching between the modes alters the transmission, engine, axle torque split, steering, and damper settings. So while the car feels lighter, less aggressive and relatively quieter in Strada mode, switching to Corsa unleashes the animal within the Huracan with the steering and suspension getting tauter, transmission getting more ferocious and the exhaust note turning louder with plenty of pops and crackles every time you lift you right foot. Corsa mod disengages the electronic safety net, and is advisable to be used only in controlled environments where the driver has enough space to fool around.
Ride and handling
On the move, the Huracan offers an immersive, engaging, overwhelming experience. The throttle response, the sheer power being doled out from that V10 engine and the stellar new ‘Soppia Frizione’ dual clutch auto transmission makes the Huracan a sublimely enthralling experience. Acceleration is brutal, strong throughout the rev range and keeps building all the way up to the car’s 8500 rpm redline. Even with all the savageness of the V10 brute roaring aloud from behind the driver, the new chassis, along with the AWD and the modern electronics makes the Huracan and incredibly easy car to drive. Those thundering cylinders lined behind you may try to intimidate you aurally, but the rest of the hardware has been put together to negate any such feeling.
There is absolutely no twitchiness to be experienced, and even while powering out of corners, there is plenty of grip at hand. The accurate, sporty steering with shifter pedals extended out for convenient reach feels connected like a very few sportscar steering wheels do. Turn-ins are accurate and reassuring, though the AWD system does translate into a wee bit of under-steer as you dive into a corner too hard and too fast.
With the Huracan there isn’t even an atom of the terrifying fidgetiness that made the Murciélago so notorious. Unlike the Lambos of yore, the Huracan is utterly forgiving and invites the driver to try and take it to the limit without the fear of losing a limb. Carbon ceramic brakes come as standard on the car and offer great resistance to fading even after aggressive use for a prolonged period. Also, unlike some other cars where these advanced brakes feel grabby, on the Huracan, they have a fantastically progressive feel and a strong bite that can be easily modulated. If, however, even with such a sorted system, you manage to lose grip from the Pirelli PZero Corsa rubber, you have to be doing something monumentally stupid, or suicidal.
The Huracan, as some may understandably argue, has gone a wee bit too soft for a Lambo. It’s probably too well engineered and well mannered for its savage lineage. What we can tell you is that it’s possibly the most gorgeous looking car up to its price range, though we still cannot help but complain about the relative lack of the trademark Lambo cuts and slashes. We do feel like gods when we push its transcendent power-train to the limit, though we still miss being scared. It’s a modern day Lambo, the Huracan, for the modern day men, who can do without a tattoo and don’t feel ashamed their toddlers’ diapers. And that, dear friends, can hardly ever be a bad thing!
Engine: 5204 cc
mAX Power: 602 bhp @ 8250 RPM
mAX TORQUE: 560 Nm @ 6500 RPM
Transmission: 7 speed dual clutch automatic
Upcoming Ferrari 488 GTB
The successor to the all-conquering, achingly beautiful 458 Italia, the 488 GTB is claimed to be an improvement over its predecessor. And if that turns out true, the 488 would be a true masterpiece. Maranello's latest mid-engined V8 supercar packs a 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 delivering up 661 bhp of power. It’s the first time a turbo has been used in mid-engined, eight-cylinder Ferrari since the F40. Ferrari is also planning an official India entry soon
Porsche 911 Turbo / S
FOR ages, the 911 Turbo has been the definitive everyday sports car. Its history and accomplishments makes it a true legend. Even in its most recent iteration, the car is as relevant and as competitive as ever. The 911 Turbo boasts 520 hp with the S variant taking the figure higher up to 560 hp. Timelessly stunning on the outside, and incomparably well made on the inside, these machines are known to hold their value better than any other car model.
Price: 911 Turbo Rs 2.2 cr / 911 Turbo S Rs 2.7 cr (ex-showroom)
Upcoming 2016 Audi R8 V10 Plus
THE current gen Audi R8 is on its way out, and soon to be replaced with model year 2016 R8. The second generation of the globally successful and highly acclaimed sports car, the new R8 is highly anticipated in the automotive world. The car shares its V10 mid-engine with the Lamborghini Huracan reviewed in the main feature, with similar power and torque figures. 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in just 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 330 km/h. The R8 has always been known to be a fantastic machine which offers surprisingly good value for the performance offered. We have every reason to believe that the new car should be, too.