2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4

The Italian-German union

"The union of Italian passion and German quality is the marriage supercars fans have long desired," said David

"The mental image that everyone has of Lamborghini, of course, is the Countach"

"The Huracan's cabin may be the most attractive in the mid-priced supercar segment"

Somewhere along the line - the exact demarcation point is a little hard to pinpoint - Lamborghini decided to tame its unruly ways. The mental image that everyone has of Lamborghini, of course, is the Countach, all overwrought angles, bellowing engine and wayward handling. Its poster adorned every young gearhead's wall and there was a time when you couldn't really make a legitimate car movie unless a Countach was front and center. Indeed, even those without 10W-30 running through their veins instinctively knew what a Countach was, even if they couldn't distinguish a Ferrari from a Porsche. 

Driving Impressions
Yet, in complete contradistinction of the Lambos of legends past - the Countach as well as the Diablo and Murcielago  - which relied of massive doses of high-revving V12 power and the grip of miles-wide Pirellis for their speed, Lamborghini's all new Huracan is, dare I say it, an almost sophisticated affair.

That's mainly because of a healthy infusion of Audi-inspired electronics. Oh, to be sure, the all-wheel-drive system (standard torque split, 30:70 front-to-rear, but able to transmit all its torque rearward) is the technology that lets the new baby Lambo put all of the 5.2 liter V10's 610 horsepower to the ground, but it's the invisible hand of the new ANIMA control system that makes it all manageable.

Not that the Audi association has emasculated Lamborghini. In its raciest, CORSA mode - which basically leaves the driver to his own devices - my, er, devices were not always up to the task. Exuberance often overcame talent is a series of lurid slides which, while fun, had me flailing abut trying to keep with the driving instructor in the Aventador (yes, even with AWD, you can seriously smoke the Huracan's huge 305/30ZR20 rear PZeros). Toggling the ANIMA system back to SPORT, a seemingly counterintuitive move considering my need for more speed, rendered things much more manageable behind the wheel of the pastel yellow Lambo, less broncing buck, more streaking thoroughbred.

Having the electronic stability control system to save your bacon leaves you to enjoy what is truly the attraction of driving a Lamborghini, namely wringing every last little bit of power out of the 610 horsepower, 5.2 liter V10. And you'll be spinning the Huracan to its 8,500 rpm redline often because, despite Lamborghini's claims that the long 92.8 millimeter stroke was chosen to give the V10 more bottom-end torque, this is an engine that needs to rev hard before its starts acting like a supercar.

What's truly interesting is how the benefits of the Huracan's power delivery - all screaming revs and relatively little low-end torque - runs counterintuitive to natural instincts. For instance, McLaren's 650S makes significantly more torque than the Huracan and is about a second quicker to 200 kilometers an hour. Therefore, you'd think that its place of uncontested superiority would be the racetrack.

In fact, it's the opposite. The 650's 3.8L V8 a little harder to modulate exiting corners as a result of its torque-bulging turbochargers. Less powerful or no, the Lambo's naturally-aspirated V10 offers more linear throttle response, just the thing when you're attacking corners at the very limit of traction.

Conversely, you'd think that the Huracan's relative paucity (and, rated at 560 Nm, I use that word advisedly) of low-end torque would pass largely unnoticed on public roadways. Un-unh. In reality, you really appreciate the McLaren's bulging mid-range when passing on the highway; downshifts are optional in the 650S rather than necessary as they are in the Huracan. The new LDF (Lamborghini Doppia Frizione) dual-clutch transmission makes quick work of keeping the revs up. Nonetheless, turbocharging works better on the street while normally-aspirated engines, often less powerful, shine on the track.

The same singular focus applies to the rest of the Huracan's comportment. Mated to an incredibly stiff carbon fiber and aluminum space frame, Lamborghini's new adjustable magneto-rheological suspension is not as accommodating as, say a Ferrari 458's or the McLaren 650S. On the other hand, Lamborghini's version of the now ubiquitous carbon ceramic brakes offer more initial "bite" than its competitors, a quality, again paradoxically, more appreciated on the street where delicacy of feel is important when simply poodling around a supermarket parking lot.

Without a doubt, however, the most obvious of Audi's influences lies inside the cabin. Oh, there will complaints that the Huracan is a little too Ingolstadt in this regard - the infotainment system is strikingly similar to Audi's MMI and the 12.3 inch TFT-screened gauges were lifted directly from the upcoming TT - but the execution is absolutely lovely. Add to this Lamborghini's traditional flair - seats color-matched to the exterior and Alcantara leather so soft you want to sleep in it - the Huracan's cabin may be the most attractive in the mid-priced supercar segment. 

Verdict
Indeed, this union of Italian passion and German quality is the marriage supercars fans have long desired. Lamborghinis used to be blindingly fast, overwrought beasts with cranky engines and wonky interiors. Now, they're just blindingly fast. 

Pros: High-revving, melodious V10 engine, the best Lamborghini interior yet, relative civility from a company not always known for its good manners
Cons: Heart attack serious suspension, less mid-range torque than McLaren's 650S, color choices may just be a little to nouveau riche
Rivals: Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren 650S, Audi R8
Engine: 5.2 liter DOHC V10, 610 hp, 560 Nm
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch manumatic
Performance: 0-100 km/h: 3.2 sec, 12.5 L /100 km Top speed: > 325 km/h
Chassis: 1,422 kg
One word: union

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