How easy it is to become jaded by the car industry. Instagram, Youtube, and Sunset GT will quickly bastardize the mind into believing that the latest and greatest Huracan Performante is the only model worth having, and that the lowly “base” model Huracan is worth only an up-turned nose. I fear I had already begun the slow descent into Youtube-trolldom. Fortunately, a short stint in AlphaLuxe’s “base” Lamborghini LP-610-4 Huracan this past Saturday set me straight.
I’ll admit: first impressions upon sliding into the cabin weren’t spectacular. Having owned a 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 for the better part of a year, the relative fit, finish, and ergonomics of the cabin were less than stellar. Plastic abounded in an interior I assumed would at least be on-par with high-end Audis but, I was disappointed in that respect (Come on! At least, machine the damn shift paddles from alloy billet!).
However, upon firing up the naturally-aspirated V10 and lightly dipping my foot into the throttle (perhaps to entertain the group of 12-year-olds filming a few yards away), it was obvious that the true magic of this car was idling smoothly behind me.
We pulled onto PCH (Editor’s Note: Pacific Coast Highway CA-1) and acceleration from the 610hp lump was alarmingly quick. Upshifts and rev-matched downshifts were effortless and smooth, approaching the video game-esque rapidity of my PDK, though not quite as precise. Occasionally, a downshift would result in a “surging” sensation from the engine which slightly upset the chassis. The howl of the V10 was nothing short of glorious as it approached redline. In Sport mode, pops and crackles from the exhaust upon lifting were entertaining at first, but quickly began to feel too consistent and manufactured. Almost as though the engineers in Italy were attempting to inject some of the “Lambo” back into a car that’s become a little too refined.
What happened next was unexpected.
We hit the first few twisties on Mulholland Drive, and my conceptions of the car were immediately flipped upon their head. The ferocity with which the Huracan is able to attack a corner, generate seemingly infinite lateral G’s, then launch its pilot into oblivion cannot be overstated. An incredibly quick steering rate means the car can dart into a corner effortlessly, and while the chassis doesn’t feel as flat or controlled as my GT3 under heavy braking and mid-corner, the abundant mechanical grip and sophisticated AWD system create a feeling of near-invincibility in the corners, plus cackle-inducing thrust on corner exit. I’d also venture to say that the more “lively” chassis of the Huracan results in a more enertaining drive at license-retaining speeds.
I followed one of our Club AlphaLuxe group members in his Gallardo Superleggera for a few miles through the gorgeous twisties of Northern Malibu, and never once did I feel as though I approached the car’s limits, despite corner speeds that would make even the best-intentioned girlfriend vomit in the passenger footwell.
Those twin V10’s, singing in harmony, quickly became one of my all-time great motoring experiences; as the two engines spun at certain relative speeds, resonances inside the Huracan’s cabin felt as though they might turn my brain to mush – in the best way possible.
I had most definitely underestimated the capabilities of this car and its sky-high asking price started to make a little more sense.
Lesson learned: ditch your preconceptions about any car if you haven’t had seat time. Drive it hard, judge for yourself, and you may be pleasantly surprised. The next time you overhear the kids at Cars & Coffee disparaging your beloved ride, take solace in knowing that true appreciation comes only from time behind the wheel. Thanks to AlphaLuxe for this incredible opportunity!
Counterpoint by ThomasM
In the world of performance I have long been torn between two paradigms – that of being good at everything, and that of being the best in your core raison d’etre, even to the detriment of everything else…
The Purist in me wants sports cars to be focused, pure, passenger space and grocery hauling be damned. The analogue part of me (admittedly 98.88%) wants to feel the tires clawing for traction, the engine peaking athletically to deliver every horsepower and torque unit at optimal levels. Of course all this needs to be translated into objective performance…I hate nothing more than engine sounds that promise more than the car can deliver; a sexy go fast body that wallows and strains to keep up. I find the base Huracan, in this case the LP610-4, to be both a great success, and ultimately a bit of a let down.
The design is sexy without being douche-y. In groups, amongst even its big brother – the doors up Aventador – the Huracan steals most of the attention. It has great presence and a bit of flamboyance, even above and beyond the Lamborghini badge, an indelible quality requisite of all sports cars. It can also be docile, a grocery-getter and daily driver. The V10 sounds very good and delivers horsepower and torque in big satisfying grin inducing gobs. The chassis and suspension can be both supple and comfortable, and when set to the right modes, tight and fun for the ‘twisties’.
Make no mistake, the Lamborghini Huracan is fast – very fast. But to me, it is for the video game generation, a final transition between the pure analog cars of yore and the digital cars of tomorrow. For those that want a usable sportscar that can keep up with the best of the best, the base Huracan works. For those that want their sportscars more pure and raw, with synaptic-like connection to the driver and pure tactility in all its sensory feedbacks from hands on steering feel to ass-o-meter readings from the seat, it is just a little too digital for me, an old school analogue guy.
Author’s Biography: Kevin Blasko
Kevin Blasko is a 29-year-old auto enthusiast – a Mechanical Design Engineer by day, and serial side-hustler by night. By age 4, he could spout the make and model of any passing vehicle, and by 12 he was an expert in the inner-workings of the internal combustion engine. His love for all things motoring expanded into the two-wheeled world at age 17. He currently owns a 2014 Porsche 911 GT3, and a 2018 Ducati Panigale V4, and has somehow managed to retain his driver’s license.
When he’s not daydreaming about cars or motorcycles, you’ll find him at the gym or yoga studio, on a backpacking trip, or walking shirtless on the beach to maximize Vitamin D, whilst listening to the latest book or podcast on nutrition and healthy living. He currently resides in Santa Monica, CA with his girlfriend of 8 years, and the world’s cutest Dachshund-Yorkie mix: Vincent.