Junior supercar shows what it can do with a conventional (better) steering set-up

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Here we have the new junior supercar in the Lamborghini line-up, acting as the warm-up act to the bigger, more vociferous Aventador, the Huracan has to be some car then.

Available in two bodystyles - Coupé and Spyder and also with a choice of rear or all-wheels drive by a magnificent 5.0-litre V10 petrol engine - producing 562bhp for the RWD and 593bhp for the AWD version. To complete the four car range is a limited edition Avio version which is a touching tribute to the Italian Air Force, although its claims to 'reach the sky' may be a slight exaggeration.

The car’s V10 engine feels wonderfully raw and unfettered, revving with feverous savagery from 6000rpm onwards and creating a sense of drama every bit as powerful as its 600 horsepower

Despite all its allure, the Huracán will be remember as something of a trailblazer when Sant’Agata launched it with an active variable-ratio power steering system, dubbed ‘Lamborghini Dynamic Steering’ (LDS).

Introduced on the larger Aventador, the set-up allows for particularly direct control over the front wheels at low speeds, with gentler directional responses at higher speeds to the benefit of handling stability. 

It sounds simple enough and maybe even uniquely appealing in principle, given that mid-engined sports cars have inherent high-speed stability challenges and active racks are something that Ferrari, McLaren and Audi have yet to dabble with. 

But the execution has proven problematic. Our first two acquaintances with the Huracán have been of cars with LDS – and on neither occasion have we found that it can produce either the predictability or the feedback we expect of a near-£200k, 200mph driver’s car. 

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Thankfully, LDS is an entirely discretionary addition to any Huracán order. So in order to find out how much better the V10 baby Lambo's handling is in passively steered form, we borrowed a standard one.

As always, the Huracán is fast, loud, sharp, extroverted – and about as impactful as it’s possible for anything on four wheels to be. A fine and authentic modern Lamborghini, then. And while the standard steering set-up doesn’t address every dynamic shortcoming the car suffers with, it certainly makes the Huracán's handling cleaner and more coherent.

Not that most Huracán owners will likely care. The car’s bombastic styling is like high explosives next to the more conservative looks of its rivals. To these eyes, the Huracán is even more aggressively attractive than its predecessor, the Gallardo. If you want your junior supercar to stop the traffic first and foremost, its abilities are unassailable.

Those astonishing wedgy looks don’t come for free, though, and so you’ll find that the Huracán’s cabin is a tighter squeeze than those of its rivals if you’re tall. The cockpit is expensively appointed and solidly built, with esoteric styling flourishes in generous supply – most of them hexagonal in shape (it’s a recurring theme). The driving position is good but not perfect, with restricted leg room for longer-limbed drivers.

The instruments, meanwhile, are all liquid-crystal and housed in a 12.3in display, with several display modes on offer. You can have large, centrally positioned speedo or tacho dials, or a large navigation display.

Regrettably, there’s no mode that displays both an analogue rev counter and an analogue speedo at equal legibility and prominence, alongside a fuel gauge and a temperature gauge: it sounds arcane, but it’s the one you miss. However, having seen this same system used so amicably on the latest Audi TT, the configurable nature of essentially a redressed version of Audi's Virtual Cockpit makes it a joy to use. 

All of the infotainment is controllable through the 12.3in screen, which does take a bit of time to get used to, but is complete with sat nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio and USB connectivity.

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Although it’s seriously quick, the Huracán doesn’t take off from middling revs with the rabid urgency of a McLaren 675LT – but the quality of its performance more than makes up for anything left to chance on quantity.

The car’s V10 engine feels wonderfully raw and unfettered, revving with feverous savagery from 6000rpm onwards and creating a sense of drama every bit as powerful as its 593bhp, while the thought of 562 rampant horses exploding onto the road via the rear wheels is utterly compelling. The transmission is excellent, too: fast enough in its manual mode paddle shifts to make you feel hard-wired into the driving experience by your synapses.

The car’s handling isn’t so exciting, unfortunately, although it’s quite accomplished. Directional response is slightly soft and cornering balance is stability-centric, with understeer presenting at the limit of grip more often than not. 

The magnetorheological adaptive dampers of our test car made for a fairly compliant ride in Strada mode, and tauter body control in Sport and Corsa modes that isn’t so firm as to make them unusable on the road. There’s plenty of road noise, but not so much as to make long-distance touring a particular chore.

And what of the steering? The standard steering box puts almost three full turns between locks, so it’s unusually slow for a sports car. But it offers perceptible and useful feedback at out-of-town speeds and has good centre feel.

Most importantly, it manages that trick that all good steering systems pull off, but which the ‘LDS’ system singularly fails on: it becomes invisible in tactile terms. It simply allows you to ease cornering loads into the tyres precisely and instinctively without having to think about it or second-guess what may be about to happen.

Even now, with new manufacturers queueing up to launch six-figure exotics, supercardom doesn’t offer another ownership experience quite like that of a Lamborghini. And the Huracán’s sheer extravagance, visual antagonism and wonderful mechanical sincerity put it right up there with the very best Lamborghinis of all time.

But if you’re going to buy one, buy one with this steering system – and wring every bit of precision and delicacy from it that’s going. 

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Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

Lamborghini Huracán 2014-2019 First drives