New Metal: Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4

Lamborghini Emblem

Not every day does a new raging bull emerge. Yes, Lamborghini is known for creating many variants of its existing models, but rarely does an entirely new car emerge from the company’s gates. At the moment there are only two: the Gallardo – for the rich, and the Aventador – for the very rich.

Let’s do a brief recent Lambo history. The “modern” era (as I like to call it) of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. began in September of 1998 when VW, using its Audi subsidiary, bought the company. At the time the company was still producing its decade old Diablo. Audi wanted a more modern take on the supercar and created the last-of-line Diablo VT 6.0 to finish off the cars production run. This was the first “Germanic” Lambo and started the company down a path to healthier balance sheets and better overall organization. The 6.0 VT differed slightly from previous iterations, with an improved aerodynamic exterior and refined interior. The engine was also upgraded to make this the most powerful Diablo ever, with 575bhp.

Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0

In 2001 the first new Lamborghini in eleven years launched as the Murcielago. More powerful than its predecessors, and more reliable thanks to Audi, the Murci went on to sell 4,099 units between ’01 and ’10. This bull housed a V12 that deployed its 580bhp through all four wheels. A roadster followed the coupe in 2004, and soon after the entire model line was updated with the 2nd generation Murcielago introduced as the LP640-4 in 2005. A few limited edition variants were created over the years, but they all culminated in a last hurrah version known as the SuperVeloce LP670-4 of 2009, or SV for short, that came with a predictable 661bhp.

Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SV

In 2003 Lamborghini launched a smaller, more affordable, all-wheel-drive stalemate to the Murcielago: The Gallardo. Not as powerful as its V12 brother, the Gallardo came with a V10 based on Audi’s 4.2L V8 that initially produced 500bhp. Over the next ten years the baby bull went on to sell 14,022 examples (about half of all Lamborghini’s ever produced), and spanned three upgraded and enhanced generations and dozens of special editions. Listing all of them would take too much space in this “brief” history.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Squadra Corse

In 2011, after a very successful decade, Lamborghini launched the replacement to the venerable Murcielago in the form of the Aventador LP700-4. As the name suggests, this V12 mid-engined behemoth packs around 700bhp. The styling in more evolution then revolution over its predecessor, but will never be mistaken for anything other than a Lamborghini. With more advanced machinery emerging from the raging bull’s competitors the Aventador was the firm’s reply. The Aventador has sold over 1000 units in its first two years of production and the order books are already full for another year.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Moving into 2013 the Gallardo was looking a bit long in the tooth. The new Aventador had a sleeker design and parking one next to a Gallardo showed the older car’s ten years of production. A newer, younger bull was in order, and on Friday December 20th, 2013 that car was revealed. The Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 has arrived and looks the absolute business.

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4

Sharing a platform with the next generation Audi R8, the Huracan sticks with the proven Gallardo formula of all-wheel drive and a mid-engined V10 that produces just over 600bhp and 413 torques. 0-100km/h takes a scant 3.2 seconds, and takes the car on to a limited top speed of 322kph. The model is slightly heavier than the Gallardo, but at the same time more fuel efficient. This might have something to do with new DSG style gearbox that replaces the outgoing model’s clunky E-Gear. This is a result of parts sharing between VW brands and means that the transmission in my GTI and the one in the Huracan are somewhat similar. But, being Lamborghini, they can’t call their transmission simply “DSG”, so instead “Lamborghini Doppia Frizione” it is. How very Italian. This paddle operated slush box is the only transmission offered, but given Lamborghini’s love for creating niche models we can expect to see a manual, rear-wheel drive variant in the future.

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4

Rumors initially suggested the Gallardo replacement would be called the Cabrera, but Huracan continues the company’s tradition of naming their cars after famous fighting bulls. The styling takes cues from the Aventador, Murcielago, and the limited edition Sesto Elemento = of 2011. To my eyes this new baby bull looks stunning.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

The current crop of competitors in the mid-engined junior supercar market include the McLaren 12C and the Ferrari 458, both of which offer similar levels of power for a similar price. It’s nice to see Lamborghini finally offer a new model, as in the same time frame that the Gallardo was produced Ferrari offered the 360, followed by the F430, and then the 458. Let’s hope the wait was worth it, but if Lamborghini’s track record in anything to go by then this new model will be a stormer.

The Huracan will be officially launched at the 2014 Geneva Autoshow in March, and we can expect a convertible variant sometime over the next year. Exciting times ahead!

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~ by ubercar on January 7, 2014.

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