Do we really need to test supercars? Casting big old bags of aspersions all over the place, I watch what people who own space-shape looking trophies like the 2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo do with them. With few exceptions, they aren’t taking ’em to track days, if you know what I’m saying.
Here’s what I see. There’s been an incredibly popular Cars and COVID event every Sunday in Malibu, California. It’s outdoors, everything else has been canceled, and it’s become a relatively safe way to check out some incredible metal and to see some friends.
Last time I was there, the Lambros rolled up (late, natch), put their Aventadors in neutral, then annoyingly and pathetically began revving the big V-12s while sitting in traffic waiting to park. Guess what? Event got canceled. Color me shocked. There are exceptions (hi, Misha!), but owners who actually hammer on their metal are few and far between. So why test them to their limits? Because it’s the most important thing we do.
We recently ran a story I wrote about pro driver Randy Pobst saving a Porsche 911 GT2 RS from the jaws of The Crusher. The TL;DR version is that the lap record Pobst set with the car allowed Porsche to stick the GT2 RS into its museum.
Digging a bit deeper, as Porsche GT boss Andy Preuninger told me, “I absolutely love this car. It has such a cool personal history. I exactly remember the day it was unloaded in front of my office. It was special from day one.” He continued, “Willow [Springs] lap record, won every back-to-back comparison it competed in, MotorTrend figure-eight handling record, and featured in numerous television shows. So happy it may live on!” I recently did 25 laps in this British racing green legend, and I think I’m even happier than Preuninger that the thing lived.
The above is a long-winded way of saying it might look like performing multiple quarter-mile runs in a beautiful Lamborghini is simply horsing around, but in reality it’s important if not essential work. You heard me. Moving on.
2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo: The Specs
The bogey for Lambo’s AWD Evo is none other than Lamborghini’s own Huracán Performante. A dropped lead microphone of a performance statement, the Performante was not only quicker around Big Willow than a Porsche 918 Spyder, but it went on to win our 2018 Best Driver’s Car trophy. Why does the Evo have to measure up to such a stud of a car, and how does it hope to? Well for one, the Evo uses the Perf’s sonorously wonderful 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V-10. Same power output (630 horsepower) and everything. Also, the legendary Performante is no longer on sale, so the Evo AWD is what we have. Oh, almost forgot: This here Bianco Opalis Evo just won our 2020 Best Driver’s Car contest.
Think of the 2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo AWD as the mid-cycle refresh of the original Huracán LP 610-4. The jump is large, possibly as large as the jump from the plain old (and underwhelming) Gallardo to the stonking Gallardo LP 560-4. You can read about each and every change here, but know that in terms of performance, the biggies over the old Huracán are the more powerful engine (up 30 hp), rear steering, torque vectoring, better aero, the Lamborghini Dynamic Vehicle Integration (LDVI)—which basically means all the computers and accelerometers are faster and communicate with each other better—and of course newer, more aggressive Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires.
There’s a $22,000 price difference between the two (we’re talking base—options go way up), with the Huracán Evo starting at $267,569 and our as-tested car ringing the bell at $312269. No, not cheap, not even kinda.
Weight represents the second largest numerical difference between the two. At 3,645 pounds, the Evo weighs 152 pounds more than the 3,493-pound Performante. Many parts on the Performante are built out of “chopped” or forged carbon-fiber; that ain’t the case with the Evo. Still, it’s not as if the Evo is fat, per se. Modern cars, even those of the super persuasion, are just heavy. For instance, a comparable 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S weighs 3,628 pounds. Modern cars, like bricks, are heavy.
2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo AWD: Acceleration
Both cars are AWD, yet the Evo clips the Performante to 60 mph, knocking it out in 2.5 seconds, one tenth of a second quicker. Before we move on, I’m still shocked that sub-3-second 0–60 mph runs are a thing. When I was walking uphill both ways through snowstorms, the 444-hp Porsche 959 blew everything on four wheels away—even the Shelby Cobra 427!—because it used fancy AWD to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. This here Lambo shaves a second off an already unbelievable number. I’m old, I know. How does the Evo get that tenth of a second advantage over the lighter Perf? I’m guessing software changes, via the aforementioned LDVI. Does the Performante’s fancy-pants aero-vectoring ALA system have anything to do with the win? Remember, when accelerating, ALA stalls both the splitter and the big wing.
