Tuesday 29th September 2020
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First drive: Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD. Image by Lamborghini.

First drive: Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD
Fewer driven wheels, less power and yet more driving thrills? That’s what’s promised by the rear-drive V10 Lambo…

 



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Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD

5 5 5 5 5

It has always been something of a given that a Lamborghini will give you lots of exciting, blood-and-thunder noise and startlingly dramatic looks, but they haven't always had the most finely resolved chassis underpinning those facets of their character. Well, with the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD), you can safely tick the box marked 'blinding dynamics'... and, therefore, what you have here is an incredibly charismatic and thoroughly fantastic supercar. Which has a god-like mid-mounted V10, just to top everything off.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD Coupe
Pricing: Huracan range from £164,400 for Evo RWD Coupe, car as tested £211,018
Engine: 5.2-litre V10 petrol
Transmission: rear-wheel drive with mechanical limited-slip differential, seven-speed LDF dual-clutch automatic
Body style: two-door coupe supercar
CO2 emissions: 324g/km (VED Band Over 255: £2,175 first 12 months, then £475 per annum years two-six of ownership, then £150 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 20.2mpg
Top speed: 202mph
0-62mph: 3.3 seconds
Power: 610hp at 8,000rpm
Torque: 560Nm at 6,500rpm
Boot space: 150 litres

What's this?

A Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD. As if you're in any doubt whatsoever as to what this might be, considering you're looking upon a matte-effect-purple, mid-engined monster with the sort of presence to unfailingly turn every head within a 500-metre radius. Or 500-mile radius, it's hard to say. Honestly, you can walk all around the Huracan Evo for entire hours if you want, searching desperately for a bad angle to it, but you won't find one. This is exactly what a supercar should look like - compact and low, yet brooding and intimidating, its bodywork lavished with strakes and bonkers design details everywhere you glance. The rear view is particularly entrancing, what with the twin 'bean can' exhausts poking out the middle of a meshed-bumper array which, in turn, sits above a whopping great diffuser; bear in mind, though, that having said bumper and diffuser in high-gloss black will relieve you of £2,700. Oh, and the distinctive Viola Mel paintwork? It's twelve-and-a-half grand. 'Nuff said.

So the exterior of the Huracan is marvellous, but then so is the interior. Climb aboard, which isn't actually a difficult job to do (this Lambo doesn't have the quirky scissor doors of its 20th-century predecessors), and you'll find a cabin which is as ergonomically correct as the Audi R8 with which the Lamborghini shares so much, only it's a cabin replete with all the necessarily theatrical touches that make the Huracan feel like a true exotic, whereas the R8's interior feels like, well, that of a rather big TT.

Not that there's anything wrong with a TT's passenger compartment, of course, but when you're paying north of £200,000 for a status symbol, you kind of want the interior to have something a bit more special about it than climate control displays integrated into rotary dials. Thankfully, the Huracan Evo RWD goes all out on the wackiness, and it's all the better for it. The wonderful New Sport Seats, standard size, are a £5,700 addition that's well worth having, while the Evo Trim Sportivo Leather Bicolour black-and-white hide is another £2,700 and it does much to enliven and lighten the ambience of a cabin which isn't enormous inside, for obvious reasons. But it's details like the missile-flip-switch cover for the engine start/stop button, or that ridiculous hexagonal gearlever (which doesn't engage 'D', by the way; you need to click the '+' paddle on the steering column for that) on the transmission tunnel, or the rocker switches arrayed across the top of the centre console, or buttons for the main beam, indicators and wipers mounted on the fabulous Lamborghini steering wheel, which all serve to bring out the gleeful child in you.

Yes, you could lament the fact the Lamborghini's 8.4-inch portrait touchscreen infotainment is mounted a bit low in the cabin, meaning you have to take your eyes off the road and then stare down at the display in order to use it, but even that has its own Lambo-specific graphics, complete with more hexagon motifs. Furthermore, the digital instrument cluster in front of the driver is majestic, having three equally clear and yet highly discrete layouts depending on whether the car is in Strada, Sport or Corsa modes, and then there are the paddle shifts. Which are the joint-best in the business (cough, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, cough), a pair of great, skeletal items made out of carbon that feel cool to the fingertips but which operate with a satisfyingly hefty reassurance. Take one look at these glorious works of art in the Huracan, and then compare them to the plasticky little tabs that an R8 has, and you'll see why the Lamborghini's cabin feels like it is operating at another level entirely when compared to the Audi. Which is as it should be, of course, but you get our drift.

How does it drive?

The latest in a two-wheel-drive lineage of V10 Lamborghinis, stretching back to the much-admired Gallardo LP 550-2 Balboni, the Huracan Evo RWD is not presented as some sort of hyper-focused, limited-edition driver's version of the entry-point Lambo. Instead, it is priced at a level a good £30,000 less than a 4WD, 640hp Huracan Evo, despite the fact it has two fewer driveshafts and - invitingly - a kerb weight a good 33 kilos trimmer than its sibling, thanks to the deletion of the AWD and also the regular Evo's rear-wheel steering.

