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Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Paul Gover track tests and reviews the Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria.

It’s easy to fall under the spell of this lean, green machine.

The Kermit green Lamborghini’s V10 is howling as we ease together into Doohan Corner at close to 200km/h.

It’s a moment for trust and commitment on both sides and I’m feeling the love as the Huracan wrapped around me keeps its side of the bargain.

It brings razor-sharp response — the grip you only get in a mid-engined supersports car — and 427kW of performance to punch through the turn and fire out the other side.

I’m only here at Phillip Island for a short time, but it’s quickly turning into a special time. After lapping the track in the past with various Porsches up to the $2 million 918 supercar — and even the Nissan GT-R — I know how well the Huracan is going.

This car is very, very fast and very, very focused. It’s the sort of car which can only give its best on a racetrack, rewarding someone with at least $378,000 and a skill level beyond the average driver.

Even in the land of Lamborghini, the latest Huracan — call it the LP 580-2 — is special.

It has both more and less, which translates to an even better racetrack thrill ride. It’s been stripped back to rear-wheel drive, trimmed of 32kgs and detuned from 610 to 580 horsepower, hence the moniker. It may have less power, but it is a sharper instrument that provides more challenge and more reward.

"It’s more fun to drive," the Huracan team leader, Ricciardo Bettini, says.

This is more power than most people can use, unless every day you can go to the racetrack.

"Enjoyable technology is the meaning of this car. Maybe you have to be a little more skilled to reach the level of performance, but you enjoy it more. This car is more easy to reach the limit."

He’s comparing two of his babies, the new 580-2 running at The Island with the LP 610-4 that brought the new name and shape to Australia for $428,000. The rear-drive Huracan is part of the inevitable rollout of additional models, following the convertible and ahead of the Superleggera that will really push the limits.

Bettini says the 580-2 might be one fifth slower to 100km/h than the brawnier AWD model, and down 5km/h in top speed, but those are just numbers to most potential owners.

"This is more power than most people can use, unless every day you can go to the racetrack. The car is more easy to reach the limit."

Lamborghini is at The Island for one of its Experienza courses, which introduce owners and special invitees to the talents of its cars. This time there are dealers from Japan, owners from China and a group of Australian journalists.

There are four 580-2 coupes available for hot laps behind race drivers in 610-4 pace cars, although no chance to venture into the real world to check quietness or comfort or the other street stuff. But I already know, from the big-brother Huracan, that it’s a special car that turns heads everywhere in the real world.

I’m going for the Kermit green because it’s a Lamborghini signature colour.

Today is about speed and response, as chief instructor Peter Muller — more like a drill sergeant than a retired racer — takes up the job.

"The car is a little bit softer, a little bit safer for people, and a little bit more amusing."

Then it’s time to pick a car and hit the track. I’m going for the Kermit green because it’s a Lamborghini signature colour that goes all the way back to the Miura — the original supercar — in the 1970s.

The cabin is beautifully trimmed in black-and-green leather, the digital dash is bold and bright, the seat wraps around me, and it feels more like a racer than a road car. Then it’s time to go and I select Corsa — track — from the three driving modes, pull the flappy paddle into first and get down to business.

The V10 howls to its 8500 redline. It’s more eager than I remember the all-wheel drive car, slightly more flighty, but still with incredible punch.

Most cars feel slow on a racetrack, but not this Huracan. The numbers on the digital speedometer fly around and I’m having to concentrate hard and plan ahead to get close to its best.

I’m always conscious of the eager turn-in, and the grip and power to balance the performance through the corners, then the punch that would easily push the car past 250km/h if Muller removed the chicane installed for safety at the top of the straight.

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
LP 580-2 5.2L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO No recent listings 2016 Lamborghini Huracan 2016 LP 580-2 Pricing and Specs
LP 610-4 5.2L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO No recent listings 2016 Lamborghini Huracan 2016 LP 610-4 Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8

“The rear-drive Huracan is a special car, extremely fast and very focused, but still fun. It’s one that would make you think seriously before signing for a Ferrari 488.I might be playing Miss Piggy for this Kermit, but we’re dancing a special step together at Phillip Island and it’s one I’ll remember for a long time.Price - A $378,000 tag is still big, but it comfortably undercuts the all-wheel drive model. All the good stuff survives, apart from carbon-ceramic brakes.Technology - Lamborghini has no plan to follow Ferrari down the turbocharger road, relying on large-capacity V10s and V12s to make big power. It has multi-mode driving systems and trick stability control settings to free the performance in safety.Performance - A 3.4-second blast to 100km/h and top speed of 320km/h say it all.Driving - The 580-2 is the driver’s car in the Huracan line-up, pared back and sharpened in a way that will reward people who enjoy corners more than straight-line blasts.Design - Nothing on the road has the visual impact of a Lamborghini and it looks very special in Kermit green.”

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