First Drive

Lamborghini Huracan STO 2020 review

What’s it like?

My experience was limited to a pair of development prototypes and was exclusively on the demanding 3.8-mile handling circuit at the vast Porsche-owned Nardó proving ground in southern Italy. This gave little chance to assess how the finished STO is likely to deal with life beyond a race track, although you’ll be unsurprised to hear that ride is firm and refinement was obviously way down the engineers’ list of priorities. But on track, it promises to be an absolute monster. 

The mighty V10 has been turned up to 11. Responses to even the smallest change in accelerator input are instantaneous, and although it can’t match the low-down wallop of turbocharged alternatives, it doesn’t feel lacking in brawn when being short shifted, with the relative shortfall in torque making it easier to trust bigger throttle openings at lower engine speeds. The motor sounds spectacular, too – not noticeably louder than the regular Huracán (and certainly not when experienced through the padding of a helmet) but with a rasping that crescendoes to a savage climax when the rev counter starts to turn red. The dual-clutch transmission is close to unimprovable, changes delivered with lightning speed heading both up and down its seven ratios.

While the prototype STO’s chassis has more grip and better adjustability, other Huracán dynamic traits remain. The steering is ultra-precise but remains light, with only limited sensation reaching the wheel in the first few degrees of lock. Turn-in is based on acquired trust more than fulsome feedback, too. But once in a corner and loaded up, the chassis inspires massive confidence, with the STO’s line easily and instinctively adjusted using the throttle.

It can be powered into oversteer, unsurprisingly, with the Trofeo setting allowing for considerable slip before the stability systems intervene. More impressive is the prototype’s sensitivity to weight transfer, allowing the relative grip of front and rear axles to be varied with small changes in accelerator pressure. Rear steering can be felt working in slow corners only and torque vectoring is similarly invisible. Once the tyres are warm and biting hard, the STO feels remarkably unscary for something so potent and rear-wheel driven. It’s certainly less bitey on track than the McLaren 765LT.  

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