Car reviews - Lamborghini - Huracan - LP 580-2
Value for money, classic rear-drive involvement, front end aesthetic appeal
Room for improvement
Limited headroom, tail-lights not as pretty as 610-4, essential reversing camera and nav optional
10 Oct 2016
Price and equipment
LET us begin by acknowledging that $378,900 plus on-road costs is a significant amount of cash no matter which way you look at it. But with some context, the most affordable Lamborghini on the market can be seen as a bona fide bargain.
Not only is it $49,100 cheaper than the all-paw Huracan LP610-4 but it is one of the most affordable ways into the manic 400kW-plus mid-engined supercar club.
Add the unmistakeable Lambo look, unique 10-cylinder sound and vicious performance into the equation and the Huracan LP580-2 starts to make a lot of sense if you are looking for an exclusive high-performance coupe.
Of course, it is very unlikely that any examples of the new rear-drive Huracan will roll out of showrooms for the base price, with almost all customers failing to resist the Ad Personam options list.
The customisation playground allows customers to add their own personal touch to any Lamborghini model from a range of hides, paints and materials from the traditional to the unapologetically lurid.
Our car had been dressed up in a fabulous pearlescent Arancio Borealis (orange) for a very reasonable $6500 – yes, we are being serious compared with the $20,000 matte-black option, that’s a relative bargain.
It was also kitted out with a carbon-fibre engine bay, which is easier to appreciate through a transparent engine cover – for $10,100. A few other treats from the list such as orange and black leather seats with electric adjustment and heaters, and a suspension lift kit for speed bumps, took the final figure as tested to $434,830.
Unfortunately, there are some glaring equipment omissions for such a high-value car such as a reversing camera which is essential with the limited rear view, as well as navigation, but customers can add them to the options list for $5700 and $4680 respectively.
Lamborghini also made some subtle exterior styling changes to differentiate the new variant. At the rear end, the deeper tail-light surrounds are not as elegant as the slender 610-4 versions, but at the other end we think the less angular lower air intakes are prettier and work better than the 4WD.
Hop aboard the 580-2 and there are no immediate indications that set the rear-drive Huracan apart from its 4WD sibling.
Both share the futuristic hexagon theme design and are beautifully appointed with top-quality materials. We love the cosiness of the cabin and the feeling that you are strapping into a space mission with every trip.
Headroom is at a premium and, although our 186cm driver was accommodated, the low roof and diving bonnet line creates the feeling of hovering up in the rafters rather than nestled deep in the chassis.
Our car was fitted with the optional electric seat package which allows the driver to sit slightly lower than the standard offering and is probably worth the $4060 asking price for the extra head space alone.
Like the other Huracan variants, the seating position is delightfully Italian with a bias to short leg and long arm but the highly adjustable steering wheel allows for the perfect balance.
Lift the guarded engine start button cover, fire all 10 cylinders and the Huracan asserts itself as a true Lamborghini.
Engine and transmission
We love so much about the breathtaking Lambo 5.2-litre V10 engine. Its natural aspiration has resulted in an excellent balance of mid-range torque but also a screaming 8500rpm maximum speed where all the power is tucked away. It also delivers one of the most spine-tingling soundtracks available in any motor vehicle on the market.
The LP580-2 is named so due to its power output in pferdestarke which is 30 fewer than the LP610-4, but the power reduction to 426kW has not altered the way the V10 delivers its power or, thankfully, the way it sounds. The 2WD version is also 23kg lighter which comes some way to offsetting the extra power in the all-paw car.
Get your foot stuck in to the loud pedal and the difference of 23kW is the furthest thing from your mind because the 580-2 is delightfully fast – zero to 100km/h is completed in 3.4 seconds, says Lamborghini.
That is two-tenths slower than the 610-4 but, take our word for it, in the realm of more than 400kW, such tiny differences are barely perceptible and are only relevant in bar-bragging conversation.
If you are thinking about buying a Lamborghini and are worried about fuel consumption then you might perhaps consider a different brand, but it is worth mentioning that with one fewer differential and only one pair of half-shafts the LP580-2 goes further on a tank, offering 11.9L/100km versus 12.5L/100km.
From a power and performance perspective, opting for the two-wheel-drive Huracan is not a compromise and shouldn’t even factor in the decision-making process so let’s talk about the most divisive part.
Ride and handling
You may think that asking just one axle to deal with nearly 600 brake horsepower is a tall order but Lamborghini has applied a number of tricks to avoid turning its rubber into smoke in a very short period of time.
Firstly, the tyres in question are the very best Pirelli can offer with the pair of P Zeros that measure a beefy 305/35 ZR19. Add to that the static traction and weight transfer offered by the mid-mounted engine and you are off to a good start – literally.
Then there’s the accomplished stability electronics and incorporated traction control. Where earlier systems would interrupt power abruptly, Lamborghini’s approach is very sophisticated and moderates power subtly.
