Lamborghini is an infamous name on our sunny shores, for a variety of reasons, some infamous. Today I have the pleasure, to put that curiosity to rest and test the latest iteration of the Lamborghini, the Huracan LP 610-4 which is the new model that replaced the Gallardo, in all its glory. In deference to the raging bull mascot on the bonnet, all Lamborghinis have been named after famous fighting bulls and this one is no exception even though there was a debate whether it was named after a Mayan god of wind and hurricane or after a famous fighting bull that fought in the Spanish city of Alicante in August of 1879, the latter being correct.
Lambos always attract attention and controversy and the pronouncing of the name is also up for debate, with the native Italian speakers and Lambo saying that the H is silent and it should be pronounced as the Ura Khan, as the A in the can has a hyphen. So there you have it, it’s the Urakhan and what a car it is. The next bit of elucidation is that LP 610-4,the LP or Longitudinal Posteriore in Italian refers to the North-South, engine layout of the V10 and 610 is the bhp rating and the 4 denoting the electronic four wheel drive system.
This car is brought down by Bavarian Motors, who have developed a reputation for bringing down the exotic and unconventional motors that we see on our roads now, you may recall the Porsche 911 and Alfa Romeo Giulia QF from previous issues that also came from their stables.
If this is not eye candy what is, the Huracan is finished in a stunning green four coat paint called Verde Mantis which is one of about 25 colours available for the Lambo and is an enhancement to attention grabbing as the body itself is like a piece of metal sculpture. I guess only Italians can twist and shape and paint metal to look so beautiful, and of them all Lambo is at the top of the heap. This colour really accentuates the shape and the geometric lines. Lambos have been every boys’ poster dream car and no bedroom wall was complete without a Lambo poster. The whole car styling both inside and out are aircraft inspired and take the form of hexagons. From the bonnet to the lights to the front air dam and the mirrors all mimic the hexagon theme, even the plastic air vent grilles and main grille have the hexagon design incorporated in. The geometric design carries on through the sides to the rear, and the stand out design element is that the optional rear glass as in this car serves as the engine cover, so that the mighty V10 is on full display all the time. The early editions only had a full length metal louvre which was open to dissipate engine heat, but this car has the newly improved glass cover with the thin strips of louvre on either side. Italian touches and idiosyncrasies abound, and Lambo design director Filippo Perini seems to have managed the design details in a manner that seems to make more sense than in most supercars. The petrol filler flap is in the C pillar buttress and does not have a cap, but the flap seals the aperture and serves as a flap as well, which is great as petrol attendants don’t have to fiddle with the cap irritant anymore. The side profile of the car is completed with a staggered set of 20 inch black alloys riding on235/40 and huge 305/30 profile Pirelli P zero rubbers specially developed for the Huracan.
Mechanicals & Technology
The engine is a 5.2 litre non turbo V10 with 40 valves and pumps out 610bhp @ 8250 rpm, and the rev counter is red lined at 8500rpm. The torque is a mighty 560 nm of twisting force @6500rpm, these are mighty numbers and to put it in perspective is equivalent to having the power of 16 Suzuki 800 engines, or two Boxster engines inside this one car. The normally aspirated engine is coupled to an electronic four wheel drive system with a seven speed dual clutch gear box referred to as LDF ( Lamborghini Doppia Frizione) and has a 30/70 front to rear torque split with a 100 to rear possible on demand when required. The engine is also a dry sump affair to enable it to be placed lower in the engine bay to assist in handling and the weight distribution which is a 42/58 front to rear. The suspension is race inspired double wishbone set up and the brakes are drilled, grooved and ventilated carbon ceramic discs with 6 and 4 pistons front rear respectively and Lamborghini claim they will haul the car from 102kmh to zero within a neck snapping 105 feet.
The dampers are magnetic and oil filled and electronically controlled depending on the drive mode employed, and are referred to as Magnetorheological shocks. The quad exhaust system is an active one with adjustable valves and again connected to the drive mode. Top drawer stuff, really!
I have been testing a procession of supercars including AMG models, Alfa Romeo Giulia Qudrifoglio, Porsches, BMW I8s, etc lately and the BHPs have been steadily increasing from 300 to 400 and now to 600, and I did approach this one with some trepidation wondering whether I could really, get all those 600 raging bulls under control, but my fears were soon allayed as this car has a docility that belies a supercar and that’s something Lambo engineers have worked hard at. They want this car to sell in numbers and hence don’t want it to be a track only car but a street driver, all super car makers are now pursuing this strategy and I must say Lambo has come out tops with this one. The ingress to the functional interior is pretty easy and you do not have to be a circus contortionist to get in and the seat too is not the deep carbon buckets that you get in most supercars but a very ergonomic well contoured sport seat. The electric seat adjustments are all there, including the steering, and there is plenty of leg and head room to play with. The aircraft inspired toggle switches need getting used to but are a pretty sight. The three spoke flat bottomed steering is chunky and confidence inspiring and the bottom spoke has the red Anima switch which control the three drive modes strada (street), sport and corsa (track). The start button is covered by a large red flick switch and you need to flick this in aircraft style and press the button within to fire the mighty V10. If you look for a gear selector lever, there is none but when you flick both paddles up in unison, the box switches to neutral. The Handbrake too is electric and I particularly liked the reverse which is a nice big aircraft style lever that you pull up, but all this new paraphernalia needs a bit of familiarization but once done they seem very logical and easy to use.
