Lamborghini Huracan STO Race Track Review

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Like a five-year-old wearing superhero pajamas down the street, Lambo can get away with behavior that other brands are too embarrassed to attempt.

There’s swagger in the Lamborghini Huracan STO, with its exaggerated features shrink-wrapped in the contrasting fluorine colors of a muscular comic book hero.
It’s like Superman. Toned and determined, the slip is worn proudly on the outside.

Sophisticated hybrid rivals from Ferrari and McLaren are silent on start-up, with an almost apologetic approach to their lofty position in the automotive realm.

Lamborghini has none of that. Not yet.

This 470kW, 565Nm ten-cylinder engine is a hybrid only in that its 5.2 liters need huge amounts of fuel and air to run.

It’s possibly the loudest car I’ve encountered – visually and audibly. It is not possible to hold a conversation in the cabin when the engine is working hard.

There’s no carpeting, no interior door padding, the seats are uncompromising carbon-fiber buckets, and its rear view mirror is almost completely obstructed by an oversized shark fin and rear spoiler.

The front bumper and rear engine cover are one-piece carbon fiber units that cost as much as a family car. There is storage space for a single hard hat or a small bag of groceries.

Aerodynamic appendages work like the feathers of an arrow to keep its flight true, joining huge carbon ceramic brakes and sticky Bridgestones to maintain control. The regular Huracan’s all-wheel drive was dropped in the name of weight saving, variable-speed steering dropped in favor of the predictability of a regular rack-and-pinion.

It’s lower, with stiff aero-required suspension that provides nearly half a ton of downforce at speed. Named after Lamborghini’s race cars, the Super Trofeo Omologata is a road cousin to the cars built for endurance events at Bathurst and Daytona.

Lambo says the road car laps the latter in less than two and a half seconds of the GT3 racer – a sensational feat from a road-registered machine wearing tread tires.

This is a track-proven car, so our test drive of a left-hand drive example takes place at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.

A technician secures my racing harness in place while another wires a radio into my helmet. A third checks the coupe’s tire pressure before another gives the go-ahead for take-off.

It resembles the opening scene of Top Gun, where a ballet laden with carrier crews prepares fighter jets for launch.

I turn on the afterburners and enter the danger zone, leaving the pit lane for a two-ship mission as a wingman in the slipstream of an experienced racer.

The Huracan STO drives just like you’d expect a Lamborghini to, though many don’t live up to the bedroom poster promise. It’s an assault on the senses, pounding your eardrums as the seat crackles with the frenetic pulse of the huge engine.

The steering is heavy but pleasant, the response from its carbon Brembo brakes is astonishing, and the aero tests your bravery – and neck muscles – in fast corners.

Unfiltered feedback through the controls gives you the confidence to seek out its extraordinarily high limits. The dual-clutch gearbox shifts through gears like a race car and the engine’s immediate power delivery feels like an extension of your mind.

There are no gross shocks or surprises – except for a tempting price tag of $596,000 plus options and on-road costs.

That money will buy much faster cars – at least in a straight line, as a 0-60 mph time of 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 310 mph aren’t so impressive now.

But this STO stirs the soul like few others.

It’s a raw and stimulating machine and in no way sensitive.

Unlike Audi, which put the V10-powered R8 to pasture without fanfare, Lamborghini had the good sense to bid farewell to its latest pure-gas supercar.

VERDICT

The Huracan STO is thrilling and unforgettable, a fitting farewell to Lamborghini’s petrol era.

LAMBORGHINI HURACAN STO

THE PRICE About $650,000 by car

ENGINE 5.2 liter V10, 470 kW and 565 Nm

WARRANTY SERVICE 3 years/u’ltd km, about $15,000 for 5 years

SECURITY 6 airbags, carbon brakes, racing harness, roll bar

THE THIRST 14L/100km

SPARE None

BOOT 38 liters

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