Lamborghini Huracan goes rear-wheel-drive: it’s Balboni Take 2

Published: 17 November 2015

► New Huracan LP 580-2 revealed
► Successor to the Gallardo Balboni
► Rear-drive, ‘tuned for oversteer’

Regular Huracan not hairy-chested enough for you? Maybe this’ll do the trick: the new Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2, unveiled at the 2015 LA auto show. It’s lost a little weight (and a little power) but, crucially, it’s also lost a pair of driven wheels – this is the hotly anticipated rear-wheel-drive Huracan. 

Think of it as a successor to the fabled, if flawed, Gallardo Balboni special edition of 2009.

Missing driveshafts apart, what makes an LP 580-2 different from the rest of the Huracan range?

There’s a clue or two in the name. The regular Huracan (and de-roofed Huracan Spyder) are labelled LP 610-4: the 610 bit for the metric horsepower output (equivalent to 602bhp) and the 4 bit for four-wheel drive.

The new model packs ‘only’ 572bhp and 398lb ft rather than 413 from its 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10, but it’s all sent to one end rather than both, remember. What’s more, Lamborghini says the LP 580-2’s driving modes (the now-familiar Strada, Sport and Corsa) have been tuned to allow, nay, encourage oversteer, particularly in Sport mode.

At 1389kg (dry) the 580-2’s 33kg lighter than a regular Huracan, the majority of that weight loss the result of binning the front-axle drivetrain gubbins. Weight distribution is quoted as a nice round 40:60 front:rear. Going rear-wheel drive means you’ll need to wait a whole two tenths of a second longer to get from 0-62mph, in 3.4sec, while top speed falls by around 4mph to 198mph compared with the 610-4.

Anything else?

Stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, a new steering setup for ‘faster turning’, and recalibrated stability and traction control, presumably to take into account that there’s no drive to the front wheels. New 19in wheels (20s are an option) wear a set of specially developed Pirellis.

The LP 580-2 looks a little different too, with a mildly restyled, more tapered design treatment front and rear. The reshaped front air intakes also have the function of increasing downforce over the front axle, says Lambo.

Famously the back-to-basics Balboni was available with a manual gearbox only, but since the Huracan’s been engineered solely with a paddleshift ’box in mind from the start the 580-2 features the same dual-clutch seven-speeder as the rest of the range.

Let me guess – you have to pay more for less?

Actually, no. UK prices are yet to be confirmed but in Europe the LP 580-2 is priced at 150,000 Euros (plus taxes), while the 610-4 costs 169,500 Euros.

Regardless of the price, if the words of Lamborghini chief Stephan Winkelmann are anything to go by, the 580-2 is the car to appease anyone who finds the regular Huracan just a little bit too well-mannered for its own good. ‘It is a serious car for serious drivers: it is maximum driving fun,’ he says.

Anything else new in Huracan town?

A few tiny updates to the 610-4, including tweaks to the four-wheel-drive system for more neutral handling in Strada mode, extra bits of leather trim inside, more extensive personalisation options and an optional stereo upgrade. And for even greater show-off ability, there’s a new LED lighting pack for the engine bay coupled with the transparent engine cover option.

CAR has been living with a Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 every day on our long-term test fleet – read our adventures here.

Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer