► Hardcore Huracan STO tested
► Taking track-spec performance into a road car
► Is it the best version of Lambo's V10 supercar?
Ferruccio Lamborghini didn't believe in motorsport improving the breed, but here's proof it does: the Lamborghini Huracan STO.
The gist is that the STO (which stands for Super Trofeo Omologato) transfers lessons learnt from the Super Trofeo one-make Huracan series, plus the more serious Huracan GT3 Evo racers (that've won Daytona three times on the bounce). There's much of the approachability of the gentleman-spec former, with the capability of the latter.
In doing so the STO steals the previous Performante's crown as the most hardcore Huracan, and corrects an anomaly previously at the heart of the range: until now only the entry-level model was rear-wheel drive like the racecars, but now the STO is rear-wheel drive and the fastest, lightest and most expensive Huracan at £260,012.
What do you get for that wedge?
Weight drops 43kg versus a Performante to 1339kg dry thanks to copious use of carbonfibre, there's peak downforce of 420kg at 175mph (53 per cent up on the Performante and includes rear Le Mans-style shark fin!), the chassis is uprated with stiffer anti-roll bars, and you sit in an interior dark, functional and a little foreboding like a fighter-jet cockpit.
Carpets are replaced by carbon floor mats, there are bare minimum carbon door cards, and carbon-shelled seats that are as firm and supportive as they look, if decently comfy too. Over my shoulder there's a half rollcage, my XL helmet occasionally snags the roof (I'm 6'1" and I just fit) and Mad Max-style slats over the rear window block visibility, while onboard telemetry is primed to analyse my every move. You can even play back your laps on the in-car screen.
For all the familiar track-focused tropes, there's also a genuinely surprising level of differentiation here: all the body bar the aluminium doors and roof is carbonfibre, the entire front end is now one piece ('cofango') and hinges forwards like a Miura clamshell to reduce fixings and therefore weight, plus the rear haunches have a more brutally angular aesthetic lifted from the Super Trofeo racers, with a NACA duct sitting on top.
How does all of that feel?
Even stroking along, the delectable V10 is working its magic, gargling and purring through lower revs like operatic warm-up exercises, the symphony now louder thanks to those notoriously pricey Akrapovic exhausts, if entirely appropriate given everything else is cranked to the max.
On cold tyres the Huracan STO initially feels so pointy as to be almost nervous – the front end runs a wider track and more aggressive camber, and there's rear-wheel steering too, plus minimal body roll or pitch. It wants to bite and turn, and any bottled-up momentum at the apex escapes through an oversteer release valve. The first mid-speed corner on cold, new tyres makes me flinch like running my hand under a surprisingly hot tap.
It takes very little time for the tyres to switch on, though, and when they do they ground the Huracan's reactivity like the track's coated in a gossamer of chewing gum. Instead of being tip-toesy anxious, now you gain confidence to chuck the Huracan around, to stand hard on those almighty brakes, work the steering with big positive inputs and go large on the throttle knowing that the grip will smear and bleed rather than snap. It is so much more intuitive and involving than the all-wheel-drive models, and then through the really quick stuff you've got the godly squish of aero keeping you planted. Perfect.
What about that gorgeous engine?
The (unrestricted) V10 is said to a direct lift from the GT3 Evo racer, but the Huracan is now a way off its 700bhp-plus turbocharged rivals from Ferrari and McLaren, and 631bhp is no more than a Performante (plus there's a little less torque). Doubtless you've already guessed the STO remains a vividly rapid machine, one that serves as welcome reminder that you simply don't need any more performance to have fun. In fact, putting less torque on a higher shelf (470lb ft at 6500rpm) with a more progressive naturally aspirated delivery lets you work the tyres harder, feeling them chew at the surface progressively as torque builds rather than explodes and you carefully but resolutely squeeze throttle to floor.
This chassis and this delivery is a deliciously malleable combination, and the V10 noise and response only eggs you on like a home crowd at the world finals (yes, the Italians did mention that but you should still buy their car). Ultimately it's uncorking the V10 that makes the Huracan so addictively visceral above everything else, and the chassis gives you the tools to do it so extrovertly.
Lamborghini Huracan STO: verdict
Just before lockdown in 2020, I said the new Lamborghini Huracan RWD Evo was not just the cheapest, but also the best Huracan you could buy, and that its existence must've tied the marketing people up in knots. Well, not anymore, because if you like watching the GT3 Evo win on a Sunday, the STO is the car you should buy 9am Monday – as well as being the best Huracan full stop.
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