When you are three years old and you like cars, someone is going to try to get you to say “Ferrari.” They think it’s funny. They think it’s adorable to hear you mangling the Italian equivalent of Smith. Nowadays, they’ll even film it and put it onto YouTube because that’s what loving family members do: they humiliate you and then make your humiliation just as public as it can possibly be.
Those same people would look at the picture above and think “What sort of Ferrari is that?” If it looks exotic and it makes a silly, loud noise and they can’t pronounce the name on the badge then it’s a Ferrari. You and I know that they’re just about as wrong as they can be without calling it a Vespa. This is the new Lamborghini Huracan, the successor to my favourite not-a-Ferrari-at-all-even-slightly, the Gallardo. There is a selection of numbers and letters after the name. LP stands for longitudinale posteriore (the engine is mounted in-line, behind the driver) and not lumbar puncture which is what the seat might do to you when you drop the hammer on this thing. 610 refers to the power output of the new V10 engine in PS and 4 to the number of driven wheels.
It is quite gorgeous, though. I thought that the Gallardo was almost the archetypal supercar, a cleanly-styled wedge of wonder. The Huracan has taken the Gallardo’s themes and played with them. The designers have increased the level of aggression. It’s almost as if they’ve left it to be smoothed off in a river of testosterone and grappa. It’s a more sophisticated shape then the Gallardo and quite, quite different from the clean-edged prettiness of the Ferrari 458. It’s still a wedge and it still has the huge vents in the nose and quad drainpipes for exhausts out the back but the wedge has been reworked and honed more than Peter Stevens reworked Giugiaro’s Esprit back in the day.
The new 5.2l V1o is quite a piece of kit. It’s more powerful than the old one, more economical and has a stop-and-go thingie just like my Venga’s. A small, chubby MPV deserves one of those stop and start functions. If the Huracan were mine, I’d permanently disable the stop=and-go doobrie and sit and rev it until the tank went dry. I’m so mature. The engine does some technical things with its direct fuel injection system which sound brilliant in Italian and incomprehensible in English but they aid the fuel economy. Even Lamborghini has to be seen to be sensible from time to time. The engine drives all four wheels through a new, seven-speed, dual clutch gearbox which they call Lamborghini Doppia Frizione. Calling it LDF is a missed opportunity to sing a little opera with music by Verdi not Wagner even though some of you might think that a seven-speed DCT sounds a lot like the one in the new Audi R8. It has carbon brakes as standard and you can have magneto-rheological dampers and variable ratio steering. The dampers will be epic in Italian but I’m not sure about the steering. You have a switch on the steering wheel which isn’t in any way like Ferrari’s manettino. No, signore. It’s marked Strada, Sport and Corsa for Road, ummm, Sport and Track and you will be able to use it to change the traction control, gearbox, steering and damper settings. So, nothing like the manettino in a Ferrari, then.
Lamborghinis really aren’t like Ferraris though. Ferraris are all about speed and heritage and motorsport and selling as many cuddly toys and red cagoules as they possibly can. Lamborghinis are of course about speed but they’re also about drama and shoutiness and being three years old and thinking that this is the single most wonderful thing you’ve ever seen. You can probably buy key fobs and little cuddly bulls from Lamborghini dealerships but I get the feeling that they’re not terribly important. Big lumps of raw beef seem more Lamborghini anyway.
So, the Lamborghini Huracan, for your inner, raw meat eating, three year old. With lots and lots of money.