The Lamborghini Huracán simply cannot be ignored. Its simple, stunning wedge shape -- nose canted down, shaving the asphalt -- turns heads and slackens jaws regardless of the understated, silver-gray paint seen here.
Wrapped in a dark gray called Grigio Lynx, the $282,125 Lamborghini Huracán I tested attracts plenty of attention, helped by the 10-spoke, 20-inch forged wheels and the unholy roar of its 600-horsepower V-10. Driving this car is a visceral thrill despite the undeniable fact that beneath that luscious exterior it's a humble Audi at heart. You can buy basically the same car for $60,000 less if you're willing to forgo the sexy looks and call it "R8 V-10" instead of "Huracán."
But that would be a shame, and I'll tell you why.
The Huracán ("hurricane" in Spanish, pronounced "hooh-rah-KAHN") is Lamborghini's most affordable model -- but, since Lamborghini really only makes two cars spread into about a dozen variations of convertibles and special editions, that's hardly a knock against. With a starting MSRP of $237,250, the word "affordable" is strictly relative.
Call it by its full name, Huracán LP 610-4, and you learn a little more about it. "LP" refers to a longitudinal engine configuration, which means the rear-mounted, 5.2-liter V-10 sits lengthwise along the same axis as the car. The numbers, meanwhile, come from the 610 metric horsepower delivered to the ground through all four wheels (thus, 610-4). If you prefer old-school, American horsepower, you're looking at an ever -so-slightly more tame 601. But, really, once you get over 600, what's an extra 10?
A seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox delivers rapid-fire shifts controlled by a pair of paddles behind the flat-bottomed, leather-wrapped steering wheel. This wheel and the pair of pedals on the floor are about the only interior controls that you might label "conventional." Everything else looks like it escaped from the cockpit of a decommissioned F-117 stealth fighter -- or, perhaps more precisely, the mind of a big kid with a poster of an F-117 on his wall.
Depending on your proclivity toward silly switchgear and unusually shaped buttons, this cockpit design will either be a very good or a very bad thing. For example, to start the car you flip up a crimson safety switch and stab at the "START" button hidden beneath -- a motion that will give you visions of releasing precision-guided weaponry. Many of the rest of the buttons and controls are curiously angled, as if to reduce their radar signature, and the dashboard switches are arrayed in a similarly aeronautical arrangement.
For the first week, the cockpit feel will make you and anyone in the passenger seat smile like a giddy 10-year-old, but it's easy to see that these details will lose their charm after a time. I wonder whether this particularly distinctive interior will be a notable, loved part of this car's charisma in the long-term, or whether it will at some point in the future look as tacky and dated as '80s digital dashboards do today.
But I don't care -- I love it. The overall interior design language is a strong signature for Lamborghini and makes the Huracán feel both incredibly sophisticated yet somewhat cheeky.