For years, whenever someone at a party would ask me, "so what's your favorite car?" or "what's the coolest car you've driven?" I'd blurt out "the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera" faster and with more flourish than you could say "Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle." It's embarrassing, but I've been in love with the impractical wedge-shaped supercar ever since I got a chance to track one back in 2009. I know -- it doesn't make sense, but supercars have a way of affecting men that rarely does.
But all good things must come to an end and Lamborghini has recently put the 10-year old Gallardo out to pasture. Its replacement has been unveiled today: the lighter, slicker, more powerful Lamborghini Huracán. Is it a worthy successor to my favorite car? We'll have to wait until its public debut next year to find out. Until then, we've got all of the newly confirmed details below.
It's called the Huracán
The Huracán is a Lamborghini, so naturally its name comes from the world of bullfighting, like the Murciéllago, Gallardo, and Aventador that came before it. According to Lamborghini, "the fighting bull Huracán of the Spanish Conte de la Patilla breed was known for his outstanding courage and strong sense of attack." Invariably, rappers and young men with Guh-lard-doh (shudders) posters over their beds will end up lazily calling the Who-rah-can the "Hurricane," which it translates to from Spanish.
Get a glimpse at the Lamborghini Gallardo's replacement (pictures) See full gallery
Simplified style for this luxury super sports car
Interestingly, Lamborghini's release refers the the Huracán as a "luxury super sports car" and not a "supercar", which hints that the automaker's mission for the Gallardo replacement may not be as hardcore as before. No matter, there will no doubt be a string of Superleggera, Super Trofeo, and Squadra Corsa variants to come, sharpening the performance to a razor's edge.
The exterior of the Huracán looks, understandably, like an updated Gallardo, but with a great deal of simplifying to the wedge shaped coupe's details. The door handles now sit flush with the sheet metal, levering out when pressed like those of the Jaguar F-Type. The vehicle also looks wider and lower than the car that it replaces. However, without published dimensions, it's hard to tell if it actually is.
The Gallardo's large, deeply sunken side intakes have been shrunken significantly, sitting low before the rear wheels. However, they are now aided by a pair of larger upper intakes that are integrated into the C-pillar, hidden from some angles. I'm not sure yet if I like the look, as I was hoping for something a bit more like the Aventador's gigantic intakes, but I must admit that the styling chosen for the Huracán is cleanly executed.
Not only do the Huracán headlamps feature full LED illumination, but all other lights on and in the vehicle are also state-of-the-art LEDs. Headlamps and tail lights feature a Y-shaped design that echoes that of the larger Aventador.
The interior should be a step up from the Gallardo with a cockpit that is inspired by that of the Aventador, but with an even more angular and architectural execution. A 12.3-inch full-color TFT instrument panel sits in front of the driver, delivers a reconfigurable array of vehicle information, such as a rev counter, maps for navigation maps, and infotainment functions.
The interior is upholstered with fine Nappa leather and Alcantara, material choices that illustrate Lambo wanting the Huracán to feel both luxurious and sporty. Like a good exotic the interior will be offered with a variety of individualization options, but so far we've only seen the black on silver color scheme with contrasting red or yellow stitching.
One peek at the metallic center stack as it slopes into the center tunnel tells us that the new Huracán will be an automatic-gearbox-only affair, as there's no place for a shift lever on its center console. In its place are a pair of very "modern art" looking bits of indeterminate purpose.
The LP 610-4 and the Lamborghini Doppia Frizione
While we're on the subject of the gearbox and its apparent lack of a shift lever, let's talk about the power-train. The important bits about the Huracán engine room can be derived from its alphanumeric suffix, "LP 610-4."
"LP" stands for "Longitudinale Posteriore," indicating that the coupe's engine is longitudinally mounted amidships, the same as that of the Gallardo that it replaces. The engine is cradled by the Huracán's "hybrid chassis" which integrates carbon and aluminum elements into its construction, resulting in race-car stiffness and a fairly lightweight 3,134-pound curb weight. This standard model is now about as light as the previous model's ultralight Superleggera variant.
The next number that we encounter is "610," which designates the new 610-horsepower, 5.2-liter V-10 engine beneath the sloping rear glass window.
Torque is stated at 413 pound-feet, thanks to Lamborghini's new Iniezione Diretta Stratificata (IDS) system, which is fancy Italian for combination direct and indirect gasoline injection system. If this system operates like the system in the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S, it will switch between and combine the benefits of the two injection methods to maximize power and efficiency while reducing emissions.
Fuel economy is stated at 12.5 liters per 100km, which translates to about 18.8 U.S. mpg -- though the different testing cycles of the EPA and the E.U. prevent this from being an apples-to-apples conversion. Top speed is stated at approximately 201 mph with 62 mph coming from a standing start just 3.2 seconds. Zero to 124 mph (200 kph for those who like the metric system) happens in 9.9 seconds.
The last digit, 4, describes the fully electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system. Power leaving the engine first flows through a new 7-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox -- dubbed the Lamborghini Doppia Frizione (LDF), possibly in an attempt to challenge the "Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe" for most difficult gearbox to pronounce -- which is controlled by the driver via a pair of large paddle shifters flanking the flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Also on that steering wheel is a driving dynamics selector switch, which puts the different driving modes of the Huracán at the driver's fingertips. The super sports car features three modes to choose from: Strada, Sport, and Corsa, from mildest to wildest. By changing the modes, you'll also be changing the behavior of the gearbox and engine, the sound of the exhaust, the four-wheel-drive system's characteristics, and the electronic stability control intervention.
Spec the optional ''Lamborghini Dynamic Steering'' variable steering ratio system or the magnetic-controlled dynamic suspension system to tie these systems into the aforementioned three dynamic setups for presumably even more variability to the car's character.
The Huracán's carbon-ceramic brakes, on the other hand, come as a standard feature, ensuring that the car stops faster than it goes.
Availability in spring 2014
The Huracán was unveiled at a private event and will be trotted out at over more 130 private preview events in more than 60 cities throughout the world over the next few months before finally making its public debut at the 2014 Geneva auto show. Expect the first examples to reach buyers in the spring of 2014. Pricing has yet to be determined or revealed, but expect it to be pricey.