In 2009, Lamborghini quietly rolled out the rear-wheel-drive (RWD) Gallardo LP550-2. While several were sold in Singapore, other places in the region such as Thailand didn’t order a single unit.
In 2014, the company introduced the Huracan LP620-2 Super Trofeo for its racing programme, which adds to the allure of the rear-drive Huracan.
The LP580-2 looks more aggressive than the LP610-4, with a larger front spoiler to create greater front downforce and enhance cooling. The rear has a new diffuser, which is more steeply raked to cut rear lift. Atop the rear deck is a lip spoiler that does without any active aero aids.
Capping it off is a new set of staggered 19-inch wheels, shod with specially developed Pirelli P Zeros.
Not much has changed inside the cockpit, except for lightweight carbon fibre seats with manual adjustment – these optional items are very snug and hold me tightly in place.
The standard sports seats are surprisingly comfortable, without losing much support to the carbon fibre seats, and they also offer the convenience of electrical adjustment.
When Lamborghini took off the coupe’s front differential, it not only removed 33kg and reduced the kerb weight to below 1.4 tonnes (1389kg), but also fundamentally changed the way the Huracan behaves.
So, the suspension has been comprehensively tweaked, with the spring rate reduced by 10 percent and the roll stiffness adjusted to suit the RWD setup. Even grippier P Zero tyres were developed to aid the turn-in and steering feel. Indeed, the steering is more “centred” and seems to “speak” more through my palms.
At the same time, the marque wanted to emphasise the car’s RWD traits to the extreme, and that meant drift capability. Drifting needs skill and experience, and not just a car that can oversteer.
To get the stability necessary so that the owners won’t hurt themselves trying to be drift kings, Lambo engineers had to dig deep into their bag of tricks.
Part of their stability system, called LPI (Lamborghini Piattaforma Inerziale), has sensors located in the centre of gravity of the car, tracing movements in 3D.
For the LP580-2, the system has been altered to allow a relatively high degree of yaw movement (oversteer) before cutting in, and only in Sport mode. It has real-time control of the optional Magneto Rheological Suspension (MRS), steering and stability systems.
Being lower in the Lamborghini hierarchy, the LP580-2 has 30bhp less than the LP610-4.
The V10 engine also features cylinder deactivation, switching seamlessly between 5- and 10-cylinder operation to reduce fuel consumption (8.4km per litre) and carbon emission (278g per km).
Despite having less power than the LP610-4, the LP580-2’s torque curve has been adjusted towards lower revs, such that 75 percent of the 540Nm is available at just 1000rpm.
This lends the impression of extra pep to “cover” the power deficit, while also enhancing driveability around town and improving throttle response.
The LP580-2 scampers to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds, which is just 0.2 of a second less quick than the all-wheel-drive LP610-4.
The traction disadvantage of the two-wheel-drive LP580-2 doesn’t go away, right up to 200km/h, but it doesn’t worsen.
The track session in Doha revealed what the RWD Huracan can deliver.
With all the electronic stability systems turned off, oversteer is clearly possible, but the outcome depends entirely on the driver, who better be up to the task.
Getting the car 45 degrees out of line and then back in line again requires a capable driver, without which the systems alone cannot cope.
For safety, the electronic nannies allow only about 20 to 25 degrees of oversteer before they rein in any antics, but it’s entertaining enough.
Intentional oversteer is only allowed when Sport mode is selected on the ANIMA (Adaptive Network Intelligent Management) system via a button on the steering wheel.
It’s my favourite mode because it gives me free play, but it’s not the fastest way around the racetrack, as I found out when the professional instructor in the pace car pulled away every time I broke into enjoyable oversteer.
He only used Corsa mode, which is the neatest and quickest way around the track, keeping the car closest to a neutral balance while only allowing “manual” gearshifts.
The default mode is Strada, which is the most comfortable because it enables the transmission to function as a full automatic, but it’s too restrictive for quick driving.
The LP580-2 is slower (or rather, less super-fast) than the LP610-4, but boasts an even higher fun-to-drive quotient. It would have been even more fun with a manual gearbox, like the decommissioned Gallardo LP550-2.
Kudos to Lamborghini for recognising that speed need not be the be-all and end-all of modern Italian supercars.
The Huracan LP580-2 will come to Singapore in March, with a price expected to be about $190,000 less than that of the Huracan LP610-4.
Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 5.2 (A)
Type V10, 40-valves
Bore x stroke 84.5mm x 92.8mm
Compression ratio 12.7:1
Max power 580bhp at 8000rpm
Max torque 540Nm at 6500rpm
Power to weight 417.6bhp per tonne
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
Driven wheels Rear
0-100km/h 3.4 seconds
Top speed 320km/h
CO2 emission 278g/km
Front Double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Rear Double wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Front / Rear Ventilated carbon-ceramic discs
Type Pirelli P Zero
Size 225/35 R19 (front), 285/35 R20 (rear)
Traction aids ABS, ESC
Kerb weight 1389kg
Turning circle 11.5m
Price excl. COE $838,000 (after $30k CEVS surcharge)
Warranty 3 years/100,000km
+ Italian embodiment of sexiness and sportiness, superb handling ready for the racetrack
– Too many items on steering wheel, needs multi-function screen for passenger as well