May 6, 2014 1:30 PM | By Chris Chilton for MSN Autos

2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 first drive



2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
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  • 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
  • 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
  • 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
  • 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
  • 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
  • 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
  • 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
  • 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)
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2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4

At the wheel of Lamborghini’s new entry level supercar

2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)

Ascari Race Resort, Spain – The Lamborghini Huracán has a seriously tough act to follow. Since the Italian supercar maker was created in 1963 around 30,000 cars have left the Sant A’gata factory, and 14,000 of them were the Huracán’s predecessor, the Gallardo.

At first glance, the new car looks like a mild update - the design is similar, mixing styling cues from both the Gallardo and its big brother, the Aventador, and there’s still a naturally aspirated V10 behind the seats and all-wheel drive as standard.

The Huracán is built on a brand new aluminium chassis that features extensive use of weight-saving carbon fibre (in the centre tunnel and rear bulkhead), however; the same platform that will be used for parent company Audi's next R8 supercar. The Huracán is also the first Lamborghini to feature a dual-clutch gearbox - seven-speed transmission that's also used in the current R8.

This is what you buy a Lamborghini for

2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)

While Ferrari has made no secret of its plans to downsize its engines and add turbochargers to make up the cubic capacity deficit, Lamborghini is sticking to what it knows best. But while the engine shares its cylinder count (10) and swept volume (5.2-litres) with the Gallardo, Lamborghini says the Huracán's is almost completely new, bar the basic block.

Power climbs from 552 hp to 602 hp, and torque by 15 lb.-ft. to 413 lb.-ft. which, together with a 78-kg reduction in kerb weight to 1422 kg, means this is the fastest small Lamborghini ever. Zero-to-100 falls by 0.5 sec to 3.2 seconds - that’s 0.2 behind the torquier McLaren 650S, and the same amount faster than its Ferrari 458 rival. The V10 engine roars magnificently and feels far freer revving this time, but it needs worked to deliver its best performance. It doesn’t have the mid-range kick of the turbocharged McLaren, or make quite the same impression as the 458 when it charges to its 8,500-rpm redline, but no one is going to feel short-changed by a 325 km/h top speed, even if they never get the chance to use it.

Better shifting through technology

2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 (© Photo: Lamborghini)

The big news is not the engine though, but the gearbox. When the Gallardo was launched in 2003, the dual-clutch craze was still a twinkle in an Audi engineer’s eye and Lamborghini opted for a simple robotised manual that was pretty terrible then, and which seemed tragic by the time Ferrari had introduced the double-clutch 458. You can feel the benefit of the new ‘box; it's so much smoother, and the auto mode is actually worth using this time. That’s a good job, because there is no longer a manual gearbox option.

Although Lamborghini made a rear-wheel drive Gallardo - the entry-level LP550-2 - Lamborghini considers all-wheel drive a core brand value these days. So the Huracán drives all four wheels, sending a maximum of 50 per cent to the front wheels and up to 100 per cent to the rear, depending on the conditions, and which driving mode you’ve selected.

(Continued): Jung would be proud
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