Ignition flap cover is now a perquisite.

‘It sounds like a ravenous predator at any point in its rev range, its acceleration is shocking’

‘But its corners serves as a perfect setting to see if Reggiani’s team had delivered unto the world a Huracán that drivers had always craved for’

Showstopper

Heartstarter, 

⁠⁠The Huracán certainly had the looks and the meat, but now with less power and driven wheels, will it still have its soul? Daniel Wong gets behind the wheel of the Huracán LP580-2.

By DANIEL WONG

PHOTOGRAPHY by Daniel Wong & Automobili Lamborghini Spa

THERE IS AN ODDLY THOUGHT provoking moment when Maurizio Reggiani, the brains behind Lamborghini’s recent string of mental cars, says that they settled on giving Lamborghini’s new two-wheel drive Huracán just 580PS. Not 600PS, like how Lamborghini used to lop or add on 10PS for the sake of product differentiation amongst the old Gallardo family, but a nice and meaty 30PS deficit over the standard Huracán LP610-4.  

“We decided that 580PS was the right figure so that drivers could have fun with its two-wheel drive nature without the car being too challenging,” Lamborghini’s head of research and development laughs with a typical Latin light-heartedness. 

Lamborghini, the name that is synonymous with excess, choosing to be a bit modest? Now I’ve heard everything. 

Ever since the two-wheel drive Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni stepped onto the world stage, there were glimmers of hope that Lamborghini might return to putting some of that intimidating rage back into its bull. Something that they hadn’t been doing since Audi took its reins. And so they have, but only with this, the Huracán LP580-2, which serves as the brand’s new entry-level model to tempt new customers into the Lamborghini fold.  

But 580PS sounds a little too ‘engineered’, something that sounds like the end result of discussions at the product planning meeting rather than late nights around the engine test stand. The standard 610PS-strong Huracán is said to be effective but rather tame in its character, whereas the quickest iteration of its predecessor, the Gallardo Supperleggera, had marginally less power with 570PS on tap. 

Besides the headline power figure, the torque output from the Huracán’s 5.2-litre V10 has also been knocked down to 540Nm from 560Nm, to give the car a more controllable nature since you are left at the mercy of two 305mm-width Pirelli P Zeros, instead of four. 

Apparently 610PS and 560Nm might prove too ‘testy’ for some, though maybe Reggiani should look over the shoulders of those at McLaren and Ferrari to see what they are doing with their rear-wheel drive contenders. Then again different strokes for different folks, after all Lamborghini customers don’t come knocking on their doors just to buy into its sporting heritage. Looked upon that light maybe Reggiani had good reason to turn the power down a notch.

Even though there is one less pair of tyres to help the engine get the car off the line, the LP580-2 gets from 0 to 100kph in 3.4sec, 0 to 200kph in 10.1 seconds, those figures are a mere 0.2sec off the LP610-4’s pace. So on paper at least it is quick, and when I hammer the throttle at the pit exit of the Losail circuit in Qatar, the thrust from that engine is still potent as ever. That naturally-aspirated V10 engine pummels my back without hesitation, without pause for question. True to its figures, its charge to 100kph and beyond is intense, proper supercar intense. 

Speed isn’t the LP580-2’s main calling card, though being 5kph off the LP610-4’s top speed at 320kph means that it is plenty fast for most mortals, which is why I’m here at Losail. Better known as an entry in the MotoGP calendar, the Losail circuit is just the right size for a car of the Huracán’s magnitude to feel breathlessly quick, though it is featureless with barely any terrain or inclines to give you a bearing of your surroundings. But it has 16 corners, which serves as a perfect setting to see if Reggiani’s team had delivered unto the world a Huracán that drivers had always craved for. And through the first sequence of bends the rear-wheel drive Huracán is living up to Lamborghini’s promise of building a supercar for drivers.    

In following with the tail-out, tyre-smoking trend seen from its peers, Lamborghini says that the LP580-2 is honed to allow drivers to hang its tail out in “Sport” mode. Admittedly while Lamborghini assures that its sensitive LPI system has been recalibrated to allow for ‘intuitive and predictable’ levels of oversteer, I found it rather hard to break the traction of the LP580-2’s specially developed P Zeros. 

But you don’t need to hang the tail loose at every junction to appreciate its new found talents. Since the task of steering is now separate from the role of translating engine fury into motion the Huracán is lithe and agile. Fitted with the standard steering, there is a natural consistent feel in guiding the Huracán’s pointy end. Its helm is sharper than a surgeon’s scalpel, and better yet, without a four-wheel drive system casting a wide safety net and sorting things out for you when you plant your foot down, the LLP580-2’s adjustability gives you a deeper sense of involvement. 

You can tighten its lines and get the nose tucked in closer to the apex with a flex of your right foot. It feels more alive, more attentive to your inputs. Paired with the incredible throttle response from its naturally-aspirated V10 engine, every extra millimetre of throttle travel unleashes a storm of noise and violence. With no mechanical bits to juggle the power between the two axles, the LP580-2 is not only 33kg lighter than the standard Huracán, the power delivery is even more immediate. 

Despite it being a descendent from a predominantly four-wheel drive dynasty, the Huracán is amazingly adept as a rear-wheel drive supercar. It reacts and feels as though it was bred to have a tail happy talent. At times when I pushed a little too hard through a sequence of corners, the rear-wheels squirmed and the tail felt a little loose, but never was it snappy or temperamental. It simply teases you with the power that it has at your behest. 

If tail out antics isn’t in your schedule, you can leave it in the “Strada” drive mode where the system will induce understeer at its limits, or “Corsa” which will summon up the most aggressive throttle mapping, leave all gear changes to the prompt of your hands, but keeps the nose and tail together for you to do a quick and clean lap. 

The Huracán LP580-2 just might be the greatest Lamborghini for people who still believe in having more interaction and to hell with the horsepower bragging rights, since the Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni. Although, that being said, there is one aspect of the commemorative edition that we will never see here – the good old gated six-speed manual transmission. Sadly Lamborghini had no intention of ever having a Huracán with a manual transmission, and considering the shape of the centre console, there is certainly no chance of them going back on their word. 

As expected its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission performs as good as any other dual-clutch anyone cares to mention out there. It snaps through the gears instantaneously and convincingly with no slur in the engine note between changes. The only qualm is that it does its thing without a sense of occasion. There are no more punchy shifts to be felt – a characteristic of the imperfect single-clutch transmissions of old. Even on the “Corsa” setting, which leaves gear shifting up to the driver’s hands, the dual-clutch still shuffles the gears flawlessly with little interruption or pause. It feels a bit sterile in a Lamborghini that was supposed to bristle with character rather than power.

Can I fault the LP580-2 for that? Certainly not, it is only an unfortunate carry-over from the rest of the Huracán range, and the inevitable shift in buyer preferences to everyday convenience rather than esoteric enjoyments. Nevertheless as I complete my laps around Losail I manage to familiarise myself with its rhythm, and gradually as I start to venture and dig beneath its aggressive character only to find that it has a benign and communicative disposition. It sounds like a ravenous predator at any point in its rev range, its acceleration is shocking, and pitch it through a corner and it doesn’t feel like you are straddling on a knife edge.  

With less power and less traction the LP580-2 won’t be as fast or as immensely competent as the LP610-4, be it on the track or on the road. But it doesn’t have to. It is a certainty that there will be a more hardcore, quicker version of the Huracán coming down the pipeline in a blaze of noise and colour. But I think this might be the baby-Lambo’s zenith. 

Where Lamborghinis of old and new often rely on its shock factor, the only surprise here is the LP580-2’s driver-focused behaviour. It makes you part of its very being, letting you decide how you want to approach and exit every corner, stepping in only when its complex bank of sensors detect things might be getting out of hand. This is the Lamborghini Huracán that pundits have been waiting for. The Lamborghini that shows you how to have a good time rather than being a show-off. And for that, it deserves to be celebrated as one of Sant’Agata’s crowning moments. 

V10 lower power output seems more ‘engineered’ for product strategy.

‘Though there is one less pair of tyres to help the engine get the car off the line, the LP580-2 is a mere 0.2sec off the LP610-4’s pace. So on paper at least
it is just as quick’

Aside from the simpler front bumper, there aren’t any changes done to the Huracán’s shape.

Interior sports no
changes in the LP580-2

The only purpose of the centre LCD screen.

Semi bucket seats offer excellent support.

‘Better yet, without
a four-wheel drive system casting a wide safety net and sorting things out for you when you plant your foot down, the LP580-2 gives you a deeper sense of involvement’

LamborghiniHuracán LP580-2

EngineV10, 5204cc

Power580PS @ 8000rpm

Torque540Nm @ 6500rpm

Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch, rear-wheel drive

Front suspension Double wishbones, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar

Rear suspensionDouble wishbones, coil springs, adaptive dampers, anti-roll bar

Brakes 365mm front, 356mm rear, ABS, EBD

Wheels 8.5J x 19in front, 11J x 19in rear

Tyres245/35 R19 front, 305/35 R19 rear

Weight 1389kg

Power-to-weight 418PS/tonne

0-100kph3.4sec

Top speed 320kph

Basic price TBC

EVO rating