The Lamborghini Huracán Evo is basically a land-based torpedo
Claiming to go from 0-200km/h in nine seconds, this is a supercar for those who like to live like there's no tomorrow
Amid a collective fear for the virus of the moment, some citizens might consider living like there is no tomorrow. Forget lavatory paper and canned beans - if you are going to make a panic purchase, go big. How about a supercar? No need to worry about friends and family passing judgment on such a crass piece of expenditure in such austere times.
This is what self-isolation is for. And if a significant other must be persuaded of the economic sense in the move, smugly point out how the recent SA Reserve Bank rate cut has improved affordability of certain goods.
Earlier this month we attended the local introduction of the Lamborghini Huracán Evo, the newest expression of the raging V10 bull first launched in 2014. Keen readers of Sunday Times motoring might recall that the last time we featured a Huracán was nearly three years back, in Spyder guise, as part of a springtime comparison including topless specimens of the Jaguar F-Type SVR, Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Audi R8 V10 Plus.
For the sake of propriety, we need to quote the additional, alphanumeric titles that the brand attaches to the nomenclature: LP610-2 and LP640-4. The LP denotes the Longitudinal Posteriore (longitudinally mounted) engine; the following triple digits indicate horsepower and the last number labels the drivetrain - power is sent to the rear wheels in the former, with grunt shoved to all four corners in the latter.
In 2017 the Performante version was added to the range, a lighter, sharper and more focused interpretation for track exploits. The specialised aerodynamics and weight loss programme helped it set the hallowed Nürburgring Nordschleife ablaze.
Piloted by famed factory driver Marco Mapelli, a lap time of 6:52.01 was achieved, making it one of the fastest production cars on the planet to blitz the circuit. For reference, the Porsche 911 (991.2) did it in 6:47.25 not long after.
Now back to the Evo. What will you get in exchange for the outlay, ranging from R4,500,000 to R5,950,000 before options?
We sampled the LP640-4 in coupé format. The 5204cc heart is in the same state of tune as that of the Performante, with 470kW and 600Nm shunted through a doppio frizione transmission with seven forward gears. That means dual clutch, of course, but details of this nature sound far more poetic in Italian.
An observation that provides a neat segue into a paragraph waxing lyrical about the mechanical poetry served by the engine, placed aft of the passenger compartment. A furious screamer, it comes alive after 7,000rpm, mighty and primal as the crescendo of redline is reached. Booting it from standstill, the first-to-second gearshift happens astoundingly fast and with vertebrae-jolting abruptness.
Which is to be expected from a land-based torpedo designed to chase the laws of physics, with a quoted 0-100km/h sprint time of 2.9 seconds, or 0-200km/h in nine seconds if you are so inclined and have access to facilities off public roads.
Our time at the helm was mostly spent with the vehicle engaged in its middle-ground setting, which is Sport, one notch above Strada (street) and a tier below Corsa (race). Rear-wheel steering in addition to all-wheel traction did a fine job of keeping the Evo grafted to sinuous Western Cape tarmac, especially as the road narrowed through the fringes of the province.
But it was the straighter, higher-speed sections of our drive that left palms a little sweatier as the nose of the Huracán showed a propensity to sniff in different directions like an eager basset hound. Its magnetorheological suspension (say that with a mouthful of pizza) seemed to get caught out by sharper undulations, leaving driver and passenger grimacing at the unmistakable sound of contact between rubber and bodywork. Indeed, these are among the practical trade-offs to brace for when you plan to use your supercar in the real world.
Another thing to brace for is the inevitable swarm of people poring over its terrific physique. But that may be the least of your concerns if, a month from now, you find yourself in a situation like the protagonist from the film, I Am Legend, with just a German shepherd for company.
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