Lamborghini provided air travel from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles and two nights in a hotel for this test track opportunity.
SANTA MONICA, Calif.—It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but automakers usually reserve the "evo" badge for cars that are a little bit special. Already-fast race cars like the Peugeot 905 and Porsche 919 Hybrid turned into Evos that went even faster. The BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz 190E Evos brought some of the German touring car paddock to parking lots at law firms and trading desks at the end of the 1980s. Mitsubishi had an entire series of Evos, more famous now from starring in Gran Turismo than for years of rallying success. And this sentiment more than likely holds true of the Huracán Evo, the latest iteration of Lamborghini's V10 supercar.
I'll need more time behind the wheel to be more definitive, for this analysis is based on just a few laps at Willow Springs, a high-speed, old school race track not too far from Edwards Air Force Base. But if my first impression is correct, the Huracán Evo is one of those cars that flatters the person behind the wheel regardless of their talent. It is, however, completely misnamed.
Evo is short for evolution, obviously. But this supercar didn't evolve; it's proof of intelligent design. For one thing, a naturally aspirated V10 engine is becoming less and less fit for surviving CO2 per mile regulations, at least without some kind of hybridization. For another, there was intent behind the changes it sports over previous Huracáns. This is not the product of a random and uncaring universe, it's a tool for those with means to use it for a specific end. In this case, a machine you step out of with a bigger grin and more effervescence than you had when you got in.
Even supercars get a facelift
You'll need quite a keen eye to tell a Huracán Evo from one of the earlier cars. At the front there's a new splitter with an integrated wing that does more with the air it channels around the car. The revised front also generates an air curtain that helps control turbulent wind from the front wheels and feeds cool air into the radiators behind the doors. At the rear, the Evo looks much more technical, with more vents and grills to help hot air escape the engine bay. Lamborghini says this is a nod to the Huracán GT3 race car and its recent run of success at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. (After many years of avoiding competition, the factory at Sant'Agata has embraced the GT3 category of customer racing.) In total, the company says the new car has six times the aerodynamic efficiency of the old car and seven times as much downforce at speed.
Underneath the glass rear deck lives the Huracán Evo's V10. It's borrowed from the stripped-out Performante model that debuted in 2017, which means 630hp (470kW) at 8,000rpm and peak torque of 442lb-ft (600Nm) at 6,500rpm. "Being naturally aspirated is one of the key things that differentiates Lamborghini in this segment," said Alessandro Farmeschi, president and CEO of Lamborghini America. It certainly sounds all the better for it, particularly in comparison to the turbocharged V8s that power mid-engined competitors from McLaren and Ferrari.