Hot Laps and Delusions of Grandeur in the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo

You’ll feel like a hot lap hero in the Huracan Evo—even if it’s Lamborghini’s latest doing most of the work.

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Hot Laps and Delusions of Grandeur in the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo © Hot Laps and Delusions of Grandeur in the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo

The V-10 yowls up through second and into third as it nears the rev limiter. Even with the redesigned aerodynamics, I can still sense the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo get light and a bit squirrelly as man and machine crest the hill on the back of Willow Springs' tarmac. I wrestle the steering wheel back to straight. The supercar’s engine barks through third, then fourth, and almost to fifth before I lay into the carbon brakes. The Lambo's tail shimmies to and fro, and I let out a Keanu-esque “Whoa” before I right the car’s trajectory. 

Mario Andretti’s old quote runs through my head—“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough”—as my uncontrollable giggles fill the cabin. The Huracan Evo and I are most definitely going fast enough.

The 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo, By the Numbers

  • Base Price: $261,274 
  • Powertrain: Naturally Aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 | 640 horsepower, 442 pound-feet | 7-speed dual-clutch | mid-engine, all-wheel drive
  • 0-62 mph: 2.9 seconds
  • Top Speed: 202 mph
  • Fuel Economy: N/A
  • Random Spec: 8,000 rpm redline
Michael Shaffer

Normally, I’d leave a lot more on the table. This isn’t Le Mans and I’m not Andretti. I’m hyper-aware of Big Willow’s habit of biting people at eye-popping speeds, too. But I don’t have much of a choice. A promise of decent seat time with the Lamborghini Huracan Evo—the latest in a long line of pissed-off Italian bulls—had been whittled down to just three 2.5-mile hot laps by weather equally unforeseen and unforgiving. Just three laps to see how Lamborghini altered the Huracan's genome, how this mad bull has adapted to the evermore technologically-augmented supercar field. A tall order.

Out of the sweeping off-camber Turn 9, the Huracan Evo dancing to my inputs, I bury the throttle for the main straight. The naturally aspirated, 5.2-liter V-10 belts its operatic score all the way to its 8,000 RPM redline. I pull back the paddle, upshift, and mutter a quick incantation as I summon the beast's full spirit. One lap down. 

Halfway down the main straight, I hesitate to glance at the Lamborghini’s digital dash—I know I’m going fast by how quickly the pit disappears from my periphery. But can’t help myself. I see 153 mph click by as I cross the track’s Start/Finish and prepare for the braking zone. Earlier, Lamborghini had set out cones to mark braking points; three for the earliest, one at the latest. I see the first three cones streak by. Two cones. One cone. I mash the Evo’s massive carbon ceramic brakes and the supercar’s nose dives. As I turn into the first corner, having only scrubbed off 40-ish mph, the supercar’s damn-fine ass shakes back and forth again. Fast enough.

  • Michael Shaffer
  • Michael Shaffer
  • Michael Shaffer
  • Michael Shaffer

The distance between Turn 1 and Turn 2, a short hop in a normal car, virtually disappears thanks to the Huracan Evo’s elemental V-10 engine. For good measure, Sant’Agata added a dose of high-grade mescaline to its already preternatural powerplant, which now lets loose 640 rampaging Italian horses. It’s nominally off its boosted, 700-plus-horsepower competition from Ferrari and McLaren, but there’s absolutely no need for any more power for something that sounds as good as the Evo. How many more cars will be made with a free-breathing V-10? Count them on one hand.

A sharp jab at the brakes and the Lamborghini and I are railing through Turn 2’s long right-hander far faster than I’ve ever been. I’m barely a lap and a half in, but others have played with this particular car before, and around the high-speed turn I can feel the Pirelli rubber is worn and losing some grip. But the increasingly greasy tires are countered by the Huracan's newest party trick: an all-wheel steering system.

Michael Shaffer

While its Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva—active aero to the Italian-challenged—can fight understeer by increasing aerodynamic drag on the side of the supercar that's inside the curve, pulling you into the apex with its moving wings and ducts, the sans-ALA Huracan Evo's job is made easier by an all-wheel steering that almost never allows for understeer. At high track speeds, the front and rear wheels turn in unison—and then so does the car itself. It just happens. Like lightning. At first, the extra turn-in generated by the pivoting rear can feel artificial. It’s difficult to trust the system, but ferocious once you learn its capabilities. This is going to turn Instagram influencers into hot-lap heroes, and track rats into driving gods. Bow before Evo.

Michael Shaffer

I pass Turns 3 and 4 and begin my descent into the Turn 5 through Turn 6 ridge; the same one where I felt the Huracan Evo get light. This time, my line is better, I shift to fourth and I carry more speed—there are those revamped aerodynamics doing their thing. With the aero pressing the supercar’s magnetorheological dampers, and my spine, into the track’s surface, I am reduced to an automaton, taking in sensory inputs, executing the appropriate commands, and thinking of nothing else but the drive at hand. Each successive turn falls faster and faster and the supercar howls with an unholy fervor as I once again pass the Start/Finish line. Two laps down. 

Braking into Turn 1, I finally settle into the Huracan Evo’s seats. I feel far more comfortable behind the wheel. The last two laps have been about learning the car, and I’m finally trusting the all-wheel steering. I’m trusting the revised downforce. I’m trusting both to keep the V-10’s fiery power in check. We’re finally working in tandem as the high desert heat fades around me. Bang, upshift. I’m through Turn 2. Bang, upshift. Bang, upshift. I’m at the braking point of Turn 3. I let the Huracan Evo’s tail slide ever-so-slightly up Big Willow’s Turn’s 3 and 4 uphill section and catch a brief glimpse of tire smoke in the rearview mirror. Down the hill, I stay tight to the apex of Turn 5 and exit Turn 6’s crest unbelievably quick. 

  • Michael Shaffer
  • Michael Shaffer
  • Michael Shaffer
  • Michael Shaffer

By the middle of the back straight, I see 160 mph click by on the speedometer. Into Turn 7, I lift and an angry avalanche of noise pours from the Huracan Evo’s twin tailpipes. Turn 8 doesn’t even register before I jab the carbon ceramic brakes at Turn 9 and let the Huracan Evo rotate for a better hole-shot out of the final corner. And then, without me even realizing it, my time is over. I’m on my cool-down lap and left with only my thoughts and racing heartbeat. 

When Lamborghini debuted the Huracan in 2014, the supercar showed the world the company was intent on producing serious machinery. No longer were its metallic sculptures just meant for stationary adoration or bedroom walls. The Huracan Performante upped the ante even more by putting Ferrari and McLaren on notice with some of the smartest aerodynamics ever produced. As for the Huracan Evo, it looks like Lamborghini has perfected the naturally aspirated mid-engine supercar’s on-track prowess. As for anything else, we'll need more than three fever-dream laps to issue a final ruling.

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