Not since Mel Gibson painted his face blue and bellowed “FREEDOM!” has such a blood-chilling cry echoed across the Scottish Highlands. The metallic howl of the Huracan STO’s 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 cuts through the crisp morning air like a bandsaw slicing through stone. I’m driving the best new supercar of 2021, off the grid and off the leash, and my senses can hardly keep up.
Rewind 24 hours and the good folk of Edinburgh are awoken by an equally rousing dawn chorus, as 11 new Lamborghinis rumble, snarl and snort through the city streets.
Our 7,200hp cavalcade – the entire UK press fleet – includes two Aventadors, three Urus SUVs and six Huracans. Tourists stare, camera phones point and an overloaded schoolboy drops all his bags in excitement. I know how he feels.
Our route takes us north to the Cairngorms, then onto some of Scotland’s best driving roads. First, though, there’s a long schlep up the A9, with 50mph average speed cameras to keep any exuberance in check.
At least my high vantage-point in the yellow Lamborghini Urus offers a great view of the multi-coloured convoy ahead – and of the fearsome Aventador SVJ Roadster filling my mirrors.
The Urus looks every bit as angular and outrageous as the low-slung supercars, while its big-chested turbocharged V8 serves up 650hp for 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds. Switch into Corsa mode and it feels ruthlessly focused, too. Nonetheless, as we approach the coffee-stop in Pitlochry, the prospect of driving that Super Veloce Jota is all I’m thinking about.
Lord of the ‘Ring
Back in 2018, the flagship Aventador broke the Nurburgring lap record, aided by sophisticated aerodynamics and the small matter of 770hp. As a road car, though, it’s rather more compromised, with unforgiving pushrod suspension, a jerky robotised manual transmission and hopeless rearward visibility. On cold, slightly damp tarmac, it’s hard not to feel intimidated.
Still, forget what’s behind you (they can’t keep up anyway), learn to trust the accurate steering and prodigious grip, and this old-school brute thrills like few other supercars can.
Its gear shift gets better the faster you go, walloping through the ratios with breathless intensity as the 6.5-litre V12 soars beyond 8,000rpm, smothering you in its blood-and-thunder roar.
The SVJ demands all of your attention, all of the time, but the rewards are worth it.
After a solid night’s sleep in Braemar, I skip breakfast and jump into a Huracan Evo Spyder for a blast up to Glenshee ski resort. There’s frost on the windscreen and I can see my breath, yet I can’t resist dropping the roof to enjoy the 640hp V10 in all its operatic glory.
Rawer and even more animalistic than the Aventador’s V12, this is one of the all-time great engines. Its modern dual-clutch gearbox is fittingly sharp, too.
In the Huracan STO, that incredible drivetrain meets a balletic rear-wheel-drive chassis, lightweight carbon fibre panels and aero inspired by Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo racer. The result, as we approach 2030, is surely one of the high water marks for combustion-engined sports cars.
The following day, these same mountain roads would be closed by snow, but on that perfect morning, the STO delivered a visceral, all-consuming experience that I’ll never forget.
As I trundle back towards Edinburgh airport, again at a steady 50mph, I mull over what the future holds for Lamborghini – including the company’s first EV, due later this decade.
Perhaps I’ll be proved wrong, but I can’t see how a car powered by batteries and near-silent electric motors will deliver the emotional sucker-punch of a Huracan or Aventador. Enjoy them while you still can.
Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research