Reviews

The STO Is the Ultimate Huracán

Supercar makers are always sparing with their special sauce, reserving the fastest and most extreme iterations of a given model until late in their product cycle. This form of delayed gratification is ultimately a function of product planning rather than technological progress, but it does tend to give us the definitive version of a given model. Examples of the genre include the Ferrari 458 Speciale and 488 Pista, McLaren’s LT variants, and—we supposed until very recently—the 2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante, which previously sat atop the model hierarchy.

Although the Performante was truly special—its potency proved by both a Nürburgring Nordschliefe production lap record and a 2.2-second sprint to 60 mph—it clearly wasn’t quite special enough for Lamborghini. Now the company has created an even more extreme and track-focused variant to round off the Huracán’s long and successful life. This is the Huracán Super Trofeo Omologata (STO)—as in homologated—intended to be the closest thing possible to a street-legal version of the Super Trofeo race car. It will arrive in the spring, starting at $334,133.

While it will have license plates and be fully capable at the all-important business of low-speed posing, the STO is designed for intensive circuit work. That point was proven when we got to drive a late prototype version on the demanding 3.8-mile handling circuit at the Porsche-owned Nardó technical center in southern Italy. This itinerary didn’t provide much insight into how the STO will cope with the challenges of the real world—we’re certainly not expecting limo-like refinement—but our drive did prove it feels truly mighty on a closed course.

Not that the STO is the quickest Huracán on paper. Its 5.2-liter V-10 makes 631 horsepower, equaling the output of the Performante and Evo variants, but torque has fallen slightly, to 417 pound-feet. Such as its motorsport counterparts, the STO is rear-wheel drive. This saves weight compared to the all-wheel-drive Performante but also hampers off-the-line acceleration, with Lamborghini’s claimed 3.0-second zero-to-62-mph time being a tenth shy of the corresponding figure for the earlier car. STO-specific gearing also brings the top speed down to 193 mph, while the Performante hits 202 mph.

None of this matters at all. On a track, the STO will be the quickest streetable Huracán by a considerable margin. Lamborghini says the new car can lap the Daytona International Speedway road course in 1:48.9—nearly three seconds quicker than the Performante and just two-and-a-half shy of the GT3 Evo race car.

Besides ditching the front half of the drivetrain, other weight-saving measures include magnesium alloy wheels, a titanium roll cage (developed with Akrapovič), and a single-piece carbon-fiber clamshell front end inspired by the similar “cofango” of the Miura. Inside, the STO loses carpets and gains carbon-bodied sports seats, and the windshield is thinner and 20 percent lighter. The STO weighs 95 pounds less than the Performante, according to Lamborghini.

The V-10 remains the starring feature. The peak horsepower might be unchanged, but the STO gets a more aggressive throttle map and a sharpened top-end soundtrack that reserves its most savage noises for the vicinity of the 8500-rpm rev cut. The accelerator response is instantaneous in a way that even the keenest turbocharged engines can’t match, and although low-down urge is lacking—peak torque arrives at a screaming 6500 rpm—the STO’s lungs are deep enough that it never feels anything less than outrageously fast.

The STO’s suspension is fortified for track work with new bushings and anti-roll bars, as well as recalibrated MagneRide active dampers. Dynamic settings are still regulated by the ANIMA controller, but the modes have been renamed. STO is intended for road use, Trofeo for dry track, and Pioggia for wet. Selecting Trofeo raises the traction and stability-control systems’ intervention thresholds to what is effectively a sport mode, and these are also fully defeatable.

One trait the prototype STO shared with other Huracáns was its low-effort steering, which exhibited a marked lack of resistance around the straight-ahead position. The STO uses a fixed-ratio steering rack instead of the variable-ratio setup offered with lesser versions. That makes for less frenetic reactions, but steering inputs at high speed are still judged based on acquired faith rather than the reassurance of fulsome feedback. Like the Huracán Evo, the STO gets a rear-steering system, capable of adding up to three degrees of lock, which helps the car change direction but doesn’t add to the sense of dynamic connection.

But this proved to be a small complaint. Once in a corner and loaded up, the STO’s chassis instills near-total confidence, with huge grip from the track-ready Bridgestone Potenza tires coexisting with a remarkable degree adjustability. The mighty engine has more than enough urge to overwhelm the rear tires and send the STO into lurid oversteer. But the delicacy of the balance between adhesion levels is more impressive, with the Huracán’s sensitivity to weight transfer and the surgical accelerator making it easy to alter its line with small inputs. The experience often felt like driving a 600-hp Porsche Cayman.

Significant downforce enhances both high-speed grip and the driver’s confidence level in faster turns. The STO doesn’t have active aerodynamic elements, but the vast rear wing can be manually adjusted between three positions to deliver different amounts of assistance. The most aggressive of these creates a huge 992 pounds at 174 mph—the Performante makes a peak of 771 pounds of downforce at 193 mph—with a substantial amount of that figure available at lower and more track-typical speeds. The steering doesn’t weight up noticeably as aero loads build, but it only takes a few committed corners to start believing in its precision. The track-focused Huracán’s high-speed stability was demonstrated at Nardó’s first turn, a hugely fast left-hander that the STO proved capable of taking at an indicated 171 mph.

The STO has also been treated to upgraded brakes, Lamborghini fitting it with CCM-R discs that are claimed to offer 25 percent more stopping power than regular carbon-ceramics, and with a 400-percent improvement in thermal conductivity. Those brakes were resilient under even the hardest use, allowing the Huracán to venture far beyond what initially felt like brave braking points. There is also a new dashboard display to report rotor and brake fluid temperatures. Only the biggest stops turned these briefly from green to yellow.

The STO feels like a fitting finale to the Huracán story. The Aventador’s rowdy younger sibling is still Lamborghini’s most successful model of all time (although the Urus is closing fast) and deserves to go out on a high. Much of the STO’s clientele will doubtless consist of moneyed extroverts drawn by its range-topping status and ability to draw crowds. But based on our experience of the prototype, this is car that was designed to thrive under the hardest track use. Hopefully more than a few of them will actually get driven that way.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *