Test Drive: 2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4

Lamborghini has fashioned a highly addictive piece in its new “entry-level” exotic, the 2015 Huracan LP 610-4. Once past the initial terror of piloting someone else’s orange wedge of evil that comes in on the wrong side to 300 large, this all-new baby Lambo bypasses the marque’s widow-making rep of yore, presenting itself as a mighty user-friendly device… well, as far as a 610-hp, 0-100 km/h in 3-ish seconds, 325 km/h top-speed all-wheel-drive land-shark can be.

Compared to its 700-hp V12 Aventador big brother (that admittedly isn’t quite as scary as it looks) the 610-hp V10 Huracan feels like it’s even more on your side, not waiting to gore you at every turn.

Not to suggest this most civilized of Lamborghinis is a polka in the pansies. It will bellow like the hounds of hell and accelerate like an ICBM if you push the right buttons and stomp the happy pedal with authority.

More on autoTRADER: By The Emotions: Lamborghini Huracan LP-610

And that’s the addictive part. The sound and the fury of the Huracan is always there for the taking. It immerses you in the most intoxicating of automotive experiences, dripping as it does with Italian passione. And yet underscoring all this bravado is a largely fool proof chassis. The Huracan is confidence inspiring and feels absolutely nailed to the road. No mystery here, and the new electric steering communicates everything you need.

Of course, the Huracan limits are insanely high, and ones you would never breach on a public road unless you were… er, insanely high.

Of course, the Huracan limits are insanely high, and ones you would never breach on a public road unless you were… er, insanely high.

The Huracan replaces the Gallardo, which, with over 14,000 sold, is far and away the Lambo sales champ of all time. Like the Gallardo before it, the Huracan shares a large portion of its mechanical bits with the next-generation Audi R8, the 5.2L V10 and advanced frame chief among them. This is a new platform with an aluminum structure abetted by carbon-fibre in the rear bulkhead, centre tunnel and parts of the B-pillars. It is 10 percent lighter and sees a 50 percent increase in rigidity over the previous chassis.

Base price for the 2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 in Canada is $262,947. This specimen checked in at $317,847.

This is a hellishly sexy car from any angle – its complex curves and sharps angles all of a sudden rendering the Gallardo as a bit of a simple cubist effort. The interior is similarly stylish, bold and oh-so-Italian. It doesn’t hurt having orange everywhere. The hexagonal theme is omnipresent from the instrument binnacle to the charmingly retro air vents perched on the dash. The 12.3-inch crystal-clear central display, which also houses the nav screen, is completely digital, as are the trio of gauges on the centre console. There are no mechanical gauges anywhere in here.

The HVAC and infotainment controls on the console are all Audi bits. But they look just fine and add an element of reassurance.

The new steering wheel takes some cues from the folks down the road at Ferrari, housing the turn signal and wiper controls along with the  “ANIMA” switch at the six-o’clock position. There are three settings – default Strada (street), Sport and Corsa (race).

Time to lift the red Cold War-grade flip-up cover over the starter button cover and fire up the naturally aspirated 5.2L V10. It bursts to life in a neighbour-rousing blat and then settles into a subdued idle. Power is up 50 horses over the outgoing Gallardo LP560-4 thanks to a new dual fuel injection system (both direct and port injected) plus a revised intake.

The Huracan’s archrival: First Drive: 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB

You won’t find a manual transmission on the Huracan menu, just the Lamborghini Doppia Frizione (LDP) twin-clutch seven-speed that takes its bidding from XXL column-mounted metal shift paddles. Huge carbon ceramic brakes are standard fare.

One of the many options on this tester is the $7,600 Magneto-Rheologic suspension system that I’m assuming does wonders for both ride and handling. It also includes a front lift feature, making speed bumps and road kill somewhat negotiable. Don’t leave your Lambo dealer without it.

In case you’re wondering, the fabulous orange paint (Arancio Borealis) sets you back $5,000. And those 20-ich high gloss black forged rims are $8,100. Dash mounted cup holders are an option – this one doesn’t have ‘em. And I can see why. Who wants the inside of their new Lambo painted Mocha Latte Extra Foam Skinny at the first throttle application.

So you’ll be pounding back the espresso before venturing out.

A tug on the right paddles puts the Huracan in gear and we’re off. No drama in Strada mode. The exhaust hums with civility, the transmission shifts smoothly and does its best to keep the revs down. Even the ride is remarkably humane, considering the side walls on these tires are about as tall as the ones on my bike.

Yep, your Granny could putter to bingo in this Lamborghini with nary a concern. Okay, she wouldn’t see diddly-squat on her shoulder checks, but the mirrors do a pretty good job of filling that void. Anyway, in this car you want to see what’s coming up, and in that regard the front view is panoramic.

With the engine warmed up, the tachometer’s red line jumps from 6,000 rpm to 8,500 rpm. Hang on Granny, all systems are go.

Select Sport mode and this Italian rips open its metaphorical shirt, baring its shining medallion that rests on a (well-groomed) hairy chest. The exhaust opens up and the LDP tranny no longer gives a rat’s ass for fuel economy. You’d swear there is a string attaching the throttle pedal directly to the tachometer needle. Along with the revs comes a howl of ten angry cylinders, and depending on whether you’re accelerating or decelerating, the Huracan alternately huffs, wails, gurgles or farts. Sometimes all at once, it seems.

That alone can justify 300 large.

And then there’s the speed. Up until experiencing launch control in this Huracan, the AWD Porsche Turbo S was the only car that had physically disoriented me with its hole-shot acceleration. Now there are two.

But there’s a lot more to this new baby-Lambo than style, noise and speed. It’s a remarkably sorted piece that instantly hardwires itself to your driving mojo. The steering is laser sharp and telepathic, and the chassis secure and intuitive. Combine that with the insane thrust available at your right foot, and it feels like you’re strapped to the sexiest of jet-packs.

Sport mode dials much of the power aft (more so than in Corsa where stability control is off). Like the Audi R8, you can provoke a bit of tail slide without dire consequences. (Found that out on a rainy afternoon.)

One might argue that for about $100,000 less, you’ll be getting essentially the same car in the new Audi R8, which will have this 610-hp V10 in its top trim. The Huracan’s core is built in Audi’s German Neckarsulm plant and the engines come from Hungary.

Be that as it may, when it all gets put together in Sant’Agata Bolognese in Italy, the soul of the Huracan LP610-4 is Lamborghini through and through. For those who want the drama, mechanical edge and exclusivity of this gob-smacking slice of Italian exotica, that will be money well spent.

Competitors:
Aston Martin Vantage
Audi R8
Ferrari 488 GTB
McLaren 570S
Porsche 911 Turbo S
2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4
articles_PricingType 2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4
Base Price $262,947
Optional Equipment $54,900 (Arancio Borealis pearl effect paint $5,000; navigation $3500; orange brake calipers $1500; transparent engine bonnet and forged composite engine bay $7700; sport exhaust with style package $4800; rear view cameras with parking sensors $4300; front lift system with Magneto-Rheologic suspension $7600; 20-inch forged Mimas wheels $8100; Lamborghini Dynamic Power Steering $2600; floor mats with leather piping and double stitching $800; contrast stitching $800; electric and heated seats $3100; bi-colour Sportivo seats with Alcantara $3900; branding package $1100)
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested:
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee NA
Price as Tested $317,847
Optional Equipment
10 0
Scoring breakdowns 8.0
10 Exterior Styling
9 Performance
9 Interior
6 Comfort
6 Fuel Economy