Meet Lamborghini's green-eyed monster
IMAGES: The all-new Lamborghini Huracàn LP 610-4 driven in Dubai.Damien Reid January 18, 2015
Waiting for me in a non-descript underground car park was the all-new 610bhp, V10-powered Lamborghini Huracàn which at the time of writing was one of just two in Dubai and was specially flown in for us to test. And I held its key.
The anxiety level was sky high, which I could feel through my climbing pulse rate as I stepped forward because it’s not every day that Lamborghini releases a completely new car from the ground up and this most certainly is an all-new Lamborghini.
- Engine: 5.2-litre V10
- Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch auto
- Power: 610 bhp @ 8250rpm
- Torque: 560Nm @ 6500rpm
- 0-100km/h: 3.2 secs
- Top Speed: 325km/h (limited)
- Price: AED 938,952
The Huracàn replaces the Gallardo, the statement-making car that served well for a decade from 2003 to 2013, and although it doesn’t have the scissor doors of its Aventador big brother, which have characterised Lamborghinis since the ground-breaking Countach of the 1970’s, there were still butterflies as I fingered the key and thumbed the unlock button.
In the centre console is a bright red lever that you flick up to ‘arm’ the car and reveal the start button. Foot on the brake and push the button, a few computer-controlled whirs on the starter motor and like a clap of thunder, ten finely honed, precision-built, alloy cylinders bang into life just inches behind your head before settling back down to a low base burble. I challenge anyone to not get a spike of chill down their spine when this happens. If you don’t, you are not alive. The red lever is lowered back over the start button and you’re good to go.
On the open road, it fits like an old pair of jeans and that trepidation I had, disappeared as we became solid friends, aiming for the hills. True to tradition, there are no turbos on this engine, so power is linear all the way to its 8,500rpm redline. Its 5.2-litre, V10 engine delivers 610bhp and 560Nm of torque and yet weighs just 1422kg. With so much power wrapped in a lithe body, it’s no wonder it can get you to 100kmh in 3.2 seconds and on to 200km/h in less time it took you to read this sentence.
Top speed is said to be 325km/h and I have no reason to doubt it after a few blasts on the open road. While it’s completely new, there’s a lot of familiarity with the out-going Gallardo with its dimensions and V10 power, however one big change is that it now has a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox for smoother changes and three driving modes comprising Strada, Sport and Corse.
For most of my driving, Sport was the one as it offered a nicer rasp to the exhaust and more aggressive gear changes, however once the fun wears off and you want to just get to where you’re going, Strada turns it into a sedate cruiser which also invokes the auto stop-start function that kills the engine to save fuel at the lights. Let’s just say that Corsa is best left for track days when you can explore its limits without worrying about other road users.
Italian supercars have come a long way and nowhere was this better illustrated than when I had to return the Huracàn in afternoon rush hour traffic. Not long ago I would have been a bundle of nerves checking gauges and slipping a big, heavy clutch to get it moving at snail’s pace, but in this case the Huracàn was a dream and it seemed almost impossible that it was carrying the same badge as those grumpy Italian stallions of years gone by.
Pulling into the underground car park one final time, its low ride height allowed it to slip cheekily under the boom gate like a naughty teen at a rock concert. Thank you Lamborghini for keeping the fun alive. Theatre or rock concert, time spent driving the Huracàn is one heck of a show.