Evo is essentially the midcycle reset for the entire Huracan model line. The three letters means evoluzione and reflect the evolution of the new base model. Gone is the Huracan LP610-4 coupe (and that naming convention); every future Huracan variant will be based on the Evo. And what a place to begin, as Evo upgrades the base coupe with the Performante’s 630-horsepower V-10 and next-generation electromechanicals culled from across Lamborghini, including torque vectoring, rear-wheel steering, and something called inertial platform. Everything else is about the same. The Evo’s chassis components, stiffness, and even overall weight are the same as the coupe, Lamborghini chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani claims. From a hardware perspective, the Evo’s V-10 has 99 percent parts commonality with the Performante’s, but Reggiani says the software has many key differences; notably, the Evo redlines 500 rpm lower at “only” 8,000 rpm.
The design is evolutionary, as well; 20-inch Y-spoked wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero rubber are the most obvious tip-off from afar. Only the nose and tail of the stealth-fighter-influenced Huracan have been Evo-tweaked with a front chin spoiler and a small integrated wing in the rear decklid. Repositioning the exhaust pipes to the middle of the rear fascia, with their twin cannonlike tips protruding around the license plate, doesn’t just look a lot more racy (and indeed were inspired by MotoGP bikes and Lamborghini’s GT3 race car). It also provides real estate for a taller, more substantial rear diffuser. There is no large rear wing or ALA active aerodynamics system, but Reggiani claims a sixfold improvement in aerodynamic efficiency and seven times more downforce over the Huracan coupe.
Evo is the same weight as its predecessor, which means it’s about 88 pounds heavier than the Performante. But here’s where it gets interesting: Reggiani claims the Evo is a whopping 3.0 seconds faster than the base Huracan coupe over Lamborghini’s 5-mile test course at the Nardo Ring, where it also just clips the Performante.
How? Lamborghini Dynamic Vehicle Integration (LDVI), a fully integrated vehicle dynamics control system with a single CPU that governs five main subsystems: torque vectoring all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, traction control, adaptive magnetorheological dampers, and that inertial platform (called LPI—Lamborghini Piattaforma Inerziale). LPI 2.0 is an updated set of accelerometers and gyroscopic sensors placed near the vehicle’s center of gravity to monitor the real-time attitude of the car, including acceleration in the lateral, longitudinal, and vertical directions, as well as roll, pitch, and yaw. LPI and the other systems inform the LDVI controller (by relaying such inputs as steering wheel, brake, and throttle position, as well as engaged gear, drive mode, and torque split). Lamborghini claims external conditions can be determined via feedback from the active suspension and a grip estimation function of the all-wheel-drive system. Reggiani says LDVI processes all of this information in real time and uses “feed-forward logic” to make new, dedicated settings for all subsystems in 20 milliseconds. (In comparison, a human eye blink takes between 100 and 150 milliseconds.) “It doesn’t just react; the car predicts the best driving setup for the moment,” says Reggiani, who also confirmed that LDVI is a Lamborghini exclusive; platform-mate Audi R8 won’t get it.
To find out whether any of this was remotely discernible or true, we took a total of 12 hot laps in three lead-follow sessions (chasing a Lamborghini test driver) at the glorious Bahrain International Circuit, the Middle East’s premier F1 track, which debuted in 2004. Last fall, we named the Huracan Performante our Best Driver’s Car, so prior to this outing, I pinged my fellow editor-judges for thoughts on how the best could be made better. Brakes were a consistent theme.
“I’d prefer more feel from the brake pedal—it’s just hard and dead,” road test editor Chris Walton said. Guest judge and Automobile‘s own Jethro Bovingdon agreed: “They go very hard and dead under extreme use. The ABS was also triggering a lot of you touched any curb.” There were also some requests for increased nimbleness and a more neutral attitude (less under- and oversteer, through corners).
First, the bad news. No one on Team MotorTrend is going to like the brakes. Despite six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers grabbing cross-drilled and ventilated carbon-ceramic discs, the feel is surprisingly soft at first stab, without the linearity of the very best sports cars. Judging braking points at high speeds is tricky, often requiring an exploratory dab to find the engagement point, and then harder and harder effort to bring about predictable deceleration. A full damn-the-torpedoes stomp at the end of one of BIC’s long straights sends the Evo (and my jowls) diving forward, but as the car slows, the lightened rear end wags noticeably. Not scary, but not reassuring, either. When I mentioned that perhaps more wing (a la Performante) might help settle the rear, Reggiani nodded knowingly and said, “Yes, yes, but we need to leave something for later, right?”
By: Edward Loh, January 25, 2019