The year gone by was dominated by football in more ways than one. The 2022 FIFA World Cup was spectacular and so unifying in its appeal that it brought hope and promise to the Arab world. Can there be an experience that’s better than witnessing “the beautiful game” first-hand? There was one that tried and, let me say, matched it in keeping the adrenaline pumping in my veins. Early last month, even as the World Cup quarterfinals were on, I found myself flying into Doha, the capital of Qatar, not for witnessing a World Cup game but to tame a few “Raging Bulls”! All around the country and in the city hosting the pinnacle of football glory, it was hard not to see the influence of the ongoing tournament, but it was even harder to take my eyes away from the line-up that Lamborghini had organised for a handful of Indian motoring journos.
On offer were three of Huracán‘s model variants and editions: the Evo Spyder, Technica, and the STO. Parked along the driveway of the Yacht Club in the upmarket Pearl Qatar Beach area, the Lambos were sitting in the middle of the playground of millionaires. And that jacuzzi-sized parking spot would’ve been the envy of any of the local and international HNIs that had docked their yachts at the marina nearby. Lamborghini had smartly chosen to unveil the new Huracán Sterrato, its newest addition to the family, at the location. The Sterrato is the first off-road-capable supercar from Lambo and will possibly be the swansong for a pure ICE powertrain from the Italian marquee. Hybrids and electrics from Lambo... almost seems oxymoronic! At that moment, though, I brushed aside those thoughts and focused on the sharp, angular highlights of the Huracáns at hand.
Huracan Evo Spyder
It is not without reason that Lamborghinis have the reputation of being able to move you even while they are standing still. The Huracán, the successor to the legendary Gallardo, is about nine years old since it made its first appearance. In that time, it has endeared itself to fans of its V10 engine. And though its projectile profile hasn’t changed very much, the design has evolved and is radical and incredibly appealing. One could stare at a Lambo for hours and not find one line amiss or think that it could’ve been different. Those triangular shapes that define the Huracán would match the appeal of those that adorn the great pyramids. Sitting low, with its devilish-cool pointy nose tapered down, the Huracán Evo Spyder was going to be my first ride for the day. Matt-metallic, fluorescent green body paint, carbon-fibre engine cover panels, recessed door handles, the suspended spoiler, and the perforated twin tailpipes come together to greet me in one drool-worthy package.
The Huracán Evo Spyder’s nomenclature is LP-640 4. Unlike most other car makers and their rather difficult-to-explain powertrain-focused naming convention, Lambo’s is still very clear. The supercar I was stepping into featured a mid-rear engine position that is oriented longitudinally with an output of 640 PS and offers four-wheel drive. Much before the drive begins, the drama of that 5,204-cc naturally-aspirated V10 gets my adrenaline pumping. It is difficult to resist the temptation of revving this amazing-sounding V10, and it is satisfying to note that stringent regulations haven’t yet muffled the full-bodied growl of the Huracán‘s exhaust. I set out, warming the engine and barely ruffling its injectors while winding my way out of the city. Unlike the Lamborghini Urus, the Huracán Evo Spyder’s seating position is set low, and I’m sitting just inches off the road. The two-seat cabin in the Spyder is a bit more cramped than the Evo coupe because the foldable fabric roof and frame is stowed right between the driver and the engine. But, in terms of sheer connect with the car, I’d trade comfort for this upright position any day.
Once I hit the highway on the outer edge of the city, the Evo Spyder comes into its own. It was a break day before the quarterfinals were to begin, so no World Cup football match in any of the stadiums, and that meant traffic on the highway was thin. That impatient growl behind my ears just grew louder with every millimetre travel of the pedal. This engine and its dual clutch transmission deliver an effortlessly impressive performance with shifts that are immediate and exciting. The suspension in the Huracán is designed to enable it to carve corners and let you feel the front wheels hit the apex, so it was never going to be comfortable on broken tarmac. But there were B-road sections off the highway and near the Lusail football stadium where I could feel every crevice and pebble travel up to my seat.
Stepping into the Huracán STO was the happy end result of the kid in a candy store moment from earlier. The STO is a different set of wheels altogether. And that “Batmobile” design is only an aperitif. It is a special feeling to stand at the rear of any supercar and just stare at the engine through the transparent covers. And on that badge plate on top of every Lambo V10, if you didn’t know it already, the jumbled list of numbers from 1 to 10 represents the firing sequence of the cylinders. However, with the STO’s spine and rib like carbon fibre cover the distractions are way too many. The STO (short for Super Trofeo Omologato) is a track-focused Huracán, and so its aerodynamic requirements are very different from the other models. The tall rear wing with a roof snorkel and the unique shark fin is designed to improve engine cooling and aero. Many of these are fashioned out of carbon-fibre, including the vents on the front wheel arches. In fact, nearly 75 per cent of the STO’s body is made from carbon-fibre.
I strap up the seat belt; my test mule didn’t feature racing harnesses, and head out. The Huracán STO has the same 5.2-litre V10 and is offered in the same state of tune as the Huracán Performante and the Huracán Evo. But, like its model nomenclature references, this is the LP-640 2 STO, which means its power output is 640 PS and it is a rear-wheel driven Lambo. But, thanks to its lightweight construction, the STO is quicker (compared to the other two), doing the 0-100 kmph sprint in three seconds and the 0-200 kmph sprint in nine seconds. Acceleration is unrelenting and instantaneous. And it can do all that sprinting in style while waking up the occupants of an entire zip code. The exhaust noise is a wicked growl and will urge anyone behind the wheel to throw politeness to the wind at every idling stop. But the Huracán STO’s sports seats are firmer, and the stiffer body means that the ride is stiff too. Gear shifts are a lesson in physics, the laws of motion to be precise, and every paddle-selected downshift’s response passes right through my spine before hitting that oxytocin-producing gland in my head.
The hallmark of a supercar is its ability to come to a stop as quickly, if not quicker, than it can accelerate. The STO does that really well with its carbon ceramic brakes, developed specifically for racing. The Huracán STO is best experienced on the race track, though it can still be thrilling at highway speeds. Even though it gets four-wheel steering and manoeuvring it at slow speeds in town isn’t inconvenient, the ride can be hard. But does it really matter, after all this is certainly not going to be for your daily commute.
The Lamborghini Huracáns are glorious machines that are a celebration of naturally-aspirated V10s. It is disappointing to know that this will be the end of an era for these powertrains and that future Lambos will be hybrids and electrics. Hopefully, the spirit of the brand will continue to be preserved. But, in the meantime, dare I say that this will be an appreciating asset and investing in one of the last of the Huracáns will be a good idea.