by Eric Becker
The Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 has been with us for nearly two years. In that time it has been both praised and criticized. Many find that parent company Audi has stolen its soul, rendering the Huracan dull without the insanity Lamborghini is known for. Arguably that does the newest baby Lambo a proper disservice. The all-wheel-drive system does bring about a dose of understeer, but that was instilled for a purpose. Most AWD cars are notorious for bouts of understeer, and the Huracan is no exception.
Understeer is often pre-tuned in suspension characteristics of most cars. The idea being that should a problem arise a default characteristic of understeer is a safer option for the common driver. Oversteer would have the average driver more in a panic, leaving them more likely to make a larger mistake in trying to correct this issue and thus further endanger themselves or other drivers. Lamborghini is aware of this. Its clientele, often affluent, graduated to a level of performance offered that is far beyond their skills as drivers and thus precautions—nanny states—are engineered into the vehicle.
Turn-in, under braking and a generous application of power coupled with a minimal induction of counter steer will upset the back end and enable some nice four wheel drifts on corner exits. That looks good on YouTube videos where seasoned British drivers push the vehicle to find the limits of adhesion to tarmac. Doing so on the street or on a race track is a nice way to get arrested or black flagged. 2011 saw the introduction of a Gallardo with a stripe down the middle, named in honor of Lamborghini’s longtime test driver Valentino Balboni. At Balboni’s request, Lambo engineers removed the front differential, creating a rear-wheel-drive Gallardo.
Here, finally, was a machine that catered to the enthusiast driver: mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, something Sant’Agata hadn’t done in decades. In the case of the Gallardo’s replacement, Lamborhini isn’t delaying. Maybe the understeer complaints finally got to them? All that matters is a new rear-drive Lambo is here in the shape of the Huracan LP580-2, which follows the same format that directed the Balboni. The removal of the front differential and its associated components drops 73 pounds from the Huracan's weight. The 5.2-liter V10 drops 30 horsepower from 602 to 572. Peak torque falls as well from 413 lb-ft to 398 lb-ft.
The LP580—LP stands for Longitudinale Posteriore—features revised front aerodynamics to help balance the removal of weight from the front end. The springs, dampers, and roll bars are different too; thisset up is 10% softer for a more progressive feel on the limit. The LP580 now sits with a 40/60 weight distribution. A mechanical limited-slip-differential with a 45% locking action should certainly dissuade any notions of understeer. The dilemma here is what market does the LP580 belong to? At some $30,000 cheaper than the LP610, the LP580 occupies a smaller territory.
The odds are, however, that those cross shopping for a Ferrari 488GTB or McLaren 650S would be inclined to purchase the LP610, as from a performance standpoint it is closer to its rivals. The LP580 then serves as a combination of things: a RWD Lambo catering to the enthusiast driver albeit sans manual, or a way to broaden the sales portfolio of the Huracan and appeal to a broader market. What we do know is, we’ll take two.
SOURCE CREDITS: www.lamborghini.com