Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2

Latest recipe for rear-wheel drive fun

"Muscat is home to a good number of mountain roads and looks like the perfect place to get a feel of the Huracán 580-2."

"Greeting you inside are the same set of switches and controls, which are very jet-like and call out to the boy-racer in you," said Ershad.

The soundtrack is addictive with a deep gurgle at idling revs, followed by typical Lambo screams and splutters at higher rpms.  It sounds angry; just like the Hulk."

A long weekend translates into just one thing for a car guy: a long drive. I checked if my friends in Muscat were going to be around, packed some essentials and headed off in my SUV. Having done the Dubai-to-Muscat round trip a number of times, I pretty much had a virtual map stored in some part of my head. But this one was different. There was something I was looking forward to - driving the Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2. This latest recipe for rear-wheel drive fun from Automobili Lamborghini was finished in the awesome 'Verde Mantis' shade of green.

Most supercars today feature all-wheel drive, which provides excellent corner hugging capabilities. While you get tons of grips, you lose out on the fun factor of rear-wheel drive cars. Hints of oversteer now and then take driving pleasure levels to a new high. The last rear-wheel drive from Lamborghini was the Gallardo LP 550-2, which I was never lucky enough to drive. So this new baby from Lamborghini was going to be my first encounter with a rear-wheel drive Lambo. Thrills at peak level!

Muscat is home to a good number of mountain roads and looks like the perfect place to get a feel of the Huracán 580-2. The new car features a slightly detuned V10 engine producing 580 horsepower compared to the 610 horsepower all-wheel drive brother. There is a slight dip in the torque figures as well. The biggest change would be the missing front-wheel drive system and associated parts that have shaved off 33 kilograms on the overall car weight. The weight loss may not look big on paper, but does wonders for the steering characteristics. (We will get to that in the later part of the review.) Power is put down to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which ensures lightning fast shifts. Apart from the newly designed front air dams, there is not much which differentiates the 580-2 from its predecessor. The wheels on the new Huracán are 19-inch, compared to 20-inch on the all-wheel drive 610-4. (But it can be a bit tricky to identify it at first glance.)

Dimensionally, both cars are identical in all other respects. The Huracán maintains an aggressive and go-fast stance, which is unmistakably Lamborghini from any angle. With an aluminum and composite body fixed on the aluminum and carbon fiber frame, the new Huracán model tips the scales at 1,389 kilograms. There has been a mild upgrade in the braking department with the new car featuring eight piston calipers in place of the six piston units on the 610-4. The suspension springs and roll bars have also undergone their set of tweaks to compensate for weight loss on the front end of the car.

Settling into an ocean of leather and carbon fiber bits, the interiors of the new Huracán are very similar to the 610-4.  Greeting you are the same set of switches and controls, which are very jet-like and call out to the boy-racer in you. You flip up a cover and push the start-stop button to bring the holy-moly V10 to life. The soundtrack is addictive with a deep gurgle at idling revs followed by typical Lambo screams and splutters at higher rpms.  It sounds angry; just like the Hulk. Or maybe it's the color? Anyways, one of the first things you notice from the drivers seat is a big red selector switch on the well-sized and sporty steering wheel. It is the drive-mode selector. You get three driving models on the Huracán 580-2: the STRADA, which is a daily-driver mode with mild understeer programmed into it, the SPORT, which is for the fun-loving oversteering characteristics, and the CORSA which is more of a track mode with neutral handling curves embedded on it.

Our choice of the day? The SPORT, of course. Armed with the Launch Control feature, which allows that perfect launch from standstill, I could feel my brain channeling all my energy into the right foot. No slithering drama is expected from a rear-wheel drive car, thanks to the discovery of electronic stability systems! Turning on the ESP would have added some fun, but curiously I was not able to turn it off on our test car. From the word 'Go!' you are glued to the driving seats as the 580-2 thunders to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds and the 200 km/h takes only another 7.0 seconds. The climb continues all the way up to a claimed top whack of 320 km/h. But that's not the whole point of this car. Where the 580-2 shines is in the long swooping curves on the Muscat mountain roads. You would literally be hunting for corners and doing the brake-steer full throttle exercise again and again. The Huracán 580-2 is a fun-lovers car, a spirited car and most importantly, it feels like it has a soul to it. Sports cars are expected to slide out their rear ends on corners and the Huracán 580-2 loves to do it all day. There is, of course, a lack of comfort, lack of luxury features, and that excellent audio system - which you would not use, because the acoustics section is taken care of by the V10 sitting behind your head. But, that's why you buy a Lamborghini. It is about the looks. It is about the noise. And it is about the fun. The Lamborghini Huracán 580-2 is a culmination of all this; and with a slightly cheaper price tag, compared to the all-wheel drive version, there should be no shortage of takers.

Mid-mounted engine…Rear-wheel drive…It's always fun!

Pros: Addictive V10 rumble, striking design and color, great control and fun drive for drifters
Cons: Confused gearbox in a sudden stop and accelerate situation
Rivals: Porsche 911 Turbo, Ferrari California T, McLaren 570S, Audi R8, Chevrolet Corvette Z065.2 L, V10, 580 hp at 8,000 rpm, 540 Nm at 6,500 rpm
RWD, 7-speed LDF dual-clutch transmission with Drive Select Mode
top speed: 320 km/h, 0-100 km/h: 3.4 secs, fuel consumption: 11.9 L/100 km
Weight: 1,389 kg
4.5 STARS

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