Never before would I look at a Lamborghini as a commuter.

Impossibly low, overly wide, negligible rear vision and harsh drivetrain: that was strictly for maximum performance on unrestricted roads. Then there's the Huracan. The first of Lamborghini's Gallardo successors has hit Australia and Carsguide spent a day in its leather-trimmed cabin, on the open road and at the mall carpark.

DESIGN

In the metal it's prettier than the angular Gallardo, its lines fluid, and it returns to nearer Lamborghini's preferred 2:1 ratio of width to height (the maker having discarded that formula for the Gallardo). But it's undeniably Lamborghini — the shark-nose bonnet, corporate hexagonal shapes and the upper and lower intakes on the flanks.

And the name, Huracan, which continues Lamborghini's theme of naming its cars after fighting bulls. The Huracan's drop-dead beautiful silhouette and its surprising ease to drive will further confirm Lamborghini as the exotic choice for single women. Amazingly, Lamborghini has a higher ownership percentage of women — and mostly single women — than Ferrari.

DRIVING

The Huracan opens itself for a drive by first popping out its door handle stalk. It's a conventional door, not a scissor design like the Aventador, and though low, it's not a difficult car to enter.

Starting is keyless, with the theatre of flipping up a starter-button cover, pressing while holding the brake pedal then pulling on the right-side steering-column paddle and releasing the electric park brake to roll forward.
Reverse is engaged by a lift-up lever.

Keep it in "strada" mode — for street and the less threatening of the three driving modes — and the Huracan is composed, and as civilised and quiet as a car from parent company Audi.

Even when the road gets a bit bumpy, the ride is taut, compliant and sound proofed. The leather seats are very comfortable and adjustable. The digital instrument panels changes its display depending on the driving mode selected.

It's never intimidating — certainly not like the Aventador — until the road opens and sport mode is engaged. Lamborghini landed the Huracan first in Perth with a $428,000 price tag, an academic top speed of 325km/h and a blistering 0-100km/h acceleration time of 3.2 seconds — 0.3 seconds slower than the $761,500 Aventador.

This is more about image, not how fast it is. Forget that detail. It dominates the road, brash and brawling with an exhaust note that bites at the ear. You can't help but turn at the sound of the Huracan's exhaust.

The "Strada" mode is domesticated but "Sport" sharpens the act, opening the exhaust baffles, lessening interference from the stability controls, raising the shift points of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, firming the damper settings and increasing the weight of the clever variable-ratio, electric-assist steering.

Go up to "Corsa" for even firmer settings and less nannying by the electronics. The engine punches out its full 449kW (or 610 horses, hence the variant name) at an astonishing 8250rpm, just below its 8500rpm cut-off.

It seems ridiculously high revs for a road car but the fact is that the 10 pistons get there incredibly quickly. Torque distribution and predictable steering make it easy to drive into a fast corner. Excellent feedback compliments its flat stance and glue-like grip. Stability control is assisted by three gyroscopes.