The quarter mile tells a bit of a different story. The Lamborghini Huracán Evo does it in 10.5 seconds with a trap speed of 132.7 mph. Again, ludicrous. Speaking of which, do you know how quick the Tesla Model S P100D Ludicrous runs the quarter mile? 10.5 seconds at 125.0 mph. I know because I was there when our road test editor, Chris Walton, gave Elon Musk a gigawatt worth of Twitter fodder.
The Performante is quicker than both, running down 1,320 feet in 10.4 seconds at 134.5 mph. Of course, the 992 Porsche 911 Turbo S does it in 10.3 seconds, but never mind that right now. The trap speed tells the story here—because of a better weight-to-power ratio, the Performante is moving faster at the end of race.
2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo AWD: Braking
The braking? Identical. Both cars stop from 60 mph in 93 feet, which is world class. We also measure the vaunted 0–100–0 numbers on supercars. The Evo accelerates from a dead stop to 100 mph and then gets back down to not moving in 9.5 seconds. The Performante shaves a tenth from that, doing so in 9.4 seconds.
2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo AWD: Handling
We test handling, too, using our I-hope-we-patented-it MotorTrend figure eight. Here, the 2021 Lamborghini Huracán Performante narrowly edges out the Evo, 22.2 seconds versus 22.3. If I may pause this story again, both numbers are excellent. The best number we’ve ever seen, from the 691-hp Porsche 991 911 GT2 RS, is 21.9 seconds.
To give you some idea how elite 22.2/22.3 seconds is, the 755-hp, 3,093-pound McLaren 765LT takes 22.3 seconds. So yes, both Lamborghinis are world-class handlers. Remember, straight-line acceleration grabs all the headlines, but the figure-eight test is what matters when you get out and actually drive.
As does roadholding. Here, the Performante fully flexes its muscles. Both “super sports cars,” as Lamborghini is fond of saying, pull a max g of 1.12 (same tires); the Perf’s average g-load around the figure eight is 1.00, whereas the Evo manages only 0.96. I’m no mathist, but I bet the extra 152 pounds accounts for the extra 0.04 g.
2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo AWD: The Lap Time
Now comes the crazy part. As I said up top, both raging bulls are Best Driver’s Car winners. As such, Pobst tested both cars at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Why crazy? The Performante popped off a blistering 1:30.00 lap, the fifth quickest we’ve ever recorded. Ahead of it are things like the $1M McLaren Senna (1:27.62) and the $1M Porsche 918 Spyder (1:29.89). The Performante went around Laguna’s 2.21 miles quicker than the $1M McLaren P1 (1:30.97).
The Huracán Evo? It put in a best lap of 1:32.85, a significant 2.85 seconds slower than the Performante. Identical braking performances (Laguna Seca has three severe braking zones), one’s a squinch quicker to 60 mph (when you brake down to a second-gear corner, acceleration matters), one’s a tick quicker in the quarter mile (there are two long straights where both cars will exceed 130 mph), and there’s a tenth of a second between them around the figure-eight test. Say huh?
As any real racer will tell you, best to have your excuses ready to go. For one, we normally perform BDC in June or July, but thanks to the global pandemic, we were forced into mid-October, where counterintuitively, temperatures on track were much hotter. Also, we only ran the Huracán Evo on the first day we were there. Lap times seemed to improve on the second day. Pobst felt it would have been a second quicker had we lapped it on day two. So, let’s pretend the Evo was a second a lap quicker. That’s still a 1.85-second gap between it and the Performante, and weight is an obvious factor. Lamborghini sent a technician to Laguna Seca to set tire pressures and that sort of thing. (That’s not unusual; most carmakers send engineers to the track.) I asked him, why so slow?
“ALA.” He said, “The Evo doesn’t have ALA.” Well, now you know.
|SPECIFICATIONS||2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo AWD|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$312,269|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Mid-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe|
|ENGINE||5.2L/630-hp/442-lb-ft DOHC 40-valve V-10|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed twin-clutch auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,645 lb (43/57%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||178.0 x 76.1 x 45.9 in|
|0-60 MPH||2.5 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||10.5 sec @ 132.7 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||93 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||1.12 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||22.3 sec @ 0.96 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||13/18/15 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||259/187 kWh/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.31 lb/mile|
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