Car review: Lamborghini Huracan STO is undeniably dramatic

sgCarMart

Outrageous.

Just look at it. Yes, I know that you can reasonably call any Lamborghini outrageous, but this one really turns it up to 11 (especially in this eye-wateringly bright livery).

This is the new Lamborghini Huracan STO, a car that marks the final hurrah of the Huracan model line, and in all likelihood the last of the naturally aspirated V10s.

So, you might be thinking, what's the big deal?

Indelicate diet

Since it was launched in 2014, the Huracan has gone through a number of iterations (2WD and 4WD, as well as the Performante and EVO variants). As the model line reaches the end of its lifespan, and with the impending electrification across the Lambo lineup, this Huracan STO represents what's likely the final iteration of the model as it is currently constituted.

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However, this isn't simply some sort of dolled-up special edition Huracan with a bunch of fancy stickers. Lamborghini has drawn from its motorsport division to imbue this road-going Huracan with technology and features inspired by its Huracan Super Trofeo EVO and Huracan GT3 EVO race cars.

The main thing, then, is aerodynamic efficiency and lightness. And looking at this Huracan STO, you can immediately tell. The Huracan STO sports a completely new exterior design that's defined by aerodynamics. The front bonnet, fenders and bumper are formed out of one single carbon fibre unit (Lambo calls it the 'confango'), and features two S-ducts to increase downforce and improve cooling. The rear fender is also derived from the Super Trofeo EVO.

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The engine bonnet has an integrated air scoop to channel air to the engine, while the shark fin on the rear bonnet also helps to improved cornering stability by channelling air to the massive rear wing. The rear wing can be manually adjusted between three positions, allowing you to adjust the aero balance of the car by 13 per cent.

There's obviously a lot going on, which improves airflow efficiency by 37 per cent and increases downforce by 53 per cent over the Performante. All the aero changes also make for a much more intense-looking Huracan. I think it looks better for it - sharper, more purposeful, and more vehemently aggressive.

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The Huracan STO has also undergone a weight-shedding diet. Over 75 per cent of the exterior panels are carbon fibre, the windscreen is 20 per cent lighter, you have lightweight magnesium wheels, carbon fibre floor mats in place of carpets, pull tabs in lieu of door handles, full carbon fibre sport seats, and all in all the car is 43kg lighter than the Performante.

Ear blitz

Fundamentally, the Huracan STO is honed for track use. Everything that has been done to the car is meant to increase track performance, and I would love to be able to tell you about the increased downforce and cornering capability. However, there isn't a racetrack in Singapore, and the constant rain during my time driving the car severely limited my cornering bravery.

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What I can tell you, though, is that there's an increased sense of sharpness to the car. The steering ratio has been changed so that it feels more direct that before. The sharper throttle response also allows more push in corners. And yes, even on normal roads, you can immediately feel that this is a much more focused and purposeful car.

And of course, there is also that insane naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine producing 631bhp and 565Nm of torque. Granted, there are cars that make much more power (hell, the Performante and Evo both have more torque), but here even the abundent speed is entirely secondary (it'll still do a three-second century sprint though).

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What truly dominates proceedings is the noise. Push the engine past 5,000rpm and the vicious roar will send bolts of lightning through your body. It's exciting, intoxicating, deafening, and truly spine-tingling. This is a howling reminder that while yes, the world needs to go greener and cleaner, there's nothing that can quite replace the manic excitement of a big, naturally aspirated powerplant.

There are, of course, down sides to making such a track-focused car. There's no ride quality whatsoever. The adjustable dampers have settings that range from 'Extremely Hard' to 'I-need-a-chiropractor Hard', and even on better paved roads it's a rather tiring drive.

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There's no view out of the rear view mirror at all. You can't fit anything more than a helmet in the frunk. Having to activate the lifter evertime you approach a hump will eventually get tiresome. And, let's be honest, most people who stop next to you at traffic lights will almost certainly be calling you a prick.

Last wave

Everything about this Huracan STO is outrageous, from its insane $1.3 million pricetag (before options), its epically intense soundtrack, and just the way it looks. And, while this is technically a road-legal car, it's not really meant for road use. This is fundamentally a track car, and it's only on the track that you can fully appreciate what Lamborghini has created.

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As a result, I fear that this car will be misunderstood by most. I suspect that most people looking at this will just think, "Bah, just another loud, obnoxious Lambo". Which, to be fair, isn't wrong. This is a loud, obnoxious Lambo.

But, it's also so much more than that. Lighter, sharper, more intense and dynamically focused, this Huracan has been honed and sharpened in a manner that delivers a heightened sense of performance and purpose. This is as full-on as full-on can be, but in the best way possible. And it is only by driving it that you can even begin to appreciate the Huracan STO for what it is.

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This is a celebration of the joy of motoring performance. This is a big send up to the soon-to-be-extinct ferocity of naturally aspirated engines. And, this is a grand fanfare for the Lamborghini experience. And for all that, the Huracan STO is a triumph. That it exists at all is in itself a remarkable thing. As cars go hybrid and electric (even supercars), we might never see another car quite like this.

This Huracan STO is outrageous, of course. Outrageously special.

This article was first published sgCarMart.