Review: The 2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo Is a Brain Blender
One week with one of the best-driving cars in the world.
For me, Friday the 13th couldn't have been luckier: In the morning, the newest version of Lamborghini's "entry-level" Huracán supercar showed up to stay the weekend. Wearing an eye-watering, pearl-effect shade Lamborghini calls "Arancio Xanto," the new 2020 Evo rolled into view so bright and orange I could almost hear the $14,000 paint job screaming, "Whaaaaaaaa!" Meanwhile, the V-10 was making real noise—a menacing, rumbling crackle firing from the twin-bazooka exhausts that had me subconsciously pressing my right foot into the ground as my heart rate jumped to DEFCON 2. This Lambo is every bit as subtle as a Michael Bay movie.
The new Evo is the all-rounder in the Huracán family, not quite as edgy as the older Huracán Performante, but sharing that car's uprated, 631-horse V-10 and twin-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. Also like the Performante, the Evo is all-wheel-drive—although the new car adds rear-wheel steering, torque vectoring, and the new Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integra (LDVI) system—which is said to be able to "predict" the driver's intentions (e.g. when blazing down a mountain road) and optimize all vehicle dynamics accordingly. On the outside, the Evo wears a redesigned nose and rear end, while in the cockpit a new touchscreen infotainment system lies in the center console. My test car wore a staggering $63,650 in options—including the aforementioned paint, a carbon-skin package, Lamborghini telemetry, a Sportivo trim package, power heated seats, and much more—bringing the final sticker up to $334,619. Believe me, every single second I drove the car I was on the lookout for, say, a suicidal hummingbird that might crash into me and do, oh, $85,000 in damage.
Good luck finding a cockpit with more visual drama than the Evo's. From the toggle switches to the carbon-fiber trim, the racy flat-bottom steering wheel, the huge digital gauges display that switches to a giant tachometer in Corsa (race) mode, and, of course, the engine-ignition button that's covered by a red safety gate worthy of a missile silo launch panel, every bit of the cabin screams speed and panache. The seats are hard but astoundingly comfortable (they really hug you in place), the view to the front nothing short of spectacular. The new touchscreen is a welcome upgrade over the old Audi-based system—mostly because it looks so cool. In actual use it's on the fussy side and requires too many menu screens to access the system you want (basically, there are no hard switches at all). That said, in a Lamborghini do you really give a damn about infotainment ergonomics? Let's face it: The Evo is all about looking good and scorching over the ground like a comet. The added wow factor of the new touchscreen is just what the Huracán needed.
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While the Evo's wheel-mounted ANIMA drive-mode switch offers Strada (street) and Sport settings, I drove the car almost exclusively in Corsa. Switch to this race setting, and the exhaust note—even at idle—amplifies noticeably. As mentioned, the main display screen transforms into a huge tach with a few other essential gauges on the periphery. Lift off the throttle after a burst of acceleration, and the exhaust spits and barks with angry overrun. It's fantastic.
And good gawd this thing is fast. I've driven a Performante coupe on the racetrack, and on a closed course it's possible to push the car hard enough to tickle its fearsome limits. But on public roads? No way. The Evo accelerates so ferociously—we're talking zero to 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds and possibly even less—and claws the ground with so much adhesion, basically you can't flog the Evo to a point where it even starts breaking a sweat. There's just too much capability always in reserve. I mean, climbing some of my favorite mountain roads—which I had all to myself on a glorious late-morning drive—I rarely even shifted up into third gear. Just touching the 8,500-rpm redline in first gear means you're already moving at freeway speeds. Now try shifting up from second on a road as twisted and tangled as a bowl of linguine. You think you're blazing over the asphalt—and you are—but the Evo's legs are oh-so-much longer. On the other hand, it's extremely satisfying to hurl this beast around knowing you're still well under its staggering limits.
In a couple of corners I could swear I heard the new LDVI system dragging one of the rear brakes as the torque-vectoring system went to work, but mostly you don't notice the active vehicle dynamics at all. LDVI may be monitoring a claimed 240 data sources (including pitch, yaw, and steering angle) while predictively making 50 adjustments every second, but you feel only the astounding grip and unflappable poise. Remember: I was driving in Corsa mode, which loosens the binding of the vehicle-stability systems. But the Evo never even stepped out under throttle. Variable-ratio steering is standard on the Evo, and while its feel is a bit muted, the nose bites into turns fiercely and the front tires don't wash out. The chassis just rips through corners. In a blink you're grunting like an astronaut reentering the atmosphere. You wouldn't call any 3,500-pound car "lithe," but the Evo cuts and moves with a quickness that belies its mass and all-wheel-drive chassis. Basically, it just does whatever you ask of it with no theatrics, no complaints.
That's one of the Evo's most remarkable qualities—how docile it can be. Yes, if you're in Corsa and flattening your right foot, snapping off redline paddle shifts and standing on the carbon-ceramic binders, the Evo will try to twist your head off while scalding your ears with mechanized, fortissimo fury. But switch it into Strada, take a relaxed cruise along Pacific Coast Highway, and it burbles along contentedly, the magnetorheological shocks soaking up rough road surfaces, the transmission shifting calmly and keeping to itself, the occupants of every passing car whipping out their smartphones to capture an Instagram that's guaranteed to wow their followers. That's when you pull over, climb out, take another long look at this dazzling slice of orange blazing against the blue Pacific. Subtle the Huracán Evo ain't. But unlike a Michael Bay movie, this blockbuster will actually leave you transformed.
|2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo Specifications|
|ENGINE||5.2L DOHC 40-valve V-10; 631 hp @ 8,000 rpm, 442 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|LAYOUT||2-door, 2-passenger, mid-engine, AWD coupe|
|EPA MILEAGE||13/18 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||178.0 x 76.1 x 45.9 in|
|WEIGHT||3,500 lb (est)|
|0-60 MPH||2.4 sec (est)|
|TOP SPEED||202 mph|