Well, this is awkward. A year ago, in a rare attempt at money-saving advice, I declared the entry-level Huracan RWD the best Lamborghini you could buy. Now the new flagship Huracan STO – more powerful, more intense and nearly £100,000 more expensive – has blasted into the top spot. Better start saving…
The STO is the most hardcore Huracan yet: a track-focused, road-ready version of Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo and GT3 racers. It’s rear-driven like the RWD, but musters the same power as the Performante, minus 43kg in weight.
The headline figures are 640hp, 3.0 seconds, 193mph and 1,339kg without fluids.
Fire when ready
At a giddy £260,012, the Lamborghini looks outgunned by the McLaren 765LT (765hp) and forthcoming Ferrari 296 GTB (830hp). Yet as I’ll discover, numbers can’t do justice to the Super Trofeo Omologato experience. Everything about this car is extreme. Even standing still, it screams excitement.
The STO makeover includes slash-cut vents in the wheelarches and a roof scoop that extends into a stability-enhancing rear ‘shark fin’. All parts except the aluminium doors and roof panel are carbon fibre.
At the front, a one-piece clamshell hinges forward, Miura-style, to reveal just enough luggage space for a crash helmet. From behind, laser-cut mesh shows off the snaking Akrapovic exhausts.
Calm like a bomb
Inside, the odd-looking ‘forged carbon’ of the Performante makes way for more conventional carbon weave. Grippy Alcantara swathes the dashboard, squared-off steering wheel and fixed-back bucket seats, which are comfier than they look. Optional telemetry cameras (£4,320) record your fastest laps, then play them back via the central touchscreen.
Thankfully, my car also has the reversing camera (£1,728); the louvred engine cover – another classic Miura and Countach throwback – reduces rearward visibility to almost zero.
Foot on the brake, flip up the red ‘bomb switch’ cover, hold the start button and the V10 ignites. With thinner glass and carbon mats instead of carpets, it sounds omnipotent even at idle: a full-bodied snarl that drips with mechanical malice. Blip the throttle and its frantic yelp slices the air clean in half. God, this engine is awesome.
‘A celebration of the combustion engine’
Andrea Baldi, CEO of Lamborghini North America, called the Huracan STO “a celebration of the combustion engine” – and its natural aspiration feels like reason alone to choose it over the turbocharged McLaren or hybridised Ferrari.
A voracious hunger for revs sees you chasing the 8,500rpm redline whenever possible, grinning like a lunatic as it flings you into the middle-distance. Searing throttle response is also combined with perhaps the best twin-clutch gearbox of all. The contrast with the Aventador’s clunky automated manual is acute.
However, unlike certain Huracans of the past (particularly pre-Evo models), the STO’s chassis no longer feels like a supporting act. Its fixed-ratio steering is hyper-alert but unerringly precise, while its mighty Brembo CCM-R brakes inspire real confidence.
In default STO mode, the magnetic dampers also keep the car utterly nailed-down, yet still pliant enough for broken British blacktop. Trofeo mode is best reserved for the track.
The Lamborghini’s firework V10 and fast-twitch reactions feel manic at first, but take a breath, settle into a flow and everything starts to coalesce. It’s compact enough to be usable in the real world, and analogue enough to be engaging at sensible speeds.
Also, sitting inside that jet fighter cockpit, with the huge, manually adjustable wing filling your mirrors and V10 thunder filling your ears, it always feels outrageously special.
Enzo Ferrari always preferred racing to road cars. Ferruccio Lamborghini thought the opposite. The Huracan STO goes its own way and combines the two. It’s the best Lamborghini you can buy. For now, at least.
Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research
TOP SPEED: 193mph
FUEL ECONOMY: 20.3mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS: 331g/km