AS a teenager there were two things I lusted after – the tender embrace of a certain redhead in my year and a Lamborghini Diablo SV in lurid purple. The torch I carried for young Ms Paterson fizzled out long ago and the Diablo is virtually a museum piece but my heart is still set aflutter by anything wearing the raging bull of Sant’Agata Bolognese. So the recent chance to take the wheel of a Huracan LP610-4 was something of a red letter day for me.
Not that the car was red, rather a striking Verde Mantis. The phrases ‘jaw-dropping’ and ‘head-turning’ get bandied about endlessly in motoring circles, often to describe a run-of-the-mill hatchback with some big wheels and an aero kit. However, when it comes to the Lambo they really do apply. An almost impossibly low, ridiculously wide wedge, its nose, flanks and rear are slashed by razor-sharp creases. The only curves on this work of automotive origami are around the wheel arches, presumably because they couldn’t make hexagonal wheels work. Clad in that fluorescent green and with the bombastic noise of its V10 engine, it’s a car that screams “look at me” in a way that people seem powerless to ignore. Wherever we went during our all-too short time together pedestrians stopped, stared and smiled.
The interior is almost as striking as the exterior. The cockpit is a riot of hexagonal buttons and toggle switches and the starter button is hidden beneath a safety flap like the nuclear trigger in an ’80s action movie. But under the bespoke Lamborghini surfaces are systems borrowed from parent company Audi, meaning that everything from satnav and stereo to the air con is a doddle to use.
That accessibility is all part of the claim from Lamborghini that the Huracan is the first supercar you can truly use every day. A 600bhp monster as a daily driver might sound ridiculous but after a few cautious moments getting familiar with it, it becomes clear what they mean.
In town and at low speeds it feels astonishingly docile. The V10 racket over your shoulder never lets you forget the car’s potential but, with nicely balanced pedals, sensibly weighted steering and a seamless automatic gearbox, it’s easy to crawl along in nose-to-tail traffic at 15mph without being reduced to a sweaty, quivering wreck. The ride is undoubtedly firm but it’s not punishing and I’ve been in far less focussed machines that were less comfortable. The visibility is better than Lamborghinis of old and it even has start/stop technology, you know, to save the planet.
Of course, no matter how well it handles the slog of the A720 at rush hour, that’s not why you buy a Lamborghini. You buy it for the drama and the excitement and, by God, does the Huracan deliver.
While its rivals from Ferrari and McLaren have turned to forced induction, the Huracan is sticking with an updated version of the normally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 from its Gallardo predecessor. Good for 602bhp it’s a howling beast of a powerplant which, given the briefest of opportunities will propel you towards the horizon like the Millennium Falcon going into hyperdrive. 62mph is dispatched in 3.2 seconds, 120 in less than 10 and, given the right conditions, it’ll reach 202mph.
Helping the mid-engined monster achieve those figures is an all-new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and a sophisticated four-wheel drive system. Under most conditions 70 per cent of the torque is sent to the rear wheels but this can be split 50/50 front and rear when needed or 100 per cent of drive can be delivered to the rear tyres if the front starts to slip.
As they say, power is nothing without control and so the Sant’Agata boffins have created a chassis well up to handling the V10’s power. The all-new hybrid chassis fuses aluminium and carbon fibre for a blend of low weight, strength and rigidity. Allied to the test car’s optional magneto-rheological damper control system and mind-boggling clever traction and stability computers this offers staggering levels of responsiveness, grip and control. Even on rain-soaked Scottish roads it felt rock steady while delivering a drive to set the heart racing.
Taken together it’s a heady, addictive and utterly thrilling package that stirs the senses like little else can. It is, in other words everything a Lamborghini should be and everything I’ve always hoped it would be. But as well as the histrionics and thrills it can cut it at low speeds and in ‘normal’ driving. A car for every day, then, yes. But not an everyday car.
Engine: 5.2-litre V10 petrol producing 602bhp, 413lb/ft
Transmission: Seven-speed LDF dual-clutch automatic driving all four wheels
Performance: Top speed 202mph, 0-62 in 3.2 seconds