The engine fires at the first press of the button and the ECU does a huge throttle blip to acknowledge that all is well. The selection of auto or manual is via a button, and I chose street on auto as my familiarization mode. The exhaust noise is fabulous and not too rowdy in the street mode but is yet loud enough to wake your neighbors. On start up the engine idles just below 1000rpm and the simulated analogue rev counter starts with a red zone at 6000 rpm for a cold engine and gradually progresses to its 8500rpm limit as the engine warms. In auto mode, it’s pretty easy to drive the car sedately and it is reasonably quiet (relatively) at low revs and comfortable. I was cruising around 30kmh on 7th gear and breezing through rumble strips, small ruts and imperfections in gay abandon as if it was a normal sedan, yet with a decibel level adequate to warrant a stoppage from traffic cops if it were a mundane car. Mercifully being a lazy Sunday afternoon the roads were free of the khakied gentry.
At these speeds the Lambo cylinder deactivation works to conserve fuel and I would have been driving around on one bank of five cylinders, and the other bank comes into operation only on demand, but this process is not discernible to the driver as the computer regulates sound and feel to mask the change over which is totally imperceptible. A change to sport mode and manual, changes the car completely, with engine note, steering, throttle mapping and suspension all doing double takes to transform the car. On full blown, pedal to the metal acceleration you only require one dab on the paddle to hit 100kmh in second gear, and it is a really frightening experience because you get there in a mere 3.2 seconds as claimed but I swear it felt much much quicker than that.
It’s an ecstatic feeling and each prod of the thrill pedal gets your adrenaline pumping and the orgasmic sound of the exhaust nearing 8500 rpm is mind blowing, and on change down the crackle and the splutters are truly seismic. The computer takes care of the rev equalization on change up and down and one could be pardoned for mistaking the sounds for gun fire from an ack-ack gun. I rolled the windows down for most of the drive just to enjoy the buildings coming alive with the exhaust sound waves bouncing off them. The driving experience is exhilarating as the moment you are in the view of any motorists’ rear view mirror they immediately brake and move aside and let you pass, as they want to see what this green raging bull is all about. You really feel like royalty as if the road was yours, but then it was Sunday afternoon, but yet the reverence from the limited number of subjects was unsurpassed.
The revs build up so fast and the car covers ground at such pace, that one can hardly glance at the rev counter, but the soundtrack is so beautifully tuned that it just builds to a nice crescendo nearing its rev limit, so you can really change by ear, just the way we used to rev our old cars sans any rev counters till almost valve bounce and then slam the gears. Fabulous feeling, to say the least. The car has no stalks on the steering column as the functions have been relocated to the steering spokes to accommodate the two huge paddles that can be touched from any steering position in Ferrari style. The fabulous carbon ceramic brakes are another story and on hard braking they virtually haul the car back as though you have hit a brick wall. It is an amazing go and stop machine, and is yet civilized enough to be a gentlemans car when needed, such is its personality.
In the Corsa mode, its all race ready and no auto is possible its only manual and there is also a launch control function aptly called thrust which is pretty simple unlike the complex German system of buttons, levers, paddles and time outs etc, you only need to press a button and left foot brake and throttle away. I did not attempt launch control as my brain was not adequately hotwired to my right foot to provide the extra dose of afternoon thrills. The car is well weighted and lowered and hugs the road like a leach clings to a fleshy thigh and on a couple of fast sweeping left handers felt so sure footed that one has to be really clumsy or super human to get this car off line as all the electronic gizmos and steering corrections etc just help it glide round corners almost as if you were in autonomous mode. 75% of the torque is available from 1000 rpm and that is more than the max torque of the Gallardo it replaced and you really can feel and appreciate the shove.
This car has retina piercing looks, earsplitting sound and mind numbing pace and I might say is far far in excess of any attribute one would require in a car in Sri Lanka, even on a track. Is there any place you can hit 325 kmh top speeds, I wonder?
