South Floridians, of all people, know about the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS) used by the National Weather Service to indicate the potency of hurricanes, with its five categories distinguished by the strength of their sustained winds. The strongest among them, Category Five, is reserved for storms with wind speeds above 157 mph. And that’s quite fast, as I was reminded, as the speedometer of Lamborghini’s latest iteration of its Huracán supercar, the Huracán Evo, blew well into Category 5 territory on the front straightaway of Willow Springs Raceway in Southern California.
It still had a fair bit left, too. Even at 2.5 times the national speed limit, the Huracán Evo remained planted and laser-focused and deliciously loud, its 631 galloping horses behind me continuing to fuse the seatback to my backside with considerable force. Had the straightaway been a couple of miles longer, we might have verified Lamborghini’s claimed top speed for the Evo of 202 mph.
But the Huracán Evo had other muscles to flex, namely grin-inducing handling, with adjustable drive settings that gave me the choice of “Corsa” mode’s intensely buttoned-down ride and competition-level cornering precision and Sport mode’s more playful, tail-happy proclivities that could entice Bo and Luke Duke to give up the General Lee and running moonshine to become venture capitalists. There’s a “Strada”—or street—mode, too, but at Willow Springs, Sport and Corsa were the only two that mattered.
Sadly, after a scant three laps, it was over. The Huracán, heretofore one of the planet’s most impressive performance cars even with 29 fewer horsepower in no “Evo” in its name, had proven itself a brilliant sports car, with acceleration and brake force that could scramble your brain and cornering grip marginally greater than the force of gravity. And all the while, its capability was matched by the kind of bawdy charisma one expects of a supercar that hails from a land that savors earthly pleasures—from pasta to wine to music to beauty—like nowhere else on the planet.
It was a brief but refreshing encounter with the hereditary insanity that has passed from every Lamborghini to the next from the 1970s until last year, when Lamborghini’s new Urus SUV arrived as the company’s most sterile, rational automobile yet. Indeed, it could just as convincingly wear the four rings of Lamborghini’s parent company, Audi, on its hood as Lamborghini’s iconic raging bull.
But not the Huracán Evo. This car is every inch a Lamborghini, I thought to myself as I circled the car again and again off-track, checking out what exactly makes the Evo more evolved from 2014–2018 Huracán from a styling standpoint. The Huracán was the first truly beautiful Lamborghini since the ground-breaking 1966–1972 Miura, in my opinion, and it’s still beautiful, if a bit busier now. It still scowls ahead with quad-V-shaped headlights, but below them are new air intakes with painted Y-shaped details and a discreetly integrated front spoiler. On the side, detailing has been added to the ankle-level air intakes just in front of the rear wheels and the wheels themselves are offered in a skimpy new “Aesir” design.
The best way to tell the Evo apart, however, is from behind, its rear end ditching its predecessor’s conventional bumper in favor of exposed structure with lots of hexagon-patterned screens and deep diffuser vanes to enhance aerodynamic performance and facilitate ventilation for the V-10 engine. Said engine remains wonderfully visible under sloping rear glass The Evo’s butt-lift also includes repositioned tailpipes, taillamps that echo the intakes up front, plus a kicked-up section in the middle of the rear spoiler. History may see the non-Evo Huracán as the purest of form, but the Evo may prove more eye-catching and captivating with its edgy details.
Inside, the Evo retains the Huracán’s awesome cockpit-like gauge screen that handles every vehicle function from system adjustments to map displays, but for 2020, it is supported by a new center-mounted screen that can be accessed by the passenger—yes, just like most other new cars in the world. And as always, one may specify certain panels or trim bits to be rendered in leather, nappy Alcartara, carbon fiber, piano black or more exotic materials via Lamborghini’s ad Personum customization program that can a fair bit of padding to the car’s already steep $270,969 price. And you’d better love hexagons, because from the graphics to the buttons to the air vents and digital gauge cluster, they’re everywhere.
That said, this is a comfortable place, and always has been. I’ve learned during previous Huracán drives (that actually involved time on the strada) that the Huracán’s cockpit is a place in which you can pass hundreds of miles and arrive at your destination feeling just as joyous as when you left. Indeed, the “Strada” setting’s ability to quell the engine sound and smoothen out the ride in make it lifestyle-friendly supercar. You don’t even have to swing up any crazy doors or tumble out over foot-wide door sills, à la the Aventador (though I admit, I always wished Lamborghini would have the Aventador’s scissor doors happen in its junior supercar).
I’ll finish with this: Lamborghini named the Huracán not after a storm but in commemoration of a notable fighting bull—a longtime naming tradition for the company’s models—and hence is making no attempt to trivialize or monetize the natural disasters that we in South Florida know all too well. Still, I couldn’t help but make the connection myself, thinking that if the Saffir-Simpson scale applied to cars, the 202-mph Evo has made landfall as Category 6.
Base price (incl. destination/delivery): $270,969
Body style: 2-door, 2-passenger coupe
Power: 631-hp V-10
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drive wheels: all
EPA fuel economy, MPG (city/highway): 13/18