Huracán Tecnica review: Lamborghini's best driver's car - Spear's Magazine

Huracán Tecnica review: Lamborghini’s best driver’s car

Huracán Tecnica review: Lamborghini’s best driver’s car

The latest Lamborghini produced under the stewardship of Audi, the Huracán Tecnica, might be its best ever, says Mark Walton

For many years, Lamborghinis were the blunt instrument of the supercar world. While a Ferrari was like a finely honed rapier, slicing its way through the backmarkers to win Le Mans for the umpteenth time, a Lamborghini was a battleaxe that would bludgeon the competition with its humungous V12.

In the past, Lamborghinis never raced – instead of championship-winning prestige, you owned one for the showmanship, the swagger and the noise.

While the Lamborghini Miura of 1966 was revolutionary (it was the first mid-engined V12 and the first to be described as a ‘supercar’), it was the Countach of 1974 that really defined Lamborghini as we know it today.

Outrageously wedge-shaped, it looked like a spaceship and could do 180mph. Those famous scissor doors were pure, head-turning street theatre.

However, I’ve driven a Countach and I can tell you it’s really not a spaceship at all. Wide and low with dreadful visibility, it’s like driving a very large mattress while peeping out from under the duvet.

Almost 50 years later the V12 still makes all the right noises and the acceleration is still punchy; but with the body roll and the dodgy brakes, the idea of doing 180mph in one would require a lot more bravado and sprezzatura than I could ever muster.

Luckily for Lamborghini, the days of brute force and no brakes came to an end in 1998 when Audi (as part of the Volkswagen Group) bought the Italian brand and started co-developing mid-engined supercars.

Audi brought all-wheel drive, cash to develop a new V10 engine and lots of clever electronics to the Lamborghini toolbox – stuff the tiny Italian firm would never have been able to develop on its own.

Still shaped like doorstop cheese wedges, Lamborghinis became more sophisticated, more driver-focused, and increasingly about ‘the go’ just as much as ‘the show’.

Huracán Tecnica: ‘Best Lamborghini I’ve ever driven’

Which is where this car, the new Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica, fits in. As a late derivative of a car that’s been around for the best part of a decade (and will disappear in a couple of years), it would be easy to dismiss the Tecnica as a cynical marketing exercise.

But it’s not – it’s the best Lamborghini I’ve ever driven.

So, background: the Huracán was launched in 2014 with a 5.2-litre V10 engine and four-wheel drive. A pure, rear-wheel drive version was launched in 2016.

The Huracán then underwent a facelift in 2019, called the EVO, which introduced more power and four-wheel steering for sharper handling.

Then last year the STO version was unveiled, a track-focused variant based on the Super Trofeo race car. It has a big rear wing, a roof-mounted air scoop and lots of lightweight carbon parts.

lamborghini huracán tecnica interior
The Huracán Tecnica adds some modern touches to the classic Lamborghini look.

I hope you’re keeping up – the next bit is easy.

Lamborghini decided there was a gap between the ‘standard’ Huracán EVO model and the hardcore STO – a kind of Goldilocks middle way. The result is the Tecnica, which combines the best of the STO (racy drivetrain, improved aerodynamics, lighter weight) with the best of the EVO rear-wheel-drive (better comfort, a more ‘road-based’ suspension and interior).

And Lamborghini has absolutely hit the sweet spot with this car.

It’s impossible not to stop and stare at the Huracán before you get it. Even though this basic design is a decade old, it’s still stunning, good enough to be launched brand new in 2022.

It’s been updated for the Tecnica model with a new nose (featuring Lamborghini’s new Y-shaped signature) and a modified tail with new rear bumper and diffuser, hexagonal exhaust pipes and a rear wing. The restyled bonnet and engine cover are now carbon, in a nod to the lightweight STO.

Inside, the Huracán cockpit is small with a low roof, but for a car enthusiast it resonates with 1970s Countach vibes – everything is so low and raked back there’s no doubt you’re driving a wedge.

Start the engine and the cabin is filled with an angry growl – and here’s the most important thing you need to understand about the Huracán Tecnica. This latest version of the V10 engine puts out 631bhp, which is a huge amount of power but paltry compared to the latest 700 or 800bhp competitors.

Huracán Tecnica: An old-school supercar

Unlike the latest hybrid Ferraris or turbocharged McLaren, however, the Huracán V10 is one of the very last, pure, old-school, naturally aspirated supercar engines: big capacity, high revving and a noise to die for.

But that comes later. First, we cruise down the motorway with the drive mode in Strada, the softest of three settings (Strada, Sport and Corsa). This is where the road-oriented EVO side of the Tecnica works so well.

Despite the looks, the Huracán can be surprisingly docile: smoother and quieter than you’d expect, the ride firm but not severe, the auto gearshifts undramatic. I start to think, ‘Wow, I could use this as my daily commuter hack…’

But that would be a waste. Because then I turn off the motorway and – using the red button on the steering wheel – switch from Strada to Sport, and reveal the lightweight, racy STO side to the Tecnica’s personality.

Now the whole experience becomes about speed and noise. Revving the engine harder, the cabin is filled with a monumental howling roar as the rev counter sweeps across to the 8500rpm red line again and again, as I pull back on the right-hand paddle and rocket up through the gears.

lamborghini huracán tecnica
The Huracán can be surprisingly docile: smoother and quieter than you’d expect

Lamborghinis in the past have been intimidating to drive hard on a winding back road, but the new Tecnica does the same trick that Ferraris do, making a big, powerful supercar seem friendly and accessible.

It does that using sophisticated technologies, such as the four-wheel steering and torque vectoring and the Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI) chassis control system.

But the wonderful thing about the new Lamborghini is that it never feels synthetic. If the electronics are intervening, they’re not taking anything away from the really raw, analogue sensations.

The throttle response is instant, releasing a savage lunge of acceleration, and the pedals and steering feel beautifully linear and direct, the car’s movements predictable and natural. It’s a car you can really dig into, to explore the performance. It’s also a car I would happily take out at 5am and drive hard and fast just for the pure tactile fun of it. It’s definitely not all about the showmanship and swagger.

It may not be the fastest or the loudest in its near-60-year history, but the Huracán Tecnica is arguably the best driver’s car Lamborghini has made.

And with the company soon moving away from the naturally aspirated V10 to hybrids and batteries, who knows, it could turn out to be the best ever. So buy one now, while stocks last.

Images: Arancio Xanto

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