Gareth Herincx puts the new Lamborghini Huracán EVO through its paces on the roads of Sardinia…
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014, the Huracán – Lamborghini’s Gallardo replacement – wowed the crowds.
It became a best-seller too, but the critics weren’t entirely convinced, so for 2019 Lamborghini has launched the Huracán EVO.
As the name suggests, it’s an evolution of the previous model, but the reality is that it’s much more than an update.
Back at base in Sant’Agata Bolognese – that tiny triangle between Bologna and Modena fittingly defined as “Terra dei Motori” (Motor Valley) – Lambo’s engineers went to town when they were creating the EVO.
At first glance, it doesn’t look much different. Get a little closer and you’ll see that there’s a new front splitter with an integrated wing, while the enlarged air intakes feature the Y-shape – a Lamborghini design DNA essential.
The floor of the car has been tweaked too, improving downforce and aerodynamic efficiency by more than five times compared to the original Huracán.
At the rear, the spoiler has morphed into a slotted double-decker ducktail, while the twin exhausts are mounted higher.
Elsewhere, the evergreen Huracán styling continues to pay homage to iconic Raging Bulls of the past. The bonnet lines are inspired by the Countach, the skirt air ducts are reminiscent of the Murciélago and the raised tailpipes are pure Lamborghini.
The EVO has inherited the mighty 5.2-litre V10 from the limited edition, track-focused Huracán Peformante. Developing 631bhp at 8000rpm, and 442lb ft of torque at 6500rpm, it can accelerate to 62mph in just 2.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 202mph. Paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, it’s probably one of the last great naturally-aspirated engines.
More importantly, the EVO has now been blessed with other goodies including rear-wheel steering, four-wheel torque vectoring, improved suspension and a new all-wheel drive system.
An on-board computer (Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata or LDVI) helps all the tech work in perfect harmony, creating a clever car which has the ability to flatter the driver more often than not.
Inside, the basic digital dashboard is much the same, but the central stack now features a new 8.4-inch portrait style infotainment display, controlling most of the EVO’s major functions.
There’s an array of quality toggle switches to keep traditionalists like me happy, plus a few quirks (the indicators and wipers are both controlled via switches on the multi-function steering wheel).
The cockpit looks the part and is a comfortable and exciting place to be, though the seats would benefit from larger side bolsters for extra support.
Storage space is at a premium. Being mid-engined, the rear of the car is all V10. However, there is a small area behind the two seats, plus a modest space under the bonnet (just make sure you travel light).
There are three driving modes – Strada, Sport and Corsa – selected via a toggle switch at the base of the steering wheel.
Strada is the most refined, road-biased setting, but if you want some fun then select Sport. Not only does the EVO get a little tail-happy if pushed, but that V10 begins to howl big time and there’s no shortage of pops and crackles on down-changes.
Go for Corsa (track mode) and the engine note is even more ferocious, the gearbox switches to manual only, the suspension stiffens up and it’s a real handful in the best possible way.
Safer to stick to Sport on the road where you can build up your confidence levels quicker than you might think. The EVO handles astonishingly well, with exceptional grip when cornering and huge amounts of traction, while the steering is precise, quick and nicely weighted.
Overall, it’s blisteringly fast, yet feels composed and totally planted – a thrilling, enthralling driving experience.
There are so few negatives that it seems mean to even mention one, but from a daily driver point of view, visibility can be challenging. Pulling out of junctions requires extra care, while parking is tricky. The rear-view camera is handy, but you’ll probably still find yourself parking a foot away from the kerb more often than not.
On a positive note, I drove the Huracán EVO in Sardinia and there’s no doubt that it’s a piece of automotive theatre – a real crowd-pleaser. I lost count of the number cars that flashed and honked at me, plus the waving locals.
It’s a car that makes you feel special. Not just because of the way it looks or the smile it puts on your face (and others), but because you’re driving the direct descendant of some of the most iconic cars in history.
Verdict: The Lamborghini Huracán EVO is a rare beast – a stunning looking Italian thoroughbred with a V10 soundtrack to die for, that’s surprisingly easy to drive and hugely entertaining, yet with a brutal edge… should you wish to discover it.
Price: from £206,000
Engine: V10, 5204cc, petrol
Power: 631bhp at 8000rpm
Torque: 443lb ft at 6500rpm
Gearbox: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Dry weight: 1422kg
Acceleration: 0-62mph in 2.9secs
Top speed: 202mph+
Economy: 20.6mpg, CO2 332g/km
Rivals: McLaren 720S, Ferrari 488 GTB