Fast with a bit of wayward fun

The Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 offers three driving modes, with the Sport mode the most satisfying.
The Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 offers three driving modes, with the Sport mode the most satisfying.PHOTO: LAMBORGHINI
The Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 offers three driving modes, with the Sport mode the most satisfying.
The Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 offers three driving modes, with the Sport mode the most satisfying.PHOTO: LAMBORGHINI

New Huracan two-wheel drive designed for drivers looking for more thrills than pure speed

According to Lamborghini, up to 60 per cent of Huracan sales henceforth would come from this two-wheel-drive version called LP 580-2.

The sheer speed and sure- footedness of the all-wheel-drive LP 610-4 are great for bragging rights, but there is an untapped demand from drivers looking for fun behind the wheel instead of pure velocity.

When it comes to rear-drive fun, drifting comes to mind. While professional drivers could drift easily, it would be a real challenge for Lambo customers to do it safely in the LP 580-2. Some degree of skill is needed, as well as the safety of a race track.

In the good old days, the driver is responsible for the inducement and outcome of an oversteer manoeuvre. But today, Lamborghini has exploited the great computing power of the car's on-board electronics and tweaked the relevant systems to allow controlled oversteer before bringing the sliding car back into line.

The car does not produce oversteer, though. The driver still has to be able to induce it, but the electronic nanny allows about 20 degrees of oversteer before cutting in. Of course, the driver still needs to make prompt steering corrections instead of simply mashing his right foot on the accelerator.

Of the three drive modes (Strada/normal, Sport and Corsa/track), oversteer is allowed only in Sport mode.

Strada is the most restrictive mode, but it is the most comfortable, while Corsa is the most aggressive, so as to deliver the fastest and neatest lap times. Corsa also requires the driver to paddle-shift the gears manually.

On Doha's Losail Circuit, I found that drifting is not the fastest way around a corner. The Sport mode is the most shiok.

The LP 580-2 is in many aspects similar to the LP 610-4, but there are subtle differences, such as a larger front splitter, a new lip spoiler at the back and a redesigned rear diffuser.

The removal of the all-wheel- drive components has saved 33kg. The suspension has been softened by 10 per cent to suit the rear-drive handling. Grippier Pirelli P-Zeros have also been developed for the LP 580-2, to aid front turn-in and provide better steering feel.

  • SPECS/LAMBORGHINI HURACAN LP 580-2

  • Price with COE: To be announced

    Engine: 5,204cc 40-valve V10

    Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch with manual select

    Power: 580bhp at 8,000rpm

    Torque: 540Nm at 6,500rpm

    0-100kmh: 3.4 seconds

    Top speed: 320kmh

    Fuel consumption: 11.9 litres/100km

    Agent: Lamborghini Singapore

The engine has been de-tuned to 580bhp, but it offers a broader and more accessible spread of torque. The car seems more responsive to throttle inputs.

There is no manual gearbox option. With Lamborghini's dual- clutch transmission, the Huracan scrambles to 100kmh in 3.4 seconds, just two-tenths of a second behind the LP 610-4, and reaches a top speed of 320kmh.

It is hardly any slower. The steering is more communicative, especially in Sport mode. I can feel the movement of the rear tyres clearly as they "read" the road.

The Huracan LP 580-2 is more entertaining and engrossing than the LP 610-4. By introducing a bit of waywardness to the car's handling, Lamborghini has created something really brilliant.

•The writer is a regular contributor to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2016, with the headline 'Fast with a bit of wayward fun'. Print Edition | Subscribe