A short time ago, I left you with my impressions of the Porsche 911 GT3. Even now, I am still in love with that car (Tiffany…call me). However, love is blind and everyoneâ€™s a critic.
Just after the publication of that piece, I got a text from a buddy who published an outstanding review on the Lamborghini HuracÃ¡n. It simply declaredÂ â€œNo way a GT3 can keep up with a HuracÃ¡n.â€� Well my limited resources were never going to make that track test happen, but I do have access to a pair of HuracÃ¡nsâ€¦
So, why not see what the hype is about?
Let’s just get itÂ out of the way; this is not a rehash of Baruthâ€™s write up in Road Â Track. This is my lesser driving ability and writing talent on a shorter racetrack filtered through my time with the new baby Lambo. The shorter track is key, because when JB was giving the Lambo the business, I also receivedÂ a text photo ofÂ a recorded 176 MPH saved on the dash. I don’t have enough track or skillsÂ to match that.
Not that I wouldn’t tryâ€¦
I have always liked Lamborghinis. I would even bet money my first exposure was the same as yours: The opening scene of “The Cannonball Run” with Tara Buckman exiting the black scissor door and expressing her opinion on the then 55 mphÂ speed limit.
I liked them, but I never loved them. They seemed to beÂ beautifully designedÂ but delicate machines. They never really had the track cred of their Italian neighbors and certainly not the collection of titles from my beloved Stuttgart crew. I neverÂ drove one until 2014 when I got behind the wheel of a trio of Gallardoâ€™s at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit. I got a chance to drive both the AWD and rear wheel drive versions. They weren’t bad cars, but even withÂ my svelte 6-foot runners frame, fitting inside became challenging and, after a while, somewhat painful as my helmeted head was always slightly tilted.
So when I was first exposed to the HuracÃ¡n, I dismissed it as a modern Gallardo and went back to dry-humping theÂ GT3. However,Â Saturday morning found me behind the wheel of the big red beast. You already know this, so chalk it up to verification, but it fits people. Not just taller people, but short ones as well. The Gallardo was not only painful for tall folks, but challenging for short ones; the seat simply did not have the range of motion. This one is much more usable.
That doesn’t mean the Lambo has gone all â€œnormal.â€� The dashÂ is still an aggressive liquid crystal display, even for the center gauges and environmental control display combo. Both theHuracÃ¡n and Aventador were inspired by the shape of the F-117 Stealth Fighter, so jagged corners permeate the styling. Unlike the McLaren, which feels almost sterile in comparison, the HuracÃ¡n is unapologetically a Lamborghini, like all before it. Thatâ€™s a good thing.
The next unapologetic aspect of the car is the 602 horsepowerÂ V10 bomb behind the driver.
Crap. (This is not what I said, but we both have jobs we’d like to keep)
That outburst came from aÂ client who had literally only driven one car her entire life: A 1967 Camaro with a well worn 327 cu V-8. So when I asked her to step on the gas and roll onto the track, she literally stomped on the accelerator. The stability control and AWD kept the car pointed forward, but just barely. The demonic howl was enough to interrupt the classroom session next to the trackâ€¦on the second floor.
The eight-speed transmission clicks off shifts as smoothly and seamless as you would expect, either with the side-mounted paddles or left to its on capable devices. The only possible drawback is the occasional unwillingness to downshift when left in â€œStrada,â€� which if you are on a track you shouldn’t do. However, if you are in the right seat, next to a college sophomore who has never driven anything more powerful than Momâ€™s Honda Pilot, you absolutely leave the car in â€œStrada.â€� Don’t worry. The acceleration is still more than enough to cause an audible gasp. Even more impressive is the HuracÃ¡n’sÂ rolling start. A well-executed entry onto Hallettâ€™s turn 12 and full application of throttle would build speed so quickly, every client I rode with would lift before the marker Â½-way down the main straight.
Even in New Jersey, at Englishtownâ€™s impossibly tight track with very boisterous locals, I never had to verbally tell anyone to lift down the short straightaway. This is still a Lamborghini and it still scares people. They just did it on their own. The gap from this car and your very fast M3 is farther than the gap between the same M3 and my 1966 El Camino.
In this light, I began to understand Jackâ€™s claim about the HuracÃ¡n. It is explosive and accelerates like nothing you have experienced. Itâ€™s wildly expressive, more communicative than you expect, and scarier than most can imagine. It is blisteringly fast and outrageous as everyÂ Lamborghini should be.
Thatâ€™s where I depart from the narrative. The Lamborghini HuracÃ¡n is indeed staggering. It is the definition ofÂ a “supercar” and, in that sense, light years beyond the 911 GT3 â€” even the GT2. The Audi guts inside are far more reliable than anything featured in “The Cannonball Run” or the litany of knock-offs and sequels. The styling will always command attention from downtown Dallas to your local Cars and Coffee.
As advanced and capable as it is, on a tight track, itâ€™s not a race car. Even under Audiâ€™s stewardship, Lamborghiniâ€™s lack of a racing heritage shows. The car will eat 458 Italiaâ€™s without breathing heavy, but the Ferrari will always feel more like a driver’s car. The Nissan GT-R cleans up any mess you make like your mother when you have the flu, butÂ the HuracÃ¡n will effortlesslyÂ stomp it to oblivion.
None of that matters, because the Lamborghini HuracÃ¡n is not a car for the track or to beat other cars. It is an amazing achievement. While most of these specimensÂ will spend too much time in garages or cruising South Beach, the HuracÃ¡n is a truly great car. You could actually live with one of these everyday, but it was built for one very narrow niche.
The Lamborghini HuracÃ¡n is a car for fans of the Bull. It is the fulfillment of a visual and audio promise made in 1981 when we saw those scissor doors open for the first time. It is a car built for those who truly love Lamborghini, and honestly, itâ€™s about damn time.
Photography by Nick Boris.
Lamborghini contributed absolutelyÂ nothing to this review. It was researchedÂ over 18 separate days in at tracksÂ in Oklahoma, Georgia,Â Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey coachingÂ with Xtreme Xperience, burning their gas and using up their tires whileÂ driving and riding in their collection of exotics. Christian was compensated by Xtreme Xperince, but they had no influence over the outcome of this review.
Christian â€œMentalâ€� Ward has owned over 70 cars and destroyed most of them. NextÂ monthÂ he will be racingÂ with those madcap Baruth brothers in Michigan. You can follow that impending debacle onÂ Twitter, Instagram and Vine at M3ntalward.Â