Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica First Drive: The Perfect Raging Bull Unleashed In Spain
As the Huracán’s naturally aspirated V10 bloodline nears the end, Lambo releases perhaps its most perfect Bull yet.
It is a bittersweet era for fans of naturally aspirated internal combustion engines (ICE). As carbon emission standards increasingly stifle ICE, other technologies like electrification and improved turbos are picking up the slack — ensuring that horsepower, torque, acceleration and other critical performance metrics continue to skyrocket. As nearly every OEM in the world pledges to electrify their fleets, we hear the ICE bells tolling from the ever-nearing horizon.
Unto this world is born Lamborghini’s new Huracán Tecnica: the second-to-last Huracán model ever to be unleashed from the rogue minds in Sant’Agata (the final model will be unveiled at Art Basil Miami this coming December). The successor to the Huracán is rumored to be turbocharged, and will certainly be electrified, meaning we are reaching the end of a purebred ICE bloodline for the Raging Bull. Or rather, call it an evolution.
When you only have three bloodlines as a relatively small manufacturer, you have to do what you can to stretch that DNA. And with all the varied Huracán models that have been released since the first LP 610-4 dropped sheets in 2013, it leaves even the most studied Lambo fanatic wondering exactly what niche was possibly left unfilled?
“Yes you’re right, we did open [top] versions, we did light versions, we did the Performante which was four-wheel-drive, and last year we launched the STO, the elite car with the bigger wing — this is the most extreme,” Stephan Winkelmann tells me, not mentioning all the rear wheel drive versions of nearly every AWD model. “So what was missing was a car that was covering performance, very good on the racetrack, but also very lifestyle oriented,” the President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini explains as we walk briskly back to the hotel after a dinner of Spanish tapas.
“The bridge is what we call Fun to Drive. It fits like a glove — you’re much better than your driving capabilities when you drive it. This was a bit what of was missing on the two-wheel drive sector: the fun and performance but not going to the extreme of the STO.”
Want a clearer idea of whom Lamborghini sees as the target demo? See below.
From the outside it may seem like Sant’Agata is shoe horning yet another new Huracán in between two already existing models — the outgoing EVO RWD (rear wheel drive) and the apex track-focused STO — but in reality the Tecnica offers plenty of a singular experience to be worthy of its own badge.
Only the gloriously sunny hills of Spain we are handed key fobs to enjoy the rear-wheel drive Huracán Tecnica in two diverse settings: racetrack and open road. And since we attacked the open roads outside of Valencia first that’s what impacted us instantly. This is an absolutely wonderfully precise machine, but easy and comfortable enough for our three-hour drive to feel more like a grand tourer than a drum-tight super sportscar.
The only knocks on drivability against it are fundamental architectural limitations of such a vehicle, like its severely raked windshield and tightly restricted greenhouse. Limited visibility and origami seating removes it from true GT conversation, but otherwise the Tecnica is a brilliant machine for long drives.
Luxurious waves of power (631-hp/ 417 pound-feet of torque) unravel from the unblowed 5.2-liter V10 that blur the scenery. On these surprisingly well paved roads high up in the mountains, uncrowded by anyone other than frustratingly disciplined cyclists in tight shorts, the Huracán Tecnica rips in low speeds bouncing from corner to corner, scrubbing speed instantly should an annoying cyclist jump out around a bend.
Another feather in the Tecnica’s cap are its prescient shifting points: the Tecnica knows exactly when to up- and down-shift, especially in Sport mode. With some similar competitors you have to manually downshift before attempting to pass a semi on a two-lane road — not the Tecnica. It boasts a preternatural sense of your intentions and drops (sometimes multiple) gears as you slam the throttle.
This is something you don’t really recognize unless a car doesn’t do it optimally, which sadly many fail to do. Not the Technica: it plays that seven-speed dual-clutch like Jimi making love to his Fender. It revs so high before releasing gears — hitting peak power at 8000-rpm, just 500 below its limiter — the sound and fury will pop Formula One goosebumps. A naturally aspirated Lambo in the wild is a thing to behold.
After lunch we’re unleash on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, a 2.5-mile long MotoGP course which also hosted FIA GT and World Touring Car Championships, DTM and European Le Mans Series. On the famed 14-turn racetrack barren of spandexed cyclists, one can plumb the edges of performance that clearly illuminate the Tecnica’s genetic relationship with its apex-performance brother the Huracán STO. Extra daps to its RWD setup, ensuring plenty of sideways squeals and stomach butterflies.
According to their engineer Victor Underberg, Director of Whole Vehicle Development, in the spectrum between the EVO and STO the Tecnica leans much closer, apparently 70%, to the unbridled fury of the latter. And yet it’s still more comfortable, easier to drive than the older, slightly more primitive EVO.
Victor cites two major upgrades that make the Tecnica even more comfortable than the EVO, while still turning up the performance dial. First he credits the Bridgestone Potenza Sport tires, an upgrade in comfort over the previous Pirelli P Zeros. Second, improved chassis parameters. Some are hardware such as chassis mounts, but even more so he credits improvements of the game-changing LDVI (Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata) software we tested out in Bahrain for the first EVO launch, for which we wrote:
“The LDVI is the EVO’s brain, ingesting a torrent of data, processing it at supercomputer speeds, adjusting and accordingly executing performance variables every 20 milliseconds. In totality the LDVI not only reacts faster than any Lamborghini CPU ever has, but it can — via external data, driver inputs and driving modes — actually predict needs, setting up the EVO for whatever it’s about to encounter.”
Coordinating the Rear-Wheel Steering, Torque Vectoring, Advanced Traction Control and adaptive suspension, Lambo engineers have used the last couple years to optimize this peerless LDVI software. An improved aero package also increases rear downforce by 35% while still reducing drag by 20% versus the Huracán EVO RWD.
So not only is it both higher performing and more comfortable than its EVO RWD predecessor it is replacing in the Lambo stable, but the Tecnica retains almost all of the STO’s real-world performance without the brashness. The track-focused STO was meant to live on the chicanes, making its drumskin-tight suspension jars over long drives — or even mottled asphalt. The Tecnica’s MagneRide magnetorheological dampers (improved since the EVO) offer more pliancy on Street and Sport modes than the STO ever can.
Aesthetically the Tecnica is also a more elegant, restrained RWD performance-level Huracán: gone is the honking engine air scoop, ostentatious livery and massive wing (replaced by a smaller, gentler wing). In its place gorgeous colors like our dazzling emerald green or Grigio Acheso gray.
Moreover it adopts many of the exterior design cues that Lambo will implement in the Huracán’s successor, making the Tecnica more futuristic than any previous Huracán. The rear-end itself is a thing of exquisite beauty, with a great deal of dimension and depth; a sculpture of components. But it’s not unnecessarily busy or over-designed as some marques are apt to do.
Sure there is one last Huracán model waiting to be released at the finale of this year, but the Tecnica still feels like a climax in a way: a Greatest Hits package pulling the best parts of the dozen Huracán models over the past decade and crafting a car that is as powerful as their track-focused STO, with a lot more livability… and a roughly $25,000 lower price.
“More downforce [than the EVO], less drag and weight, and four-wheel steering gives you a handling behavior from a different category,” Winkelmann summarizes on our early evening walk. Complimenting the STO’s 640-hp naturally aspirated V10, the dapper CEO insists the Huracán Tecnica offers buyers a “360-degree approach.”
Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica Base Price: $206,295