WHAT IS IT?
The game-changing Lamborghini Huracan is already five years old and in sportscar years that’s about middle age. There have been a few notable additions to the range since launch, including a rear-drive version, the mega Performante, and a topless model. But it’s time for the Huracan’s first significant update and the name Evo couldn’t be more self-explanatory.
In addition to significantly revised front and rear styling, there’s a complete aero overhaul, more power and some tasty tech in the form of oily bits and electronics.
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WHY WE'RE TESTING IT
When we tested the Performante in 2017, it quickly became apparent that it was one of the most capable track cars we’ve got our hands on in recent years. But the Evo borrows the same almighty V10 engine and all its output, removes some of the wings in favour of less conspicuous aero and throws in the clever rear steering from the Aventador SVJ.
Lamborghini says this is the easiest Huracan to live day-to-day with but, just looking at its credentials on paper, the Evo could be the track star as well. Only one way to find out…
Ferrari 488; Porsche 911 Turbo; Audi R8; Mercedes-AMG GT R
THE WHEELS REVIEW
ARRIVING at the mighty Bahrain International Circuit with its Bedouin tent-inspired rooves lofting high above the arid landscape, I get a sense of what it must have been like to approach the colosseum on game day. But instead of a lion, the beast I am being thrown in the ring to try and avoid being mauled by is a bull. Like a floodlit F1 circuit looming out of the desert, the 470kW Lamborghini Huracan Evo is a little intimidating at first, but this version has been treated to a rear-wheel steering system similar to the Aventador SVJ which, I’m told, makes it a little more predictable than its predecessor. It does.
After only a few laps, the Evo is goading me to push harder than I would in a week despite slippery patches of dust left by a ravaging sand storm just two days before. The Evo yaws gracefully out of corners and it’ll do the same under immense braking forces into bends, but the mid-mounted engine doesn’t once end up ahead of me. My contribution to the four-wheeled ballet is probably limited to the stabbing of pedals. That’s because, for the mid-life update, the Huracan has gained LDVI – a CPU singularity that manages all dynamic systems and purportedly has the ability to anticipate my moves. This also works. You can make mistakes, but unlike the Gallardo which would put you in a hedge, or the first-gen Huracan which would slap your wrist, the Evo will drop a garter to hide your embarrassment.
The responsiveness from both axles steering initially feels overly sensitive, but that quickly turns into a sense of confidence, and the massive acceleration in any gear at any revs becomes addictive, not overwhelming. The combined result is savage pace and I’m not imagining it – Lamborghini says this car is faster at Nardo than the Performante engine donor.
Then there’s the bark. A new bimodal Supersports exhaust not only enables the demonic V10 engine note to shout at a volume that causes heifers to miscarry, it’ll also shoot flames, and we’re not talking about a quick yellow burp like a tuned Skyline. Its party piece is a pair of ghostly blue cones under hard acceleration, like an F/A-18 doing a bolter.
Its engine is a masterpiece, the styling is as muscular as a Greek god and the noise is totally intoxicating but, ironically, the best part of the Huracan Evo is something you won’t notice. New sophisticated electronics coupled with traditional metal and oil make you feel like a hero at the wheel, and it’s rare to find something that so outwardly encourages you to go faster than you think is sensible or possible. As to whether the Evo is the Huracan that does it all, that’ll have to wait until a first encounter on the road.
Read next: 2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ revealed
THE WHEELS VERDICT
If you’d just hopped out of a Huracan LP 610-4 it’s unlikely you would be craving a touch more power. And if a steer in the LP 580-2 was still fresh in your mind you probably wouldn’t be longing a more playful chassis. Aero your thing? Then the Performante is the Huracan for you. At least it used to be.
The Huracan didn’t need to be faster, stickier or prettier but the Evo is all those things and the result is spectacular. A vehicle that rewards the curious and confident driver when it’s on the track and is stunning to behold when not going anywhere at all, that’s the Evo.
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It can certainly hold its own at the playground that is an F1 circuit, but as to whether the Evo can duplicate its abilities on the road will, tantalizingly, have to wait.
Model: Lamborghini Huracan Evo
Engine: 5204cc V10 (90º), dohc, 40v
Max power: 470kW @ 8000rpm
Max torque: 600Nm@ 6500rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
Weight: 1422kg (dry)
0-100km/h: 2.9 sec
On sale: Now