I was a little disappointed when Lamborghini dropped off its new, $240,745 Huracan for me to test. Not because I’m not some ridiculously jaded fool, but because it was gray.
When you’re paying that much, they call it Grigio Lynx. But whatever, it is the most subdued and most common color you can paint a car. Lamborghinis are supposed to be red, or orange, or bright green! Even black or white would be more dramatic.
The reason this bothered me so much is that when you review a car, you want to get the full experience. And with a Lamborghini, that’s as much about the show it puts on as how fast it goes. I felt shortchanged, but it turned out I’d rushed to judgment.
Before I pulled away from the curb, people started popping out from everywhere like whack-a-moles to take photos. Kids, tourists, construction workers … even the person sitting next to me in the passenger seat. And this was in Times Square, where there’s plenty to see. Apparently, a knee-high wedge that looks like a stealth fighter gently stepped on by Godzilla then polished by river water still has immense curb appeal.
So, there you have it, the 2015 Huracan is an unqualified success. Go out and buy one now.
(Don’t laugh. Lamborghini sold over 14,000 of its predecessor, the Gallardo, so there’s a good chance some of you reading this actually will.)
What’s that? Oh, right, the driving bit. Well, yeah, that’s pretty good, too.
The littlest Lambo features an all-new construction of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced polymers, so it’s lighter than an all-wheel-drive coupe with a 10-cylinder engine has a right to be.
Along with much of that chassis, the V10 is shared with the R8 from sister company Audi, and is a screaming, naturally-aspirated holdout in a world of muffled turbos that pumps out 602 hp at a wicked 8,250 rpm, along with 412 lb-ft of torque.
It delivers it to the wheels via a smooth-shifting 7-speed dual clutch transmission equipped with launch control, of course. Engage it, stomp the brake pedal, stomp the gas pedal, release the brake and pray that the coordinates from your mental navicomputer are precise.
Lamborghini says the Huracan will get you from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, and that may be the only evidence that the bravado brand can be humble. Independent tests have shown that it’s closer to 2.5 seconds, which pretty much makes it as quick as anything on the planet, including light.
On the subject of braggadocio, I’ve driven the multimillion-dollar, 1,200 hp Bugatti Veyron twice, and on neither occasion did it seem as quick as the Huracan. I’m not sure if I lost my breath, or if my heart skipped a couple of beats, but something happened in my chest that made me feel like notable R8 driver Tony Stark when he pulls out his arc reactor, and it was strangely wonderful.
Maybe it was the surprise. I never expected it to be THAT quick. But throw in the wall of sound from the engine sitting over your shoulder, and the near-death experience is singular, even in the world of exotic cars.
Forget to take your foot off the accelerator, and the Huracan will supposedly keep going to 202 mph. I didn’t do that, but I don’t doubt it, either. The thing keeps pulling like a demon, but one with class.
The Huracan is the first Lamborghini available with an active suspension system, and they’ve all desperately needed one. It’s a $3,400 option, but it’s like sprinkling MSG on the rest of the money you’ve spent.
While the Gallardo delivered the bone-crushing ride of a shopping cart, the Huracan is more like a go-kart, but that’s a big move in the right direction. This is important, because many of its owners will spend more time peacocking in the city at a pedestrian pace than out on the open road.
Again, being a mobile art exhibit comes with the territory. It’s expected of you. Revel in it.
There’s a lot to enjoy while you’re sitting there. The Huracan has a spiffy, immaculately-appointed interior that combines a high-tech digital instrument cluster with aircraft-inspired toggle switches and acres of leather that look fresh from the cow.
Aside from the climate control, all of the car’s functions are managed on the screen behind the steering wheel via a console-mounted knob. That’s great for the driver, less so for a passenger trying to enter a new destination into the navigation system or change tracks on the CD player mounted behind the armrest, which is the only thing that seems out of place in such a modern piece of machinery.
The steering wheel itself has motorcycle-style thumb controls on the left for the turn signals that take some getting used to, and a similar setup on the right for the wipers. Behind it is a pair of enormous paddles for manually changing gears that are much better than the tiny rabbit ears the Gallardo listened to your commands through.
The Huracan shifts well on its own, but go ahead, tap on those paddles and play some music for the passing crowd, or yourself. Just keep an eye on those noise ordinances. There is a stealth mode called Strada (Italian for “street”) that quiets things down, but Sport and Corsa (“track”) are the way to go. They open up the exhaust pipes, stiffen the shocks, loosen the stability control and generally prod the monster within.
It’s kept on a computer-controlled electronic leash that’s guided by three gyroscopes, but at the limits the Huracan can still be a handful, as any Lamborghini should. Keep it at 99 percent, though, and you’ll have a hard time scratching the paint.
Thankfully, I did not. After a couple of days, it grew on me.
But I’d still order mine in green.
2015 Lamborghini Huracan
Base price: $240,745 (excluding $1,700 gas guzzler tax)
As tested: $282,125
Type: 2-door, 2-passenger coupe
Engine: 5.2-liter V10
Power: 602 hp/412 lb-ft torque
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
MPG: 14 city/20 hwy