Lamborghini Huracán Evo review, test drive
11th Mar 2019 6:00 am
The Lamborghini Huracán Evo gets some clever tech that makes it much easier to drive. We fling it round the Bahrain F1 circuit and come away feeling like a hero.
Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata. It sounds pretty high tech and coolly Italian, and it is. Abbreviated to LDVI, it is a highly sophisticated computer that is the heart, or more correctly, the brain of the new Lamborghini Huracán Evo. The system controls the key functions of the car – like its engine, gearbox, steering, suspension and brakes – to make the hardcore supercar less daunting and easier to drive. More importantly, LDVI also represents fresh thinking at Lamborghini: to make its customers feel like gods behind the wheel – quite the opposite of what the terrifying-at-the-limit Aventador first did.
No supercar owner likes to think that he isn’t a great driver, but the truth is, a large majority of them simply don’t have talent to come anywhere close to meeting their car’s potential. LDVI, however, promises to elevate their driving skills to make them think they are better drivers than they actually are. And that’s a clever way to seduce potential buyers because stoking their egos is the best way to make them sign that cheque!
Design of new alloys looks absolutely stunning.
I’m driving the Huracán Evo at the Bahrain International Circuit to see how good the new tech is and if it makes me feel like Sebastian Vettel – four-time winner of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Manic and Mature
There’s a lot more to the Huracán than just its clever electronic brain. It’s a mid-life cycle upgrade for the ‘baby’ of the Lamborghini family, which has been around since 2015. There’s still some time left for the next-generation Huracán – which we are told will be radically different and will have hybrid power – but the Evo, being an update, is improved in key areas to keep it fresh and competitive, while retaining the core characteristics that has made the Huracán quite special.
The Huracán’s stunning shape is largely unchanged but there are quite a few design tweaks to make it look angrier than ever. The front and rear bumpers are new, there are large ducts in the front, new intakes on the side (for better cooling), a subtly reshaped rear spoiler and revised exhaust pipes that are shifted up to make way for a more aerodynamic underbody and a big diffuser.
Seats supportive but driving position not ideal.
There’s also a stepped integrated spoiler at the rear, which, along with the other aero upgrades, pushes the Huracán Evo further down onto the tarmac at high speeds. Stand a few feet away from the Evo and the changes are quite subtle, but what is noticeable is the enhanced aerodynamics. Okay, it doesn’t looks as purposeful as the harder-edged Performante but the front splitter and rear diffuser do tell you that the designers spent a lot of time in the wind tunnel.
The interiors too are all heavily upgraded and the centrepiece (literally) is a new 8.4-inch touchscreen (with gesture control) that is neatly housed in the central console. It comes with a number of functions including Apple CarPlay; but more importantly, it displays all the data thrown up by the LDVI system, which is like a real-time report card of the driver’s antics behind the wheel.
It’s one of the best naturally aspirated units left.
With the Huracán Evo, Lamborghini is also offering a lot more personalisation than before and owners can choose from an endless combination by mixing and matching colours, upholstery fabrics, wheels, and other materials to arrive at a spec that is truly bespoke. The seat design, however, hasn’t changed much and the slightly awkward driving position still isn’t particularly comfortable.
And now to the most important question: does all the new hardware really make it brilliant to drive? The fast and flowing Bahrain circuit is a great place to explore the potential of the revised Huracán; it’s got a mix of high-speed corners, elevation changes and long straights that’s just right to test the car’s techno-wizadry. But more important is also a circuit that tests the driver’s limit, which in most cases is way below the car’s. So, to another key question: does the Evo give the driver enough confidence to narrow that gap?
Lots of new aero bits like these side ducts.
Exiting the pitlane and pinning my right foot hard to the floorboard, I am reminded of how utterly brilliant the 5.2-litre V10 engine is. The way it revs to 8,700rpm and the way it sounds are simply epic. It’s the same engine that debuted in the Peformante and, in this latest guise, it produces a colossal 640hp – 30hp more than before – which is good enough to propel this even more of a raging bull from from 0-100kph in just 2.9sec. That is seriously quick! This engine is also one of the last bastions of natural aspiration and this is what gives the Huracán a character and appeal even its biggest rival down the road, that has succumbed to forced induction, cannot give. The V10 with its full-blooded howl, superbike-like powerband concentrated at the top end, and sabre-sharp throttle response is the very heart of the Huracán. The 7-speed, dual-clutch gearbox upshifts like a rapid-fire machine gun, and down the long straight, the digital speedo clocks 275kph with ease.
8.4-inch touchscreen has superb clarity; gets gesture control.
It’s when I flick the Huracán into the first corner and I immediately sense the LDVI coming into play. There’s just none of that initial understeer typical of the earlier Huracán whose nose goes light as the rear end squats down under power.
In the Evo, turn-in is now pin-sharp, the car feels incredibly neutral, and the ease with which I can accurately place it on this full-fledged Formula 1 circuit is as deeply satisfying as it is exhilarating. There’s little need for sawing at the wheel or clumsy steering corrections – typical reactions of a typical supercar owner exploring one’s (and the car’s) limits on a race track. The LDVI along with the rear-wheel-steering (a first on a Huracán) and torque vectoring, makes you a smoother, quicker and more confident driver. In fact, in Corsa mode, the most extreme setting as before, the LDVI lets you power out of corners with the tail out, like a pro. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to slide a car and catch it with a neat dab of opposite lock, with the reassurance that the LDVI’s safety net will stop you from going too sideways and into a spin.
Huracán Evo quicker than before and extra performance is more accessible.
The system works quite unobtrusively with the computer talking to all the various bits of hardware 500 times a second, balancing power flow to all four wheels. With every lap, I get more confident, thanks to that reassuring feeling of an indivisible hand pressing me down on the circuit, to stop me from spinning out of control. The only downside here is that there is a slightly synthetic feel to the driving experience and that rawness of a supercar unfettered by electronics is missing. But I’m not complaining.
For mere mortals like me, this feeling of being able to drive from zero to hero is hard to beat. And it’s not just the heart; this is a supercar that appeals to the head as well. Priced at Rs 3.73 crore, a mere Rs 30 lakh more than the Huracán, the Evo is pretty good value – if you can call a Lamborghini that.