2021 Lamborghini Huracán STO
FAITHFUL READERS (QUICK SHOUT-OUT TO MY wife, Gail) may recall that I have experienced some great track time and street time with some of the top-performing cars around: Bugattis (several Veyron models and the Chiron), McLarens (including the Senna and P1), Pagani (Huayra), Aston Martins (Vanquish, DB11 AMR, Vantage V-12 S), hot rods (looking at you, Ring Brothers), and, of course a baker’s dozen of Lamborghini’s finest, from the Gallardo and Murci lago to the Hurac n and Aventador. But after less than five minutes with the Lamborghini Hurac n STO, I wondered, “From what alternate universe did this car arrive?”
Unlike the normal homologation, in which a manufacturer builds a limited number of “street” cars so that its race cars qualify for certain types of races, the STO feels like Lamborghini built just enough race cars to be sure that the STO street car would be a missle that goes right up to the line of what’s allowed on the road. And after I had some seat time with this monster, I found out that STO actually is shorthand for Super Trofeo Omologato—it actually is a road-adapted (“homologated”) version of the Hurac n ST Evo, a GT racing car which provided the wildest Lamborghini track experience ever.
Computer geeks talk about “wizzywig,” the pronunciation of “WYSIWYG,” meaning “What You See Is What You Get.” The STO is all about that, as it looks supersonic and it turns out to be even faster. Its stance and overall appearance clearly write checks that its engine and suspension can easily cash … and return lots of change. Maybe the numbers will help explain this better.
- The 5.2-liter V-10 engine is naturally aspirated (no turbos or superchargers) and pumps out over 630 horsepower.
- Rear-wheel drive with 4-wheel steering makes the car feel shorter than it is, so it turns more rapidly.
- Torque vectoring by brake on all wheels helps slow one or more corners of the car to make it turn in to the corner quicker.
- Zero-to-60 in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of about 193 miles per hour.
- Aside from the above numbers, track times are much quicker than before, since the highly advanced aerodynamics use air to bolster traction by pressing down on one or more wheels, rather than adding weight to keep the car on the ground.
- Carbon-ceramic brakes like those used on Formula 1 cars, rarely used on road cars.
How does this play out in the real world? Very quickly! Climb into the cabin and be ensconced in a seat made to keep you in place, which is important when accelerating and cornering in the way that the STO can perform. Fire up the engine, and the first thing you notice is that sound. It’s all-performance all the time, and the sound perfectly portends the thrill coming soon—make that very soon.
With a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, shifts are accomplished in milliseconds (pause to let that sink in), so the forward trajectory of this land-based missile seems seamless as it hurtles faster and faster forward. There’s no perceptible pause for a gear change, just constant thrust. I can’t actually say that it made me want to be a better man, but it did want me to keep accelerating (terrible excuse for speeding, I know). The STO is so effortlessly quick that it’s easy to forget that you’re not behind the wheel of the world’s best racing simulator and that real-looking scenery shooting by is IRL (in real life).
This new Huracan offers three new driving modes: STO, Trofeo, and Pioggia. The first option offers an all-weather, easy “spirited” driving experience; the second one is for track use in wet and slippery conditions (I like to call this one “Bet the Farm”); and the third one is for maximum performance on a dry track. As you might expect, the modes adjust not only the transmission, but also the car’s suspension and other subsystems.
The base price of the STO is $327,838. “Mine” was “Nero Noctis” (very black) and the interior was “Nero Cosmus” (also very black). With a great set of options—like the dark chrome and carbon package ($8,600), a snorkel and rear wing ($8,500), a carbon rear diffuser ($8,500), the aforementioned sport seats ($7,200), and forged 20-inch wheels ($2,000)—the sticker price rose to $394,033. It’s hard to put a price on what this car delivers, though. For me, the sound and the performance alone are worth the price of admission.
A lifelong petrol-holic, mechanic (cars, motorcycles, boats), and automotive journalist since penning a column for his high school newspaper, internationally rec- ognized attorney Tim Lappen is a partner at a major Los Angeles-based law firm, where he chairs the firm’s Family Office Group and its Luxury Home Group and is, of course, a member of its Motor Vehicle Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.