The Lamborghini Huracan has one hell of a mission ahead of it. Not only must it follow the hardest act in Lambo’s history – its most successful car ever, in the shape of the Gallardo – but it must do battle in an arena teeming with high-tech supercars.
The Huracan will compete for bedroom wall real estate – and for £175k exotica buyers – with rivals like the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren 12C, Porsche 911 Turbo S and the new Honda NSX hybrid.
>> Click here to preview the January issue of CAR magazine, featuring our interview with the new Honda NSX’s creator
Like its Gallardo predecessor, the Huracan wields a 5.2-litre, naturally aspirated V10, driving all four wheels. The standard transmission is a new seven-speed dual-clutcher, marshalling 601bhp and 413lb ft. Yes, we’re saying good riddance to the clunky E-gear auto, but also a fond farewell to the open-gate manual option with three pedals in the footwell.
The V10 creates 41bhp and 15lb ft more than the most potent Gallardo’s engine did. It’s enough to fire the Huracan to 62mph in a claimed 3.2sec (0.2sec faster than a 458, but 0.1sec slower than a 12C). The top speed is a claimed 202mph – matching a 458’s v-max, but a handful of mph slower than a McLaren 12C.
>> Click here to read CAR’s feature review of the Lamborghini Gallardo Squadra Corse
What’s under the skin of this relatively mass-market Lambo is crucial – it needs to compete with the carbon tub of the McLaren 12C on weight and stiffness, but be cost-viable to support both the new Huracan and Audi’s forthcoming R8 replacement. Sant’Agata has plumped for an aluminium spaceframe chassis that incorporates carbonfibre to shave 90kg of weight versus a Gallardo.
It’s not just about red-hot performance though – the baby Lambo needs to deliver a big step-up in quality. The ageing Gallardo was littered with Audi switchgear, which looked dated next to CAR’s long-term A3 Sportback, let alone a 458 Speciale. The response is a hexagon-themed cockpit even more clean-cut than the Aventador’s. Digital instruments, Ferrari- style steering wheel controls and an all-new entertainment interface all appear, along with an engine starter button enclosed in a fighter jet’s missile switch. In fact, the whole car’s spec reads like it’ll be a total weapon to drive: roll on the supercar showdown of 2014.
>> Click here for the previous Most Wanted cars of 2014