Lamborghini unveils Gallardo replacement
Deliveries of new Huracan start in the spring
The new 601-hp Lamborghini Huracan is the latest in the automaker's line of supercars. The 5.2-liter V-10 mid-engined coupe replaces the most successful Lamborghini model of all time, the Gallardo, as the entry into the brand's lineup.
The Huracan will make its public debut at the Geneva auto show in March and deliveries will start in spring this year.
No prices have been announced.
The Huracan joins the more powerful Aventador in what is described as the youngest Lamborghini lineup since the Italian carmaker's long-term future was secured following its purchase by Audi in 1998.
The initial model, which carries the designation LP610-4, will be available in four-wheel-drive guise only.
Like its predecessor, a lighter rear-wheel-drive version of the Huracan has been conceived and is planned to go on sale in 2015, according to officials at Lamborghini's Sant'Agata headquarters in Italy.
True to Lamborghini tradition, the Huracan flaunts a highly extravagant appearance, with a distinctive wedge-shaped silhouette. The styling advances the dramatic lines and sheer surfacing treatment established on the Gallardo, with a more muscular-looking exterior.
Lamborghini's design team has placed emphasis on an impression of width, seen in the added flare of the wheel arches, a more defined shoulder line down the flanks and large cooling ducts toward the rear.
The Huracan borrows various design elements from the larger Aventador, including its distinctive internal LED-accented headlamp and tail-lamp graphics.
Lamborghini has yet to confirm the dimensions of the new car, although these first official photographs reveal it has grown both in length and width while retaining a similar height to the Gallardo. Unofficial figures hint at a slightly longer wheelbase and wider tracks, giving it a larger footprint.
Along with the coupe version, Lamborghini plans to launch an open-top Huracan Spyder. Like the rear-wheel-drive variant, it's not likely to surface before 2015.
Mirroring the Aventador, the Huracan makes extensive use of carbon fiber in a bid to shed weight. Its main structure, elements of which will be shared with the upcoming second-generation Audi R8, is constructed primarily of aluminum. However, the inclusion of carbon fiber within the bulkhead, floor and roof are partly credited with a 78kg reduction in curb weight to 1,422kg compared with the four-wheel-drive Gallardo LP560-4.
Power for Lamborghini's newest model comes from a revised version of its predecessor's naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 gasoline engine.
Among the changes brought to the 90-degree unit, which will also be seen on the second-generation R8, is a revised injection system that uses both direct and indirect injection processes to improve combustion properties and overall efficiency. Further modifications were made to the exhaust system to reduce back pressure for added throttle response and reducing particulates – the latter required to ensure it meets upcoming EU6 emission regulations.
As alluded to in its LP610-4 model designation, the initial Huracan model offers 610 hp. However, this figure is quoted in DIN horsepower, or Cavalli Vapore in Italian. When converted to SAE horsepower, the new Lamborghini officially offers 601 hp.
This is 49 hp and more than the standard four-wheel-drive Gallardo LP560-4., which ceased production back in October. It has 39 hp more than the most powerful and final version of the Gallardo, the limited edition LP570-4 Squadra Corse revealed at the Frankfurt motor show last September.
The increase in power combines with the Lamborghini's reduced weight to give the Huracan a weight-to-power ratio of 2.33kg per hp. By comparison, the Gallardo LP560-4 boasted 2.72kg per hp.
To make the most of the increase in power, Lamborghini has provided the Huracan with a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with large, steering wheel-mounted shift paddles as standard. A development of the unit used by Audi in the existing first-generation R8, it replaces the six-speed manual gearbox that came as standard on the Gallardo. The robotized version of the six-speed manual, which went under the name E-gear, has been discontinued.
The new transmission, dubbed Lamborghini Doppia Frizione or simply LDF, operates in combination with an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch four-wheel-drive system to provide drive to each wheel. The proportion of drive acting on the front and rear axles varies depending on the prevailing traction, with insiders claiming fast response times due to more new electronics in what is described as a fourth-generation system.
As with the Gallardo, the Huracan offers a choice of three different driving modes: Strada, Sport and Corsa. Each mode provides different characteristics for the operation of the transmission, engine, four-wheel-drive system, electronic-stability-control system and the sound of the exhaust.
With a 0-100koh time of 3.2 seconds, the Huracan LP610-4 is claimed to out-sprint the four-wheel-drive Gallardo LP560-4 to the standard acceleration benchmark by an impressive 0.5 second. It also eclipses the official time of the Ferrari 458 Italia by 0.2 second. Top speed is put at 325kph, the same as that quoted for the Gallardo LP560-4 and the Ferrari 458 Italia.
Together with the improvement in outright straight-line performance, Lamborghini says the Huracan is its most economical car to date. With new fuel-saving features such as an automatic stop/start function making it more efficient in city-driving conditions, it is claimed to provide fuel consumption of 12.5 liters per 100km. This compares to the four-wheel-drive Gallardo's figures of 13.7l per 100km.
The Huracan will be produced alongside the Aventador at Lamborghini's Sant'Agata headquarters on the outskirts of Modena, Italy.
The Huracan replaces the top-selling Lamborghini model of all time. With a run of more than 10 years, the Gallardo racked up 14,022 sales worldwide prior to an official end to production on Nov. 25, 2013.
The new Lamborghini takes the name of a prize-winning Spanish fighting bull. Huracan was part of the Conte de la Patilla breed that fought in the Spanish city of Alicante in 1879, according to Lamborghini.
You can reach Greg Kable at firstname.lastname@example.org.