Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2

The supercar taken back to bare bulls

ASH WESTERMAN

FIRST AUSSIE DRIVE

FOLD yourself in half, slide into the low-slung seat of the Huracan reardriver, then close your eyes. It’s easy to imagine eyes. It’s easy to imagine hearing the cheers of the Lamborghini powertrain team when they first learned, back around 2009, that they could finally bin the front driveshafts of what would become the Balboni edition of the Gallardo.

We cheered, too. If you buy into brand values and image, then surely a Lambo should be edgy, extroverted and just a little threatening. The security of AWD should be left safely clutched to the bosom of parent Audi.

Now open your eyes, hit the starter button and prepare for orchestral heavy metal, Italianstyle.

And rear-drive fireworks.

From relative low-rev docility, the note hardens, the growl drops a few octaves and its chest opens.

Work it harder and listen to that full-throated holler, as if veins are starting to bulge in the V10. Up top, near 9000rpm, it’s a frenzied, feral animal of a thing, angry, yet somehow delighting in being able to unleash its full potential.

As brilliant as this is, it’s not the core USP of the 580-2. In fact, this is actually the least powerful Huracan, down 23kW. Trust us, you won’t know or care about those ‘missing’ kilowatts when you point it with vigour into the first corner and start working that laser-edged right pedal.

Turn in and, compared to the AWD version, it’s as though your fists are clamped around the front axles. There’s no layer of quilting diluting your connection; no torque-apportioning going on. Sure, in tight conditions it’s probably slower than the AWD car. In the wet, no question. But the point is it’s a supercar, not a race car. It’s supposed to deliver a barrage of supersensations, not shave tenths from a lap time.

Further evidence of this philosophy – party time, not lap time – is found with the stability control system. Yes, there are suspension and tyre compound tweaks to make the breakaway point more accessible and controllable, but the ESC calibration is arguably more influential. Fact is, you still need to carry proper corner speed to even sniff the messages of pushy understeer. Then, with the ESC indicating ‘off’ in the first of its two stages, if you commit and goose it, the rear does break away with commendable progression. But the electronics are subtly working to help, as evidenced by a blinking green ‘tyre tracks’ icon while you’re busy turning and burning.

The LP580-2 may not be the fastest, smartest, most super supercar, but it’s among the most fun and engaging, which counts for plenty. So, yes, the lowerpowered, least-expensive Huracan is actually the best Huracan, the one we reckon would raise a cheer from Ferruccio Lamborghini.

PLUS & MINUS

Lack of mid-range punch compared to rivals; rear visibility Model Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 Dynamic purity; ESC calibration; drift ability; engine sound and fury Model Engine Max power Max torque Transmission Kerb weight 0-100km/h Economy Price On sale Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 5204cc V10 (90°), dohc, 40v 426kW @ 8000rpm 540Nm @ 6500rpm 7-speed dual-clutch 1389kg 3.4sec (claimed) 11.9L/100km $378,900 Now

Beaning the stalk

You expect a bit of weirdness with Italian supercars, and the Huracan doesn’t disappoint. There’s no indicator stalk, for example.

Instead, there’s a toggle switch on the left spoke of the wheel; flick left or right to indicate, stab to kill it. Fine, until you need to indicate with half a turn of lock on, meaning the switch is now on the other side of the wheel, and inverted, so flick left to turn right.

Confused? You will be.