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New models - Lamborghini - Huracan - LP 580-2

Two-wheel drive Lambo Huracan blasts in

It takes two: Lamborghini's LP 580-2 has lobbed in Australian showrooms following a year of growth for the Italian supercar-maker.

Lamborghini's two-wheel drive Huracan expected to lift sales in Australia

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Lamborghini logo3 Mar 2016

By NEIL DOWLING

A FIRED up Lamborghini has launched its new rear-wheel drive Huracan range in Australia on the back of a record sales result in 2015.

Making its debut on Australian soil in Perth this week before starting its national roadshow, the Huracan LP 580-2 drops the all-wheel drive of its LP 610-4 sibling for a $49,000 and 33kg discount.

Its introduction into Australia is a lynchpin for Lamborghini forecasting sales of more than 100 units this year, up on the 84 sold in 2015 and a massive increase on the 2014 figure of 27 units.

At $378,900 plus on-road costs, Automobili Lamborghini Oceana country manager Eginardo Bertoli said the LP 580-2 should attract two types of prospective buyers.

“It is more affordable than the LP 610-4 so it attracts buyers who may be entering the brand for the first time,” he said.

“But on the other hand, the LP 580-2 is a driver’s car and attracts purists who enjoy the more dynamic handling of a rear-drive coupe. It is a car for this extreme of buyers.” The two-wheel-drive coupe replicates the current LP 610-4 platform, basic drivetrain and body, removing the front-drive assembly for a 33kg weight loss, while changes to the front and rear spoilers and valances make for a more aggressive look.

Its 5.2-litre V10 engine is detuned to 426kW/540Nm from the all-wheel-drive version's 449kW/560Nm.

The LP 580-2 accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds slower than the LP 610-4 but it does consume less fuel with an 11.9 litres per 100 kilometres average, compared with 12.5 L/100km for its heavier sibling.

The newcomer also has a more aggressive weight distribution with 60 per cent at the rear and to compensate, stiffer suspension, a new steering set-up, recalibrated traction and stability controls and selectable driving modes – Strada, Sport and Corsa – that are tuned for oversteer characteristics.

It has 19-inch wheels – against the LP610-4 with 20-inch wheels – and steel brake rotors with aluminium callipers that Lamborghini said are chosen to save weight and improve cooling.

The Western Australian agent, Barbagallo Lamborghini, has an allocation of 16 rear-drive coupes for 2016, with an expected waiting list of four to six months. It has sold three Lamborghinis this year compared with nine for 2015.

“The LP580-2 is very well priced and buyers know there’s nothing like it on the market. It’s fun personified,” said Barbagallo Lamborghini sales manager James Figueroa.

Mr Bertoli said he has predicted “more than 100” overall Lamborghini sales in Australia this year, attributed to a growing awareness of the brand.

“About 80 per cent of production in Italy is for Huracan but the Aventador is also very successful,” he said.

“We introduced the Aventador 750-4 Superveloce (SV) as a coupe in early 2015 and later as a Roadster. The coupe production was limited to 600 cars and the Roadster was 500.

“Such was the interest in the SV coupe that by the time the Roadster came on sale, the whole 500 were sold in three weeks.

“That shows that the awareness of the Lamborghini brand name is increasing.” Most Lamborghini Huracan owners will choose the all-wheel-drive LP 610-4 variant but Mr Bertoli said he believes there is growing interest in the new model.

“People like the LP 610-4 because it has a safer, more confident feeling and is all about precision,” he said.

“The LP580-2 requires more skill to master but with its oversteer handling, is all about fun.” Mr Bertoli said Lamborghini did not compare its cars with other manufacturers.

“Its hard to compare a Lamborghini with another brand,” he said. “We feel we have no competitors. They are rare cars.

“Buyers tend to upgrade their cars but few sell them. People who are introduced to Lamborghini very rarely leave.” Though rare, more than 30 per cent of buyers opt for personalising their cars, using the company’s Ad Personam service to ensure even more individuality on the street.

But the company will become slightly less rare from 2017 when its Urus SUV – already dubbed the fastest SUV in the world – begins production ahead of early 2018 sales.

“The Urus will be a first for the segment, totally different from the Bentley Bentayga (which will use a similar platform) and will revolutionise the SUV market,” Mr Bertoli said.

To build it, the company's production facility at Sant'Agata Bolognese near Bologna in north-east Italy is to expand the factory by adding 50 per cent more production area.

“Production will rise from about 3000 a year to about 6000,” Mr Bertoli said, indicating 3000 for the cars and 3000 for the SUV.

“But Lamborghini will still be exclusive. Compared with the 80 million or more cars made each year, the amount of Lamborghinis is like a grain of salt.”

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