Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: April 20, 2021
Inspired by the Evo upgrades on GT3 race cars, the Huracán EVO represents a mid-cycle refresh of the baby Lamborghini, and with it comes more horsepower, better aerodynamics, four-wheel steering, and a new infotainment unit. Available in both rear- and all-wheel drive, the Huracán EVO caters towards both driving enthusiasts and those who just want a flashy yet secure ride through town. While not the most hardcore bull in the stable, the Huracán has always impressed us with its wild supercar styling, atmospheric V10 engine, and playful rear end.
The model we tested was the RWD Coupe, the only rear-driven Lamborghini currently being sold. Why is that important? By removing the front driveshaft and rear-wheel steering system that saves around 30 kg, it frees up the front wheels from having to do two jobs at once. Instead of applying power to the ground and trying to steer, it only does the latter. That leaves a pure and unfiltered line of communication to the driver’s fingertips, meaning you can actually feel the grip of the tires as the steering resistance ebbs and flows in weight and feedback. Simply put, it’s the better driver’s car.
Audi did a similar thing with their R8 RWS by ditching the front axle and focusing on what really matters: the driving experience. Forget about lap times or meaningless top speed records. By trading traction for engagement, the car feels infinitely more alive and organic. Of course, with only two driven wheels, you lose traction when launching off the line, and the Huracán RWD is four-tenths of a second slower from 0-100 km/h than the AWD model, but we never noticed, nor did we struggle for grip with our Pirelli Sottozero winter tires even in single-digit rainy conditions.
Much of that road glue comes down to the new Performance Traction Control System. Whereas regular traction control systems instantly cut power and only add that power back once the car has stabilized, the Huracán will send power in advance so that once it has realigned following bouts of oversteer, it will have the power on hand to keep the train moving. It’s basically a guardian angel but one with a party hat that tells you to take more shots. The result is a rear end that playfully wags its tail out without the razor-thin margins that usually plague snappy mid-engine cars with short wheelbases. You can keep the throttle pinned yet have total oversteer control as the systems cut and add the power to keep you sliding. Of course, you still get that typical Lamborghini heap of understeer that you have to power through but it’s not as pronounced here.
The purity of RWD only serves to augment the star of the Huracán’s arsenal, it’s naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine. Free from turbochargers and anything choking down the airflow, this beating heart produces 602 horsepower, revs to the heavens, and the exhaust with titanium intake valves is equally as entertaining as the one in the more expensive Performante. While not as smooth and operatic as the V12 soundtrack from the Aventador SVJ, this V10 sings with more character to its beats, more vibrational bass, and its 8,500 rpm howl serves a rush of dopamine to anyone within a one-kilometre radius.
Despite its high displacement, the one tradeoff to the V10’s free-revving nature is that it only produces 413 lb-ft of torque, far off from its turbocharged rivals like the Ferrari 488 GTB (561 lb-ft) and McLaren 570S (443 lb-ft). Furthermore, the RWD model gets detuned by about 29 hp and 33 lb-ft versus the AWD model, but its lighter curb weight just about nullifies the penalty. The linear and predictable power delivery is worth it, though. There’s no sudden surge in power, and no surprise kick in the crotch. The ride is quite good too, comfortable enough by supercar standards, but not as supple as the McLaren GT or as well-balanced as the Porsche 911 Turbo.
Along with the EVO upgrades that add mid-mounted exhausts and an integrated rear duck spoiler, the RWD model commands its own design features to differentiate itself from its AWD stablemate. There is a unique front splitter with larger air intakes, and a new rear diffuser with high-gloss black bumper. The front end remains shark-like, visually balanced, and tweaked for more downforce to account for the lighter nose. And while the rear is definitely more imposing and substantial with the integrated wing, it loses that sense of cleanliness from the outgoing Huracán, and actually looks a bit like the McLaren 720S from the three-quarter angle. Still, one cannot deny that the Huracán is eye-catching, especially when draped in this $16,390 shade of Rosso Efesto, a hue of red that is worth every penny. Boasting multiple layers of paint that create depth and vibrancy that doesn’t shout at you like Rosso Mars, there’s a slightly darker and deeper tint to it, like a prized ruby.
One of the EVO’s most significant additions is the new 8.4-inch touchscreen embedded into the center console, replacing the somewhat poorly integrated Audi unit that still lives on in the Aventador. This new portrait-oriented screen houses better connectivity, crispier graphics, and it’s more responsive than the one in the McLaren GT. It even includes Apple CarPlay should you prefer a more familiar interface, but the lack of actual hard buttons and dials forces most high-traffic features into a two-input affair, like changing the music or turning up the heat.
The steering wheel is a beautiful thing to behold, flanked by massive column-mounted paddle shifters, and is more modern and functional than the one in the Aventador. While void of buttons for audio and infotainment, Lamborghini has instead integrated the signal indicator and wiper stalk to the toggles on the left and right steering wheel spokes. While odd at first, it only takes an hour or two behind the wheel to get used to the motions. It also clears up a lot of space around the steering column so your knees and legs have more room.
The optional sport seats with carbon fibre backface look great and are manually adjustable, but lack of lumbar support and comfort begins to take a dive at the two-hour mark. If you are prone to back ache, stick with the plusher standard seats instead which are electronically-adjustable, heated, and come with two-way lumbar support. And breaking news: there’s a cupholder in the Huracán EVO, inconspicuously embedded into the passenger-side dashboard. You have to pay extra for that option (surprised?) and it extends and flaps outwards like Saab’s cupholders, though this one is quite shallow and isn’t deep enough to hold large drinks. A tall Starbucks, maybe, but probably a better idea to ask for a tray.
A pure and playful driver’s car demonstrating both poise and noise, the Huracán EVO RWD is automotive theatre distilled to its most basic and raw elements. The atmospheric V10 remains the star of the show, belting and wailing up to the stratosphere, but it’s the crispy steering and excellent traction control system that serve up one of the most engaging and dynamically honed Lamborghinis to date. Turns out, the cheapest Huracán is also the best Huracán.
Model: 2020 Lamborghini Huracan EVO RWD Coupe
Paint Type: Rosso Efesto
Base Price: $244,028
Price as Tested: $296,768
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,520 / 1,933 / 1,165
Dry weight (kg): 1,389
Engine: 5.2-litre V10
Horsepower: 602 hp @ 8,000 rpm
Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Mid engine, RWD
Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 16.4
Tires: Pirelli Sottozero 3