crankandpiston.com grabs a few words with Lamborghini president and CEO Stephan Winkelmann to discuss the new Huracán LP 610-4, how it compares with the outgoing Gallardo, and why it could become ‘the most driven Lamborghini in history’.[Not a valid template]
This is already proving to be one of the more unconventional unveils I’ve been to. Lamborghini’s brand new showroom in Abu Dhabi, to my uninitiated eye at least, appears to fit only one car. There’s a cake in the shape of a Lamborghini on the counter behind us that so far has received more instagram ‘likes’ than the car currently under wraps in front of us. And in the background, the piercing hum of a vacuum cleaner is stifling most of the keynotes being addressed.
This pails into insignificance though when, with keynotes done and the official launch video played for our delectation, shrouds are pulled from the all-new Huracán LP 610-4. There’s a flurry of camera flashes and iPhone clicks, the row of assembled media in front of me threatening rapturous applause as they spring to their feet for a better look. Standing next to the new sports car, Lamborghini president and CEO smiles knowingly. The outgoing Gallardo is the best-selling Lamborghini in history – amassing 14,022 sales – but Lambo’s new baby marks a new era for the company.
“We have very high expectations for the new Huracán”, Stephan explains to crankandpiston.com, “but I think it will do well because the press is very positive, we have already collected more than a thousand pre-orders, and the car hasn’t even been driven yet! We deal with high investments and low volumes, therefore we had to very carefully look into the right time to start something new. And this is a new chapter. We’ve focused more on the driveability, what we think a super sports car should be. That’s handling more than anything else, then acceleration, and only at the end, top speed. Some years ago it was the opposite.”
Developed from the ground up, this new focus on ‘driveability’ for the Huracán brings with it some notable talking points. The new LDF Lamborghini Doppia Frizione – Italian for ‘seven-speed dual-clutch transmission – marks the first time such a gearbox has been used on a raging bull, and simultaneously the end of manual gearboxes. The new 5.2-litre V10 engine is of similar capacity to the Gallardo’s 5204cc powerplant, but a new Iniezione Diretta Stratificata (a mix of direct and indirect fuel injection) means power figures leap 50bhp and 15lb ft respectively to 602bhp and 413lb ft, bringing with them a 3.5second 0-100kph time and a 325+kph top speed. The Gallardo’s aluminium spaceframe makes way for a new body derived from lightweight alloy and carbon fibre for both stiffness and a significant weight save. There’s even a new ‘Adaptive Network Intelligent Management’ system, Lamborghini’s drive-select system offering an everyday setup, sport and race modes. ANIMA also means ‘Soul’ in Italian.
This is no rehashed bodge job. Small wonder then that the Huracán will, potentially, be ‘the most driven Lamborghini in the company’s history’.
“For me it was important to have a car packed with technology – Instinctive Technology – but which, at the same time, is very easy in the approach”, explains Stephan. “We wanted to have a car where everybody immediately feels at home by the experience. More and more people are living in urban areas who really need a car to be easy to drive, day-to-day. Everyone wants a nice looking car that performs well, but we take for granted that sometimes there are problems. This was the challenge: making a fast, beautiful car you could drive everyday.”
Interesting though that Stephan stops short of labelling the $255,000 Huracán as, potentially, the ‘best selling Lamborghini in the company’s history’…
“It is a little early to speak about that”, he laughs. “The first target is to beat the Gallardo’s best year” – 1844 deliveries in 2008 – “and next year we will have the opportunity to run full speed in terms of production. After that, we will see.”
This more considered approach to both performance and usability brings us nicely to the Huracán’s other notable feature, namely its looks. It’s a stunning piece of kit, a softened Aventador-esque front end – ‘like the nose of a shark’ – complete with traditional hexagonal front air intakes, see-through engine panel and 20-inch Giano design aluminium clad wheels. Striking and elegant, but not – shall we say – as ‘impactful’ as the aggressively carved, toddler scaring Aventador. Again though, it’s all part of the new chapter.
“Every brand is in a constant revolution, and the same is true for Lamborghini,” Stephan explains. “We don’t want a car that looks too similar to the previous one, or even the brother [the Aventador]. At the beginning of this millennium we really wanted to make a point with our design and establish a position for the brand. You need to make the point constantly and over time, otherwise you lose it. The fact that you’ve asked me that question means it’s clearly worked! Now there comes the next point: to attract a broader audience without diluting our values. That’s where the Huracán comes in. We feel confident this marks a big future for Lamborghini.”
Few would argue.
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|Lamborghini||Huracán LP 610-4|
|Engine:||V10 / 5204cc|
|Power:||610hp @ 8250rpm|
|Torque:||413lb ft @ 6500rpm|
|Transmission:||7-speed LDF dual-clutch transmission / shift characteristics variable via Drive Select Mode / all-wheel drive with electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch|
|Suspension:||Aluminum double-wishbone suspension / springs and dampers steel springs and hydraulic dampers / "MagneRide" electromagnetic damper control available as an option|
|Brakes:||Carbon-ceramic brake discs / 380 x 38mm (front) / 356 x 32mm (rear)|
|Wheels:||8.5J x 20" (front) / 11J x 20" (rear)|
|Tyres:||245/30 R20 (front) / 305/30 R20 (rear) / Pirelli|