Living With It
There is no escaping the reality that if you buy a Lambo, you are not thinking of kids and four seats and school run etc, and if you want to take a long drive with your girlfriend, you would make sure that she packs only a comb and a pair of flip flops as there is no baggage space apart from the rather small frunk (space under the front bonnet). The glove box would suffice to carry your revenue license and a pair of driving gloves as the name implies. So this is the reality but you already knew that as this car is designed for one thing and one thing alone that is to provide smile inducing driving pleasure. It looks swell, sounds like hell and goes like smell. You are almost driving blind as the rear visibility is almost nonexistent, but then a Lambo driver is supposed to lead from the front and no mere mortal car is supposed to keep close to your speeding butt. This is a fabulous supercar as Lambo has made it very livable with, and have even incorporated a front axle lift system to safely navigate those steep driveways and dipping underground car parks. Most current supercars now provide this which is a testimony to their attempts to make livable sports cars. No fancy electronic Gizmos like gesture control, lane change warning etc, it’s just meant for driving not fiddling. The controls are well laid out in toggle style to add that Italian styling flair and the fuss free infotainment system with navigation is very intuitive and borrowed from Audi, so Audi drivers will feel very much at home here.
No attention grabbing scissor doors where door pockets are as useful as a sarong to someone contemplating a handstand. Apart from the paddles there are no stalks on the steering and the wiper controls and trafficator and headlight flash switch are on the multifunction steering, which is pretty sensible as these are the functions one uses frequently, and the cruise control switches too are placed on the steering, hence you can control all of them with your thumb. There is sufficient space for your mobile phone and chargers under the floating console and they have even provided a hidden cup holder for your morning coffee with your favourite maalu paan, whilst doing your speed run to that board meeting. So in terms of super car conveniences this one comes right up on top as one of the most user friendly comfortable and livable super cars.
A personal preference of mine would have been to have the paddles mounted on the steering where they move with the steering as opposed to the column mounted ones here, and the feel of the paddle is not that tactile and luxurious like the German ones, but then if you buy a Lambo who cares about such nitty grittiness. This car is also equipped with the 390 watt 10 channel Sensonum premium audio system, but again with a continuous Italian symphony playing in your rear, which driver in his right mind would switch on his radio? If you do want music, dab the one touch power window button, that’s what I did.
Being a high performance European sports car it is as safe and well-built as its German counterparts with whom it competes. There is nothing that is wanting in terms of safety, and hence is equipped with the full safety array of ABS, Front and side impact airbags, belt pre-tensioners, along with the now must have Tyre Pressure warning system and a wide angle grid line marked back up camera, so ones safety is well assured. Unfortunately no Euro NCAP rating is available as super cars are not rated and tested for Euro NCAP. In this modern era of electronics it would be nice if Lambo can incorporate a 180 degree camera to project images onto the rear view mirror to improve rear visibility whilst driving.( This feature is currently under test in the upcoming Lambo URUS SUV)
Fuel Economy & Price
The manufacturer rated fuel consumption for the combined cycle is 12.5 litres per 100km, and the CO2 level is 290 gms per km. The fuel tank is commodious at 90 litres and should guarantee a range in excess of 700km which is fabulous. The economy for a car with such power and pace is quite good and in large part is due to its low weight, which incidentally is lighter than the Gallardo it replaced, and the one bank cylinder deactivation function, so all credit to the Lambo engineers who have been working on this model to make this a supercar that can be a daily driver. Some versions in Europe offer the stop/start feature to improve consumption further, but if you have the money to buy a Lamborghini honey, don’t worry, just drive as if you are in a hurry. Price will depend on how you spec it (and there are many many ways to do so), so head down to Bavarian Motors in Colombo 5 for a chat.
How fast is fast enough is a big question as super cars keep getting faster and faster? The 325kmh top speed of this car is largely academic and can only be tested within the confines of the limited stretches of unrestricted autobahns in Germany, or on race tracks, but of course if one dares, the adrenaline inducing acceleration can be enjoyed by those with larger than life marbles on even our local tracks. With the approach of electric mobility more and more electric supercars are coming and would soon eclipse the fossil fuel powered, big engined supercars. Recently the Croatian electric supercar Rimac annihilated all the top supercars in drags and not too long ago the Chinese NIO EP9 (Gorgeous looking car too) their all-conquering electric super car smashed the lap record at Nurburgring by a humongous 3 secs.
However this Lamborghini is a unique piece of kit and bears ample testimony to the saying “no replacement for displacement” and with its huge V10 engine in a naturally aspirated guise would certainly be a collectible, as downsizing, turbo charging and electric mobility is taking over. The regulations on emissions will make it extremely difficult for such cars to exist in the future, so if you’ve got the money to invest, well this could be, the one avenue, buy it enjoy it, put as few miles on it as possible and bubble wrap it and store it in an air-conditioned garage and you could see your investment go the way of the bitcoin.
610bhp @ 8,250rpm
560 Nm @ 6,500rpm
7-speed with paddle shift
Suspension – Double Wishbone
Brakes – Carbon Ceramic Disc
Tyres – Pirelli, 20inch rims
Suspension – Multi Link
Brakes – Carbon Ceramic Disc
Tyres – Pirelli, 20inch rims
0-100km/h in 3.2 sec
0-200km/h in 9.9 sec
Top Speed 325km/h
Length – 4,459mm
Width – 1,924mm
Height – 1,165mm
Kerb Weight – 1,422kg
Fuel Tank – 90L
Boot Space – 150L