So, with a kerb weight of less than 1,400kg and 610hp at your disposal, the on-paper promise of the Huracan Evo RWD is immense, to say the least. Weird, then, that in your first few miles behind the Lambo's wheel, you'll be gobsmacked by its gracious good manners. Equipped with optional magnetorheological dampers (£2,400) and Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (LDS, £1,700), in Strada mode the Huracan is remarkably benign. The LDS is light and precise, utterly confounding your pre-drive expectations of the car having a heavy helm, while the damping and standard-fit 19-inch wheels on 245/35 ZR19 front, 305/35 ZR19 rear tyres provide a ride quality that's completely at odds with the Lambo's wild appearance. Indeed, about the main criticism we can level at the car overall is that its Lamborghini Doppio Frizione (LDF) seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox has an alarming predilection for quickly slushing its way through all of its ratios, so that you're in seventh by 30mph - and no amount of throttle-pedal provocation will get it to shift down to anything below sixth, unless you really clog it and activate the step-like kickdown switch right at the bottom of the pedal's travel. This is a bizarre eco-conceit in a normally aspirated V10 performance machine that will, at best, give back 20mpg (NB: we managed to coerce 23.2mpg from it at one point, by driving like a geriatric nun with a serious aversion to meeting the almighty, but an overall 17.8mpg is much more representative of what a 610hp car like this will truly return).

However, before you worry that the Lambo has gone all soft and genteel in its dotage, fret not; there are two things to note here. The first is that, for all the docile manners the Huracan Evo RWD has in Strada, and considering it has a handy nose-lift function to prevent expensive front-splitter-to-speed-bump interface scenarios from occurring, this is hardly the most refined supercar in the world to travel in. There's plenty of tyre noise filtering into the cabin, while even on the lower slopes of its mountain of revs, the V10 is loud. Like, 'how did they get this thing through noise regs?' loud. This is good, though, because it couples to our second point about unleashing the Lamborghini's hidden psychopath.

If you think bumbling through a village at 30mph in top is an annoyance in a machine like this, it is but the work of a moment to negate such eco-tilting behaviour from the Lambo. Simply either click the left-hand paddle a few times, in order to have the V10 spinning at around 4,000rpm, or alternatively switch the Huracan up into Sport mode. Thereupon, you'll realise that the word 'benign' could not be any further from the truth of the Lamborghini's character if it tried, and you'll also probably guffaw out loud at what happens next.

It's noise. So much... noise. To an extent, you're so focused on the preposterous, metallic, wailing voice of the Huracan Evo RWD that you might miss just how quickly the digital speedo is blurring through numbers that would attract the attention of the relevant local authorities, although you'll feel the pressure of unrelenting, savage acceleration in the small of your back to make sure you're not unwittingly walking into a prison sentence. Frankly, the Lamborghini's chassis could be made of suet pudding and soggy old cardboard, when it can accelerate with such ferocity and sing a song unsurpassed in modern motoring. There are few drivetrains that have ever made production that are as thoroughly beguiling as this 5.2-litre V10 and, installed in a 1,389kg vehicle, the resulting performance is electrifying. Or should we say hydrocarbon-ifying? Not sure. Ahem.

Anyway, the best news of all is that the Lamborghini Huracan's chassis isn't a disappointment. In fact, it might be the greatest thing on the car, which is saying something in consideration of that engine. Nevertheless, there's a natural, organic feel to the Evo RWD's cornering manner, the LDS perhaps not the greatest set-up in the world (it weights up in Sport and Corsa, although there's not much of an increase in genuine feel from mode to mode) but good enough and immediate enough to match up to a front-end that has to go down as one of the finest we've sampled. If the Huracan understeers on the public highway, no matter the weather conditions, we never found the point at which such a thing would occur. And yet there's also delicate balance at the rear, a sensation that the back axle - blessed, as it is, with monster grip and traction, thanks to road-roller rear rubber and the engine's positioning in the car - is a playful thing, rather than a spiky animal.

In short, you drive the Huracan Evo RWD and it feels like you need to up your game to get the absolute best from it, rather than it doing all the hard work for you with clever onboard electronics and the like. Thrillingly, it's a car that has such clear and informative messages filtering through to its driver that it positively invites you to experiment with the chassis, to try and learn new things about what it might do next, and as yet another bonus to the whole experience, the LDF comes into its own in its sharper modes, proving itself one of the best units of its twin-clutch type. The Huracan Evo RWD is, therefore, an engaging and beautifully balanced supercar. That the stellar V10 engine in the Lamborghini cannot overshadow its jewel of a chassis is both a massive surprise and an extraordinary reward, and it's why we think this is, despite its place at the bottom of the raging bull's product ladder, comfortably the best Lambo you can buy right now.

Verdict

This is everything that makes the Audi R8 RWS such a special car, only with the added attractions of properly traffic-stopping exterior looks, an interior much more befitting of a £200,000 showpiece, a far louder and even more intoxicating soundtrack (hard to believe the noise could ever be better where any application of that V10 is concerned, but it's true), genuinely engaging, rewarding and thrilling driving dynamics, and even more horsepower to boot. That the madcap Huracan Evo RWD can also do day-to-day civility and comfort with reasonable aplomb is the crowning glory of a quite outstanding and brilliant car, the like of which we shan't see for much longer in this world. Don't let anyone make any glib 'baby Lambo' remarks in a disparaging fashion about the Evo RWD, because this two-wheel-drive Huracan might be one of the very best, most complete cars that has ever rolled out of Sant'Agata. It is a truly magnificent, magnificent thing.

5 5 5 5 5 Exterior Design

5 5 5 5 5 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

2 2 2 2 2 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

5 5 5 5 5 Driving Dynamics

5 5 5 5 5 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 16 Jul 2020









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2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.

2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD UK test. Image by Lamborghini.








 

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