Lamborghini’s Huracan EVO RWD Is All About the Joy of the Drive
Lamborghini has been equipping their supercars with all-wheel drive since the 1993 Diablo VT. Back then—with its fabulous V12 reaching 500 hp and sending the power through just the rear wheels—it made more sense to use all the wheels for improved safety and performance, since electronic stability aids were non-existent in the 1990s.
Despite the superiority of all-wheel drive for high-powered supercars, Lamborghini decided, in 2009, to release a limited-edition, rear-drive Gallardo called the Lamborghini LP550-2 Valentino Balboni to commemorate their best and most loyal test driver, after whom the car was named.
Surprisingly, it was a success and Lamborghini decided that they should keep the rear-drive model going forward. It was also a cheeky poke at Ferrari, who always championed the rear-wheel-drive layout. But instead of positioning the LP550-2 as its top model, Lamborghini marketed it as an entry-level model below their all-wheel-drive versions.
The latest Lamborghini to have the rear-wheel-drive treatment is the Huracan EVO RWD. Removing the front drive axle from the driveline has given the Huracan EVO RWD more driver involvement. While the all-wheel-drive system easily sorts out the drive requirements for maximum performance, with just the rear wheels being driven, the driver needs to carefully judge the right amount of power to attain the best performance. The validation that comes from the driver being able to control the car is far more rewarding than if it had been attained via electronics.
The industry-wide rush to make cars more fuel-efficient has led to the adoption of electrically assisted steering systems. While very direct and easier to integrate with the modern car’s electronic systems, such steering systems also mute the intimate connection with the road that enthusiasts relish. Thankfully, the EVO RWD’s steering precision and positive chassis behaviour mitigates this and manages to provide an engaging experience.
POWER AT ITS CORE
While its competitor has moved to turbocharging its engines, Lamborghini has remained faithful to naturally aspirated engines—the 5.2-litre V10 engine produces a symphonic soundtrack to go with the 610 hp this engine produces. Enthusiasts love this engine because it comes with an instantaneous and linear throttle response, unlike most turbocharged engines today. With this much power on tap, we really appreciate that we can mete out power precisely so that even town traffic is tackled confidently.
Though this Huracan EVO RWD is 30 hp less powerful than the all-wheel-drive version, it manages to sprint to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds. It might be a tad slower in the sprint than its more powerful sibling, but it is no slouch and shares the same 325 km/h top speed. Few will notice the difference in acceleration, but everyone will appreciate the marvellous soundtrack that plays from all 10 cylinders.
With rear-wheel drive, the EVO RWD offers greater scope to alter its handling attitude via some power oversteer—in the safe confines of a race track, of course. Understandably, Lamborghini decided the EVO RWD did not need the rear-wheel steering system of the Huracan EVO, because the aim of the EVO RWD is entertainment and not merely the fastest time around the track.
One has a choice of the drive mode, Strada(Road) being the most civilised and Sport, the most exuberant, allowing for a measured amount of oversteer. There is another mode, Corsa (Track), which curtails any wayward handling antics to achieve the neatest, quickest path around the track. It is also more demanding, because the gear shifts are not automatic and will require the driver to manually select the correct gears.
However, there is no further mode selection to make it more comfortable. This really is a car that, even in its least sporty setting, is still a touch loud and aggressive. Each drive is an adrenaline-pumping experience, as this beast does not do sedate and laid-back at all, ensuring it is likely to be a special-occasion sort of car rather than for daily use.
Almost shrouded by the overwhelming success of the Urus Super SUV, the EVO RWD is truly a sleeper hit. This might be the last hurrah for the naturally aspirated V10 with just a couple more limited editions planned before its retirement, but none will be as affordable as the EVO RWD. While less capable in terms of raw performance, it is simply more entertaining, without being too much slower, giving the driver a greater sense of achievement.
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Price from: $798,000 before options and COE
Engine: 5204cc, 40-valves, V10 Natural aspiration
Transmission: 7-Speed LDF (dual-clutch gearbox)
Power: 610 hp at 8000 rpm
Torque: 560 Nm at 6500 rpm
0-100 km/h: 3.3 seconds
Top Speed: 325 km/h
Fuel consumption: 13.8 litres/100km(WLTP Cycle)