Lamborghini evolves the Huracan even further than the much-improved Performante, to become a more engaging supercar

What is it?

The Lamborghini Huracán Evo is less a mid-life facelift and more a comprehensive re-engineering exercise. Whereas the original Huracán was notable on the one hand for its show-stopping engine but characterised on the other by uninspiring dynamics, the more expensive, lightweight Huracán Performante that arrived two years ago was a genuinely brilliant supercar. This is Lamborghini’s attempt at bridging that gap.

What's it like?

For the time being, we can only say what the car is like to drive on a circuit – the launch event limiting us to a handful of laps of the Bahrain Grand Prix track. In that setting, the new model is not only faster and more agile than the earlier base-model Huracán, but more fun to drive too. More fun than the Performante as well? Perhaps, but we’ll reserve judgment on that front until we’ve spent more time behind the wheel.

The original Huracán could be a frustrating car both on road and track with prescriptive, insistent handling. It would defiantly do what it wanted to do - which quite often was to understeer through corners - rather than responding willingly to the driver’s own inputs. It all made the Huracán a far less rewarding supercar than rivals from McLaren and Ferrari.

But no more. On the optional, stickier Pirelli Zero Corsa tyres, the Evo has more grip and a more resilient front end, which now tucks into low-speed corners so immediately - thanks to the rear-wheel steering - that you’d swear those tyres were racing slicks. In longer, high-speed corners, the front axle will begin to wash out a little - true of any road-biased car - but depending on the corner, you’re just as likely to feel the rear end start to come around. The Evo’s newfound poise and more neutral chassis balance are central to it being more engaging to drive.

The Lamborghini Dynamic Steering - now the only steering option available, the passive system having been dropped - is much improved, offering a more consistent and readable helm than the highly dubious dynamic system that preceded it (on track, at least). Unlike before, you now have a clear sense of how much grip there is in reserve across the front axle and you can position the car intuitively and with precision. No more second guessing. There still isn’t the hardwired feel and sense of connection that you get in a McLaren with a hydraulic steering rack, but that’s to be expected.

From really high speeds under very heavy braking, the car will squirm and fidget quite markedly. For a three- or four-lap stint, the carbon-ceramic brakes hold up well, but the impression is that beyond that they’ll begin to wilt. The pedal itself, meanwhile, could be firmer and more talkative, although that would be compromise too far for road use, says Lamborghini.

In the two modes that are worth using on a circuit - Sport and Corsa - the Evo is either playful, oversteery under power (much more so than the previous model) and keen to be thrown around with abandon, or locked into the track surface for the highest cornering speeds. It is in that Corsa mode, with the stability control system left in its intermediate position, that the Evo is at its fastest around a lap, even with a professional driver at the wheel.

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The impression you should go away with after reading this is of a car that’s now more rewarding to drive, less frustrating right at the limit, lively and entertaining when you want it to be and scalpel-sharp and super-fast when you’re setting qualifying laps. It seems as though Lamborghini has at long last let the Huracán off the leash (Performante notwithstanding) and allowed it to be a direct and worthy rival to the best cars in this sector. The V10 remains one of the most spectacular performance car power units on sale with a soaring, baleful soundtrack. Its thrilling power delivery makes you never want to drive a turbocharged car again. Over the final 3000rpm to the redline at around 8500rpm, the car feels relentlessly accelerative, so what it lacks in outright punch through the mid-range compared with a Ferrari 488 GTB or McLaren 720S, it more than makes up for in its sense of drama at the top end. For track driving, meanwhile, the twin-clutch gearbox is just about without fault.

If there is an overriding achievement here, it is surely that the Evo’s suite of new technologies and chassis hardware, plus the predictive LDVI brain, never give the impression of knowing better than the driver. It is still the fleshy lump that grips the wheel that is in charge and in control, and if he or she makes a mistake, the car will not undo it.

Should I buy one?

There are now many more reasons to buy a Lamborghini Huracán than there were a couple of months ago. The Huracán Evo uses its hardware and technology to make the car not only faster and more responsive in theory, but more rewarding and engaging in practice.

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With a base price in the UK of £206,000, however, Lamborghini’s V10 supercar has become notably expensive. In fact, it no longer goes up against the likes of the Audi R8 V10+ and McLaren 570S because it is so much costlier than both. Instead, it should be considered a rival to the 488 GTB and 720S mentioned above. Against such illustrious opposition, the much-improved Huracán might still be found wanting.

Lamborghini Huracán Evo specification

Where Bahrain Price £206,000 On sale Now Engine V10, 5204cc, petrol Power 631bhp at 8000rpm Torque 443lb ft at 6500rpm Gearbox 7-spd twin-clutch automatic Dry weight 1422kg Top speed 202mph-plus 0-62mph 2.9sec Fuel economy na CO2 na Rivals Ferrari 488 GTB, McLaren 720S

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275not599 22 January 2019

Here in the US, the Evo costs

Here in the US, the Evo costs $261,274 (+taxes).  You can legally sell a kidney for around $262,000.  Hmmm.  Nah, there's no manual option.  Does anything new tick all the boxes, NA, no EPAS, 3 pedals?

BertoniBertone 22 January 2019

The 'unspoilered' Huracan....

Well, at least this version has lost that vile 'I'm a Saturday Sloane Avenue Twat' look....

Just avoid the gold wrap and the baseball cap.....and you might get to look like Bob Wallace in the original LP 400.

NoPasaran 22 January 2019

VW Huracan

Either V12 or it is no Lamborghini.

Anyway I'd go for 911.

eseaton 22 January 2019

But which one?  A 911 with

But which one?  A 911 with turbos is, by the same token, not a proper 911.