2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2 – Automan test drive

For the times when two-wheel drive is too much fun

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_16We celebrate what we believe to be a rather exclusive drive of the Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2 that was unveiled in China a couple of days after we drove it in Oman

Author: Raj Warrior  | Photography: Elvis John Ferrao

The Italian supercar manufacturer from Sant’Agata Bolognese has not put a foot wrong in the past few years, staying true to its roadmap of producing some of the most intense sports cars in the world. Lamborghini has in fact been so successful with the model that their CEO has been moved to other pastures in the greater Volkswagen group, to open up a new sporting identity for Audi.

But that doesn’t mean that the excitement is slowing down in Bologna. Take the latest iteration of the Huracán to launch – the LP580-2. True to the model they followed with the Gallardo, Lamborghini have unveiled a two-wheel drive version of the platform, albeit with a slightly detuned engine but with some awesome road manners on hand.

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_2“The Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2 continues the Lamborghini tradition of pure, visionary and technology-driven models,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “The rear-wheel drive model fits perfectly into our Huracán family, appealing to those wanting an even more intense driving experience, or who currently drive other rear-wheel- drive marques and aspire to driving a Lamborghini. This is the purest expression of a Lamborghini to date, with class-leading technological refinements. It is a serious car for serious drivers: it is maximum driving fun.”

We were pleasantly surprised with the opportunity to spend a weekend driving the car on the roads of Muscat. If we needed any reason to feel like we stuck out like a sore thumb, this was it. A bright green colour on that fascinating profile and the roar of an unfettered V10 engine was enough to bring out the kids and their mothers from the houses around. Our ‘no joyride’ policy served up no joy, but the car itself is an anything magnet – you name it.

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_1If anything, the 580-2 feels slightly better balanced in its visual stance. The front sits low, with a slightly different arrangement to the air intakes (apparently to maximise the downforce on the front axle). The rear deck gets a small lip that also aids the targeted downforce on the rear axle. And the car gets a unique set of 19” wheels that keeps it visually distinct from the 610-4. The loss of top end horsepower should not be any worry to the buyer. For starters the 580-2 is 33 kilograms lighter, with a weight balance of 40% on the front axle and 60% on the rear. The body structure is a continuation of the part aluminium, part carbon-fibre unit of the Huracán, with the stressed area around the C-pillar and behind the driver being made in one composite moulding.

So now you have 580 horsepower on tap completely for the rear wheels to dispense to the road surface and that brings with it the need to put in a tailored traction and stability control package that factors in the rear-wheel drive arrangement.

The car sprints away like its tail is on fire. Every motion, every next flick of the gearshift lever is lived in the instant. It is in cars like the Huracán that you realise an almost ethereal connection with the intensity of the moment. 

The differently tuned engine does not feel throttled at all. In fact, what seems to have been done is to move the mapping in favour of a better lower and mid-range performance. The power pack seems like it is poised on a knife edge, tap the accelerator and yoiu get that instant boost of torque with the engine still in the low ranges. In some ways this engine behaves like a turbocharged unit (that it isn’t). And the top end seems to stretch on forever. The car offers a top speed of 320 km/h with the standing hundred achieved in 3.4 seconds.

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_7But its the journey up to that point that really makes the difference, The car’s drive mode controller is called ANIMA (that’s Italian for soul) or Adaptive Network Intelligent Management, although we think the four words were chosen because they best fit.

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_6This offers the choice to toggle between Strada, Sport and Corsa modes, with each of the drive modes offering a specific pattern to the car’s handling and response as well. This is because the magnetic suspension components are also tuned in, effectively hardening or softening the response at wheel points depending on weight transfer and slip.

The V10 engine is mated to a seven speed dual clutch gearbox with extremely quick shift times. You can even get the joy of launch control if you are comfortable with using both your feet. But that wasn’t allowed for the test drive (rightly so, we guess).

Driving Impressions

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_9The last bit of driving we had done in the Huracán was on the Ascari track with the 610-4. Admittedly, the experience cannot be replicated on Oman’s roads, where the car’s silhouette and colour also serve as a police magnet.  So while we got close on the 0-100 km/h mark with regular launch, we didn’t go near the top end.

We had a run-in with the cops while out photographing the car, but fortunately weren’t doing anything stupid.

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_14The car sprints away like its tail is on fire. Every motion, every next flick of the gearshift lever is lived in the instant. It is in cars like the Huracán that you realise an almost ethereal connection with the intensity of the moment.

A good example is the car’s sport mode. The engine rumbles a wee bit louder, the razor sharp responses of the gearbox tantalise and you see the rev meter leap upwards towards the 8500rpm redline.

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_12But the seat padding is perfect, your view of the road is almost completely defined to a focal point amidst the growing blur and you are having to look three to four hundred metres ahead to plan your next move. Intense.

In the Corsa mode, the wheels allow for a degree of slip as well as the stability control understands that you may just need to let the tail wag a little before it helps along. There seems to be a degree of torque vectoring built in too as the car seems to anticipate a hard corner and feed into it rather than fight it.

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_15We’ve done two other cars of a similar type over the past few weeks – the Audi R8 V10 and the Ferrari 488 Spider but we are bound to have no comparisons with these cars. Needless to say, the drive experience in each is so different that it really wouldn’t have made a difference. There’s no real comparison. You would be looking at the LP580-2 for its overdose of low down torque, smooth revving engine and almost letter perfect handling.

Verdict

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_11The Lamborghini LP580-2 is the sports car that serves both to offer a great price point and dollops of power and performance. It is actually the purer form of the Huracán platform as it presents the real joy of always rear-biased power. Yes the front lifts when you floor although even that is electronically (or magnetically in this case) dampened.

Lambo_Huracan_580_2_10But you would also look at the LP580-2 because it is such a useable car. Not if you have anything more than a golf bag, but what with the combination of cabin features that it does offer (including a fully LCD driven cockpit) and the ability to raise the nose at slow speeds (useful for getting over speed breakers and garage ramps) and the engine’s ability to offer a good level of fuel efficiency (relatively) by switching off a whole bank of five cylinders seamlessly when you aren’t taxing the accelerator, you have a fun loving car for the gentleman driver.

About Raj Warrior
Raj Warrior is the managing editor of Automan Magazine and has been a part of the Middle East’s automotive landscape from the past 15 years. He has run top rung car magazines in India and Oman and is often referred to as the Automan of Oman. With a background in mechanics, mechanisms and software programming, he is able to visualise the intricate workings of the modern automobile and brings a mix of technical and lifestyle based assessment to his writing. He is also an avid Photographer, often shooting the cars and motorcycles he tests for the magazine. As comfortable on a motorcycle as he is in cars, Raj is driven by his love affair with all things on wheels and brings his passion to all his automotive ventures. Raj has chosen Oman as his home base because he loves the country, its friendly people and its great driving and riding roads.

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