► Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 tested
► Rear-wheel drive, naturally aspirated
► V10 puts out 572bhp and 398lb ft
Lamborghini hasn’t been shy with variants of its Huracan. We’ve had the 610-4, the Spyder, and – if that wasn’t enough – you can now have it in 580-2 form in the UK.
Wait, 580-2? Does that mean less power?
It does, but don’t let that put you off. As it did with the Gallardo, Lamborghini has dialled back the orchestral 5.2-litre V10 a fraction – from 602bhp to 572bhp, so it’s hardly become pedestrian – but the reason for doing so is to make it a little more manageable with just rear-wheel drive. Yep, this is a Huracan with a kick solely to the rear, which can only be a good thing.
There’s more to it than just chucking a pair of axles and a differential in the bin, too. The LP580-2 is 33kg lighter overall as a result of deleting a driven axle and the weight bias has also shifted slightly, from 43/57 front/rear to 40/60. The suspension has been retuned to suit, and the steering software has also been played with – whether you go for the standard set up or the Dynamic Steering option.
So is this the Huracan for real drivers, then?
It most certainly is. Clearly there’s a market for those who want a Huracan to simply drive around city centres quite slowly while making lots of noise, and Lamborghini is quite right to suck up as much of their cash as possible. But there are still people out there who want to get down and dirty with their Lambo on a challenging country road, and this is where the 580-2 comes into its own.
Leave the ‘Anima’ switch in Strada mode and the electronic nannies are stood right over you; prod the accelerator too hard and the ESC light blinks away and keeps things from getting too exciting, although you can still make good progress and enjoy the performance. Switch it into Sport mode and the changes become more clear; this Huracan is more willing to play around and steer from the rear, even though the ESC still intervenes eventually.
The final Corsa mode is meant for the track and feels it, with the suspension switching into a very stiff configuration. Rather than being incredibly lairy, however, it’s in this mode that the Huracan behaves most neutrally.
It might feel a little artificial, but Sport is fun on the road – without straying too close to trouser-soiling moments – and Corsa gives you free reign when the conditions suit.
Have they spoiled the engine by downgrading it?
You’d be hard pressed to notice any kind of power deficiency, chiefly because there isn’t one. It might deliver peak power at 8000rpm instead of 8250, but you’ll be far too preoccupied with the chorus of angry drunken angels singing through the tailpipes. This is one of the finest engines currently in production, regardless of the decreasing number of competitors that are naturally aspirated. It’s beautifully responsive, serving up generous power and torque with delicious linearity, and it rewards precise control.
The 580-2 comes with the paddleshift option only. Some dislike that the shifters are fixed to the column but at least you always know which one is up, regardless of where the wheel is pointing.
Can you still live with it, though?
The switch to pushing power doesn’t turn the Huracan into a truculent yob. Leave the transmission in automatic and in Strada mode it’s relatively civilised, although the suspension is still relatively stiff and the big tyres drum up a fair amount of noise. But for a car of this nature it’s perfectly tolerable in terms of comfort.
The cabin remains a little hit-and-miss. The seats offer plenty of adjustment but the space on offer is modest, while the layout is also a mixed bag. The Audi-related MMI interface works well, although the display it operates is small, while the wheel-mounted indicators are a fiddle – if more effective than the same set-up in Ferrari’s 488.
The Huracan is an exciting machine and a worthy successor to the Gallardo; in LP 580-2 guise it’s even more fun, more engaging to drive and – should it make any difference – even a little bit cheaper. Until a lighter and sharper version comes along, this is the best Huracan money can buy.
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