The Lamborghini Huracan is reaching the end of its life cycle, but Lamborghini is not done with this model or the combustion engine era just yet. By all accounts the last model, limited-edition Huracán STO, hit a home run of sorts and now they are seeking to capitalise on that. From the land that brought you the Ferrari 296 GTB and Maserati MC20, meet Italia’s Goldilocks of the Raging Bull – the Huracán Tecnica.
It is in essence a STO shorn of its loud wings and spoilers. The Technica and STO can be likened to the Porsche GT3/GT3 RS duo, only the Tecnica has actually arrived in reverse order, making its debut a year after the prime STO version. Historically, the name Tecnica has been used before on the little known 2012 Gallardo Edition Tecnica and now revived for this follow up to the STO.
Not only have they replaced the complex bodywork, the Tecnica also excludes the all expensive CCM-R racing brakes with high heat conductivity and instead uses a regular CCB, ventilated and cross drilled 380 x 38 mm front discs with 356 x 32 mm rear discs. To mitigate the reduction in heat dissipation of the regular CCB brakes, more air is directed to the wheel wells to better disperse the heat. As the auto is primarily constructed for the daily driver and occasionally on the track, Lamborghini felt that the regular CCM brakes are better suited for the Tecnica.
But fret not as the best parts have been infused into the new auto, namely the flirtatious purr of the naturally-aspirated V10 engine with 640 PS, the magneRide suspension, rear wheel steer, RWD layout and the superb Bridgestone Sport tyres. And while it does without the huge 480 kg downform provided from the STO’s wings and spoilers, the engineers still managed a downforce of 180kg nonetheless, which is a 35-percent improvement over the EVO RWD.
The Huracán Tecnica appears as a sharper, face-lifted version of the EVO RWD and it avoids the attention grabbing details of the STO. There is still a bewildering array of body colours and trim to choose from so customisation is still very much on the table for various preferences.
Of all the street-legal Huracán models, the STO is still the lightest, tipping the sales at 1339 kg. But at 1379 kg, the Tecnica is still lighter as compared to the EVO RWD that weighs in at 1389 kg. The STO is the quickest to complete the century sprint within 3.0 seconds, followed by the Tecnica at 3.2 seconds, and trailing behind by a hairline is the EVO RWD at 3.3 seconds. However, due to the aero drag of the large wings on the STO, its top speed is 310 km/h while the other two are capable of topping out at 325 km/h.
The stealthy looks of the Tecnica appeals to me because it hides its true intentions, and not in a bad way. It may look subtler, but a wolf in a Zegna suit is still a wolf. And on real roads away from the track, the Tecnica has better ground clearance so it is not a deterrent to fast driving. Sure, some of the speed bumps need to be circumspect, but the auto is built with a quick action nose lifter just for that.
It did not take long to realise I was driving one of motoring’s greatest. This Tecnica is simply brilliant on the open B-roads. It steers with fabulous directional precision, brimming with exquisite feel both on and off-centre thanks to the Bridgestone Sport tyres. This lends a planted feel to impart any driver with heightened confidence when piloting the Tecnica at various speeds.
The tyres are a product of a painstaking development program which involved Bridgestone’s Italia office right from the beginning. The development engineers weren’t just focused on raw numbers of data. They were of the belief that the tyres needed to provide comfort, good steering feedback, adaptability, progressive on-limit handling and excellent wet weather characteristics.
In the last decade or so, tyre development has progressed considerably and attained a road grip well beyond what is expected for normal daily driving. So while the Tecnica has certainly achieved those raw numbers in the testing facilities, the chassis engineers decided to tune the chassis for a superlative drive experience even for drives below the normal speed limits of the open roads. It infuses engagement into every drive, so even a quick dash for coffee can be an enthralling drive. Of course the Tecnica has capabilities that extend way beyond the streets. Lamborghini offers an optional Race version of the Bridgestone Sport that were on the cars we drove around the Ricardo Tormo circuit near Valencia.
Lamborghini arranged a one-to-one, instructor-to-participant ratio session with the Huracan STO serving as the pace car for our dozen or so laps at the circuit. No doubt the STOs were uncatchable given the instructor’s level of expertise in piloting them, but this allowed us to easily learn the track by following their lead, quickly becoming confident enough to exploit the limits of the Tecnica in its Sport and Corsa mode settings.
From previous experiences with the AWD Huracán EVO, the ability to use all four tyres for grip and handling duties provided for an easier learning curve especially on the track. While it is easier to jump in and command the AWD Huracán EVO around the track, the Huracán EVO RWD provides more driver engagement in return for a bit more caution.
The Huracan Tecnica, with far better communication, better tyres and better algorithms for the stability system produces a less daunting RWD experience. In fact, it is so well crafted that it is easily one of the best RWD drive experiences available today. The Strada (default) mode is well out of its depth on the track but it does well on a day-to-day driving regime. It sets the dampers at their softest and the steering gets a bit more assist. Over rough or bumpy roads, Strada mode fares best.
On the other hand, Sport mode is excellent at higher speeds with an added degree of feeling more planted on the tarmac streets. Over the sinuous roads surrounding Valencia, Sport mode was my go to choice as it summoned the best from the Tecnica’s chassis and allowed me to exploit it right up to its limit and a little beyond.
At the track, Sport mode requires just a bit of acclimatising before one can fully indulge in some oversteering fun. Only in Sport mode does Lamborghini’s electronic stability system allow for a measured amount of oversteer. With having just the two rear tyres handling all that power, do expect the sudden surge forward when you hit the gas on cornerings.
Corsa mode is most useful on the track as it is a manual shifting mode with minimal oversteer. Oversteering, while fun, is the slower way around the track. The Corsa mode keeps the Tecnica planted within the circle limits but it requires you to be well-versed with gear control especially during turns. This of course will be the preferred mode of driving for highly experienced drivers who wish to fully commandeer the Tecnica on the track.
The Huracán STO is a once in a generation gem that ticked all the right boxes but its styling was just too attention grabbing for my liking. By toning these details down a little and developing it with more practicality and affordability in mind, Automobili Lamborghini has created the Goldilocks of sports auto with a wider range of appeal that is every bit as drive-worthy as the STO.
Who would have thought that rear-wheel drive would be Lamborghini’s forte? While the ultimate Huracán (possibly limited edition) will debut late this year, the Huracán Tecnica is not a limited-edition production and probably is the penultimate choice for the best sounding nat-asp V10 with top-class RWD handling before the era of electrification takes over.