Lamborghini doesn’t call it Burnout mode. That would be too American. Too National Hot Rod Association. Instead the Italian brand, which is owned by German auto giant Volkswagen Group, calls it Race Start. But the result is the same: Pirelli flambé and enough tire smoke to impress Don “The Snake” Prudhomme.
Here’s how it works. Step one: Purchase a 2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo RWD. It’s the new rear-wheel-drive version of Lambo’s entry-level supercar, replacing the Huracán LP580-2. Base price is $214,366. Step two: Find a secluded road. When you’re out of sight of the fun police, activate Sport mode, turn off the Lambo’s traction-control system, and select first gear. Now take a deep breath, and let the fun begin.
Put both pedals to the floor and release the brake when the V-10 zings to about 4500 rpm. The resulting burnout covers a city block and includes a 8700-rpm upshift. By the time the Lambo’s rear tires hook up, you’re approaching third gear and 100 mph. This can be done over and over again. Race Start isn’t launch control, a system generally designed to maximize traction and acceleration. It is a gift from Lamborghini to the small portion of its clientele willing to give up the performance of all-wheel drive for the ability to vaporize the Huracán’s expensive P Zeros like a kid in a Camaro.
More Power but Still Not Enough
With its long list of extras, including a $16,500 matte-blue paint job and the must-have $7100 front-end lift system, our test car cost $276,016—about the base price of a Ferrari F8 Tributo, which is also a rear-drive tire fryer. Like the Ferrari, the Huracán Evo RWD is available as a coupe or droptop and offers enough refinement and civility to be driven daily. But there’s no contest when it comes to power and speed. The twin-turbocharged Ferrari feels noticeably quicker, thanks to its 108 more horsepower and 155 more pound-feet of torque than the Lambo.
Lamborghini has increased the output of the Huracán’s naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 to 602 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 413 pound-feet at 6500 rpm, matching the engine’s output in the Audi R8 Performance. That’s up from the previous 572 horsepower, but it’s still 29 horses and 30 pound-feet down from the all-wheel-drive Huracán Evo. Removing the front driveshaft and the rear steering hardware shaves a claimed 72 pounds from the car and positions slightly more of its estimated 3550 pounds over the rear axle.
For maximum scoot off the line, the Huracán does have a traditional launch-control system. Called Thrust mode, it works with the traction-control system in the Corsa drive setting and puts the engine’s power down cleanly. That should be good for 60 mph in roughly 3.1 seconds, which is quick enough to put butterflies in your passenger’s stomach, but it’s not stellar for this class. Despite its measly 495 horsepower, even the C8 Corvette can reach 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. The all-wheel-drive Huracán leaves the RWD model for dead with a 2.5-second 60-mph blast and a 10.4-second quarter-mile at 135 mph.
Tuned for Enjoyment
In our testing, a Huracán with all-wheel drive also produced a spectacular 1.10 g of grip on the skidpad, a performance this car probably can’t quite match. Not that grip is lacking, until you want it to be. Lambo has recalibrated its new Performance Traction Control System (P-TCS), which allows for some tail-out antics in Sport mode. In Corsa, the system now intervenes a bit smoother than it did in the Huracán LP580-2, which Lambo says improves traction when exiting corners by 20 percent and enhances oversteer by 30 percent.
To compensate for the reduced weight on its front end, the Huracán RWD’s nose has been redesigned to produce more downforce, and its spring rates have been tweaked for more control during drifting maneuvers. On the twisty two-lanes above Malibu, California, the changes resulted in as much capability as we dared to ask for. Front-end grip isn’t a problem, and even heavy-handed inputs to the steering and throttle don’t upset the chassis. The Evo RWD can be chucked into tighter bends and sets up well in faster, open sections of road. This is not a widow-maker that constantly threatens to swap ends and broadside the closest telephone pole.
Lamborghini also retuned the Huracán’s optional Dynamic Power Steering specifically for the RWD model. The system changes the steering ratio based on the driving mode selected and road speed. In the standard Strada setting, it’s a bit dead on center, but otherwise there’s no complaints. Unfortunately, the Huracán’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission still isn’t smart enough not to upshift at corner entry, even in Sport mode. And in manual mode it won’t hold a gear into the rev limiter unless you’re in Corsa. Without the muzzle of turbos, the Lambo’s big V-10 is one of the best noisemakers in the supercar world, moaning below 4000 rpm, howling from 4000 to 7000 rpm, and then screaming for the heavens up to its 8500-rpm redline. But it also manages to be acceptably subdued around town in Strada mode.
Suspended by the standard setup of steel springs and non-adjustable dampers, our test car was compliant enough for everyday use yet rode more stiffly than the F8 Tributo, the C8 Corvette, or the McLaren GT. Adaptive electromagnetic dampers are available. The Huracán’s standard steel brakes feature uniquely shaped rotors with a wavy outer edge. Lambo says they improve cooling and reduce unsprung weight over conventional round rotors. They hide behind 19-inch wheels. Carbon-ceramic brakes and 20-inch wheels are optional.
While the Evo RWD isn’t the most powerful or the quickest Huracán you can buy, not by a long shot, it is the most fun. It’s the Huracán for buyers who don’t just want serious performance but also the ability to toy around, be it with burnouts, donuts, or gratuitous powerslides. It’s also the cheapest model in the Huracán lineup, undercutting the AWD model’s base price by about $55,000. That’s enough to buy 54 sets of rear replacement tires, which should get you through the first two years of ownership. Probably.
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