Traction in dry conditions is excellent from a standing start as well as cornering, but for our brief time with the Huracan, Victoria was subjected to some of the most severe flooding in years.
Despite the foul weather, we managed to enjoy the Huracan’s performance to the fullest thanks to a combination of poise and chassis dynamics as well as the clever stability systems.
With a heavy hand (or foot), a 5.2-litre V10 is going to be a handful in any conditions and the four-wheel-drive system of the LP610-4 certainly helps get power to the road effortlessly.
But when just two wheels are driven the Lambo encourages the driver to concentrate a little more.
We love how much the 580-2 gets hold of you and commands the driver to get involved as the pilot and not just a passenger.
In a straight line, the back wheels can be provoked to spin in more of the seven gears than not, which quickly teaches the driver where the limits of grip reside and those lessons are valuable when hitting twistier roads.
We are told the 580-2’s predecessor (the Gallardo LP550-2) was a little on the terrifying side, especially in the wet, but the Huracan equivalent is approachable without being soft.
The Italian tyres manage to find a surprising amount of grip, especially when being looked after with a gentle right foot, but even when under power the excellent chassis never threatens to snap at the driver.
While the more expensive Huracan variants have adaptive suspension, the 580-2 has a single Sport setting and we like the purist approach. The ride is firm and fabulously communicative but never jarring. If we had the option to switch suspension settings, we would probably pick Sport for a majority of driving.
All versions have the three-setting Strada, Sport and Corsa driving modes which enable the driver to alter the car’s character on the limit. Corsa (or track) may sound intimidating, but as we said before, the clever electronics allow the driver to play with its lively handling without getting into deep water.
Limited wheel slip is permitted longitudinally and laterally until the car detects you have run out of talent and steps in to lend a hand. The effect is hugely fun and allows owners to fully appreciate the stunning ability of the Lamborghini without fear of having to make trips to the body shop.
In a car with rear-wheel drive and 427kW, a tendency to power oversteer is probably not that surprising but we particularly like the Huracan’s tendency to oversteer under hard braking thanks to the rearward-biased weight distribution.
Scrubbing speed aggressively into corners causes the Lambo to squirm and wriggle in a hugely satisfying manner, made all the more reassuring thanks to the powerful brakes. LP610 versions get eye-wateringly pricey carbon ceramic rotors but the RWD does very well with iron – at least in the wet.
If all of this sounds terrifying, it shouldn’t, because the Huracan offers a wonderfully accessible blend of performance and fun wrapped up in an unobtrusive safety net of pin-sharp dynamics and cutting-edge technology.
Safety and servicing
Along with all the usual ESC, ABS and electronic driver assistance, the Huracan has full-size dual-stage front airbags and full-size lateral airbags for protecting the two occupants if its massive brakes and grippy chassis aren’t enough to keep out of harm’s way.
For servicing prices, best to check with your nearest Lamborghini dealership.
When we drove the Huracan LP580-2 on a racing circuit in perfect conditions we concluded that it was not just the most affordable but also the performance pick of the range as well, and having lived with the RWD on public roads and in vile weather we have not changed our minds.
There is no doubt that the 580-2 can’t compete with its all-paw sibling for outright grip and lap times, but owners who live with the RWD day-to-day will be familiar with its tail-happy nature, and when the heavens open the 580-2 still has the same involving chassis and predictable behaviour just in a slightly slipperier context.
In the case of the 610-4, its limits of adhesion in the dry are so monumental that drivers may be less accustomed to its tractive limit when it rains.
Both versions are huge fun while reassuring and approachable but we feel, having sampled a variety of conditions, the rear-drive Huracan is the most fun to live with all year round. You’ll also save yourself the cost of an Audi A3 Cabriolet in the process.
If Lamborghini confirms a Spyder version of the Huracan LP580-2 then we might be looking at our favourite all-round sportscar on the market.
McLaren 540C from $325,000 before on-road costsThe iconic British car-builder’s 540C might be its entry-level car but it still has a 397kW turbo V8 and carbon-fibre construction to tempt sportscar lovers away from the Italian contemporaries. The 540C will crack 0-100km in 3.4s like the Lambo but potential customers in this segment are notoriously brand loyal so you have probably already made up your mind.
Porsche 911 Carrera S $252,500 before on-road costsPorsche steps into the rear-drive ring with the Carrera S which is a little down on power compared with the Huracan, but stepping up into the 397kW Turbo brings four-wheel drive. You do get a rear-mid-mounted flat-six with forced induction and quintessential Porsche build quality.
Ferrari 488 GTB from $469,988 before on-road costsYes, the Ferrari sort of compares with the Lamborghini with a mid-mounted engine, rear-drive and Italian styling but did we mention the price? Ouch.
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