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Lamborghini Huracan EVO First Drive In Circuit Manama, Bahrain.

Resident Refuel Contributor Andre Lam Tests The Huracan EVO.

P: Tom Salt, Charlie Magee, Ingo Barenschee, Wolfango Sparcarelli

It is hard to believe but the Lamborghini Huracan is nearly five years old with the only variant being the Performante in both coupe and convertible form. The Lamborghini Huracan EVO is of course the mid-life face-lift to ensure another four or five years of reign before its replacement.

There are subtle but noticeable clues that this is the new Huracan EVO. The biggest is the raised slotted rear deck-lid spoiler that helps generate seven times more downforce than the standard Huracan, though it is less than the bewinged Huracan Performante. There is also a pronounced rear diffuser to increase downforce and the quad exhaust pipes are now cut to just two, each emerging from either side of the rear licence plate. 

In front the spoiler gets a pronounced front floating splitter to improve both aero drag and downforce. The streamlining is now so efficient that actual aerodynamic drag is better than the standard Huracan yet downforce is considerably greater without any active aerodynamic system (ALA) like the one found in the Performante. 

The interior is largely unchanged save for a new 8.4-inch Touchscreen display for the central infotainment system. Because in this day and age, connectivity or lack thereof is a deal breaker hence Lamborghini has adopted Apple CarPlay with smartphone integration. This includes the voice activated virtual assistant called Siri while the Android version is being readied. 

Being equipped with a multitude of on-board performance monitoring sensors for its stability system, Lamborghini now uses this data to provide the user with live telemetry that can be displayed on the new screen or you can review the finer points of the laps you have just done.

Critics might say that the Lamborghini Huracan EVO is a mere refresh to jump start sales of the standard Huracan that was launched back in 2014. That might be true but that is to miss the whole point of the Huracan EVO as there is a lot more to the EVO than what meets the eye. 

The Huracan EVO is not about aerodynamics, it is really about honing the package such that a normal driver can more easily access the 640 hp engine taken from the Performante. While the absolute power is identical, the throttle mapping is less aggressive for smoother progress. 

Luckily they have allowed the Huracan EVO to have the same exciting V10 soundtrack as the high flow Titanium exhaust system is similar to that of the Performante which helps cut about 10kgs of weight compared to the old exhaust system. The V10 engine gets a useful 30 hp power lift through optimising gas flow and the use of titanium valves which can operate at faster valve opening and closing rates. 

Though the Huracan EVO is not going to usurp the Huracan Performante in terms of lap times, having the same 640 hp V10 engine gives the Huracan EVO just about the same level of straight line performance with both reaching 100km/h in 2.9 seconds and having a similar top speed of over 325 km/h.

Electronic stability systems being used by Lamborghini before the Huracan EVO were of the reactive type meaning to say it has to detect some wayward behaviour before correcting it. In the early systems this was felt quite clearly and sometimes lurchy and often untidy. As systems got faster the reaction times fell and corrections became more seamless. 

In racing, the faster driver around a track is one who already knows the way around the difficult parts rather than the driver who is feeling his way around. So Lamborghini has implemented a radically new stability strategy instead of the one that is always correcting after the fact.

Like the driver who already knows his way around the track this system is already primed and calculating the steps ahead, meting out countermeasures in just 20ms. This does not mean it is driving autonomously rather it is constantly monitoring and comparing the drivers inputs and only offering the best set of corrections via the torque vectoring, power delivery, damper settings, braking when it suspects things going awry. 

There is also another new key component to the Huracan EVO's newfound ability- rear wheel steering. First seen in the Aventador S it is finally implemented in the Huracan EVO. This seemingly small device gives the Huracan EVO far greater agility and steering sharpness without the harsher ride that comes with stiffer springs. It also gains the stability at speeds that comes from a much longer wheelbase without actually being any longer or bigger.

Lamborghini has kept the original spring rates but the damping has been overhauled. Also taken from the Huracan Performante are the anti roll bars.The latest Magneride suspension used has the quickest and most resolved damping capability on offer. Not just capable of applying greater damping forces, it can apply subtle and variable damping to smoothen out road impacts in mid bump to give the impression of imperturbability. 

The Drive

Though we were not given the opportunity to have a road drive, we had the F1 circuit at our disposal. The Bahrain International Circuit is a full-fledged F1 track and one of the best in the world. We were required to keep up with an instructor in an identical Huracan EVO through 12 hot laps in three sessions.

By only having one car follow the instructor we could quickly reach and explore the outer limits of the Huracan EVO by just by following and keeping pace with the instructor who was trying to show what the latest stability system called LDVI (Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata) could do. 

But as the new stability system is so seamless and organic in its application, one hardly detects that it is doing anything. It just feels as if one has made all the right moves. There are three drive modes to choose from. Strada is the default mode and the most pleasant drive mode thanks to the relatively smooth DCT but it is unsuitable for track use.

Sport mode and Corsa mode are better suited for track use. Sport mode is the most fun but slower on the track and Corsa is a no-nonsense mode where one needs to shift manually while the stability system keeps the car sharp and as close to neutral as possible for a quick and neat lap time. 

For me Sport is the most fun mode because it readily allows the driver to push past the considerable limits to drift the EVO for some wayward fun in the safe confines of a track. So seamless is the LDVI that it is possible to take things for granted but it's by no mean infallible requiring a modicum of experience at the wheel.

While it is always a good idea for owners to go for a skills upgrade, Lamborghini has now given the Huracan EVO greater breadth of ability by being easier to drive yet is far more capable in handling and by Lamborghini's own admission is quicker than the Huracan Performante around parts of the race track where it is trickier and where there is much less aerodynamic downforce. Meaning to say the slower more torturous parts.

By bringing the Huracan EVO's capability closer to the driver's ability Lamborghini has made the Huracan EVO a far more enjoyable drive than even the Huracan Performante. However seeing the remarkable progress made with the Huracan EVO it is not hard to predict what the next Performante (EVO) is going to be like.‚Äč


Car: Lamborghini Huracan EVO

Engine: 5204cc, 40-valves, V10, Normal Aspiration

Transmission: 7-Speed LDF (DCT)

Power: 640 hp at 8000 rpm

Torque: 600 Nm at 6500 rpm

0-100 km/h: 2.9 seconds

Top Speed: 325 km/h +