Lambo’s latest ‘baby’

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New name, new frame but V10 to remain | By Andrew Frankel

A new named has joined those already born as Lamborghini ‘junior’ supercars. To Urraco, Silhouette, Jalpa and Gallardo we can now add Huracan.

This is Spanish for hurricane, but also the name of another famous fighting bull that met its inevitably grisly end all the way back in 1879.

When I say ‘junior’ it’s interesting to note that when the first Urracos were built 40 years ago, a probably rather optimistic 220bhp was deemed more than adequate power for a Lamborghini. With the advent of the Huracan, Lambo’s most puny offering has 610bhp, which is very little less than that boasted by the McLaren F1 20 years ago and its 0-62mph time of 3.2sec matches the time the F1 took to reach 60mph.

It makes you wonder where we’ll be 20 years hence. But for now the Huracan appears to be a fairly straightforward replacement for the long-serving Gallardo that first went on sale back in 2003. Like its parent, the Huracan has a largely aluminium structure (though there is some carbon fibre used, too) and aluminium bodywork. Many had been anticipating a fully carbon tub like that of its close rival the McLaren P1 and, indeed, its big sister the Lamborghini Aventador, especially as production techniques have now reduced manufacturing costs so much Alfa can afford to provide a carbon tub for its £45,000 4C, a car costing less than a third of the likely retail price of the Huracan. The reason this was not used was that the Huracan structure will be shared with the next generation Audi R8, which will be making its debut about a year from now.

Interestingly and for now at least, Lamborghini has also resisted the urge to downsize and turbocharge its engines, despite McLaren using a 3.8-litre twin turbo motor and Ferrari being known to be working hard on a similarly sized forced induction powerplant likely to make its debut on the next California.

Instead, it has revised the existing 5.2-litre V10 so extensively it says it can be considered a new engine. Power has risen by 40bhp over the strongest variant used by the Gallardo. The standard car will still be fitted with four-wheel drive while the hateful old robotised paddle-shift gearbox has been replaced by a proper double-clutch unit.

Sadly, at least so far, there is no sign of a manual gearbox: given that neither Ferrari nor McLaren now offers one either, it seems safe to say that particular avenue of driver interaction has been closed off.

The Huracan will first be seen in public at the Geneva Motor Show in March and go on sale shortly thereafter for a price not likely to be significantly less than £170,000.