Lamborghini stays on track with new Huracan STO, EVO RWD5 min read . Updated: 18 Nov 2020, 10:27 PM IST
The aggressively tuned V10, 640-hp newcomer is inspired by the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO and GT3 EVO racers but is fully homologated for street use, too
Even for Lamborghini fans, the brand’s portfolio of Huracán sportscars takes real concentration to navigate.
There’s the Huracán EVO ($261,724), which has a V10, 631-horsepower engine and all-wheel-drive. A Huracán EVO Spyder, or convertible, has similar specs and costs $287,400. A special Huracán EVO Fluo Capsule changes up the paint job and interior specs. There were also Performante and LP versions to consider, though they’ve been replaced by updated, glitzier versions in the past year.
Now there’s the Huracán STO, which Lamborghini added to the group Wednesday.
The aggressively tuned V10, 640-hp newcomer is inspired by the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO and GT3 EVO racers but is fully homologated for street use, too. Major design differentiators include an integrated “shark fin" on the rear to improve driving abilities and a special “cofango" clamshell-esque hood, which folds the entire front section toward the fender, allowing quick access for mechanics during racing. You’ve seen similar hoods on classic Miuras from the 1960s and ’70s and the modern Sesto Elemento.
That’s not to say these varied iterations don’t appeal to different types of people. Consider the 2021 Lamborghini Huracán EVO RWD, the only other consumer-oriented car Lamborghini debuted this year—and if you’re in the market for a new Huracán, the only one you really need to know (especially these days, when time on the track remains one of the few socially distanced things drivers can do to blow off steam).
Far tamer than the STO but more wild to drive than the entry-level EVO, it has a V10, 602-horsepower engine and comes with, as you might expect due to the name, the thrill-inducing holy grail of rear-wheel-drive. Starting at $208,571, it represents the Goldilocks of Huracáns, a great option for the buyer who wants to drive in comfort to a racetrack, challenge friends to a personal best lap time, then drive home—still at ease—in the same car. (Its twin EVO RWD Spyder does the same, topless, for about $20,000 more.)
Part of a Dying Breed
The Huracan EVO RWD is one of the few rear-wheel-drive sportscars still available on the market today, along with the Chevrolet Corvette, Mercedes-Benz SL, Ford Mustang, and some versions of the Porsche 911. It’s also among the last of the generations of Lamborghinis that will run without some sort of hybrid electric assistance (although according to Lamborghini’s Chief Technical Officer Maurizio Reggiani in an interview Nov. 11, that change is about 10 years off; a typical generation for a car model is seven to nine years).
Like others in the line, the EVO RWD has a seven-speed dual-clutch paddle-shifting transmission, and the same instantaneous braking and handling feel that makes the steering wheel feel at one with your hands and the actual body of the car, simultaneously. Visually, it has the same instantly recognizable Y-shaped headlights integrated into the front splitter. It will get to 62 mph in 3.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 202 mph—equal to that of its four-wheel-drive EVO counterpart.
Where it differs is a gaping new front bumper, which works to increase downforce and keep brakes cool. It has new lighter, stronger intake valves cut from titanium, which also helps reduce excessive heat. There’s a big new rear diffuser and a new paint color called Giallo Belenus (a surprisingly good shade of golden mustard yellow).
At 72 pounds lighter with that rear-wheel-drive configuration the EVO RWD also feels freer—more searing—than the others, especially around corners. After a day spent with it north of Los Angeles at Willow Springs International Raceway, I can confirm that it gives the rocket propulsion and wily, raw cornering that the dwindling cadré of RWD cars represents.
I tried its three drive modes—Strada, Sport and Corsa—over multiple laps on Big Willow’s cracked, hilly winding asphalt track. They took increasingly aggressive tones as I scrolled through each one using a tiny lever on the bottom of the steering wheel.
Corsa is the most extreme, a mode that forces the driver to shift manually rather than letting the car do it automatically. Corsa frees the car from all the features that keep us safe (like anti-slip) and really lets it run wild around the track at full throttle. It’ll wiggle out behind you if you’re not smooth on the throttle as you press the gas; it certainly dipped and bobbed for me as I rounded the sixth, seventh, and eighth corners at Willow.
Meanwhile the high horsepower rating and 413 pound-feet of thrust from those rear wheels mean the EVO RWD barrels down on any straight stretch with incredible speed. I hit 130 mph in fifth gear without even coming close to redlining—and that’s not even prodding the full extent of this car’s capability.
Driving the Huracán EVO RWD is a study in intensity with one screw loose, so to speak—with that combination of brutish power and dancing rear-thrust, the car demands total focus at all times. It is best appreciated in the hands of experienced drivers who spend a lot of time at the track, although even if you’re the type of driver who can only let your Italian bull off-leash once in the while, that power you feel will be plenty of bang for the buck.
One note about the interior, which matches the jet-cockpit style and technological accoutrement of the other Huracán: If you lack broad shoulders or a gut, you’ll want different seats for the car from what comes standard for the U.S. market. The Huracán EVO RWD I drove had American-specific seats built to hold wider shoulders and bellies grown on prime rib and apple pie. Although these new full carbon Sport Seat options reduce weight by 31 pounds and increase roominess with a 6-way manually adjustable seating position, the result, for me, was a back (and back-side) sliding all over their flat, wide, leather-recliner surface. It was not a scenario ergonomically suited for achieving optimal lap times, even if the drive home may have felt more relaxed.
And the track, after all, is where the dialed-in Huracán EVO RWD reached the full bloom of its appeal—especially if you’re not looking to shell out a ton of money (relatively, of course). That new Huracán STO? It starts at $327,838.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.