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Lamborghini Huracan STO (2021 - ) review

Loud and proud, the race-inspired Lamborghini Huracán STO takes lessons from motorsport to make good on the outrageous looks

The Auto Trader expert verdict:

5

The latest evolution of the loud and lairy Lamborghini Huracán, the STO takes its inspiration, looks and driving character from the motorsport versions that compete against Ferrari, Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and others on race tracks the world over. The STO’s job is to take the same fight to the public road, wearing its heart very much on its sleeve with its combination of wings, vents and scoops and multi-coloured liveries, plus a very, very loud exhaust system in the unlikely event they didn’t see you coming. Thankfully this character is more than just skin deep, and the motorsport influence extends to the way it drives, while also unleashing a more exciting side to the Huracán’s character previous versions somehow kept hidden. It’s hardly subtle. But if any brand can successfully do over-the-top it’s Lamborghini.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickOutrageous, even by Lamborghini standards
  • tickEasier to drive than looks suggest
  • tickYou only live once

At a glance:

Running costs for a Lamborghini Huracan STO

With a vast range of customisation options that could easily send it north of £300,000, it’s obviously a huge extravagance
There is no point attempting to make rational arguments for buying or running a Lamborghini so we won’t even try. Starting at over £250,000, and with a vast range of customisation options that could easily send it north of £300,000, it’s obviously a huge extravagance in terms of purchase price, fuel, insurance and all other running costs and considerably more expensive than a ‘regular’ Huracán. Especially if you accept the invitation to take it on a track to explore its talents as we were lucky enough to do. Tempting as this sounds the reality of the supercar market means the most sensible – and cost effective – thing would be not to drive it all, given many are traded as assets and every mile on the clock takes chunks out of the potential return on investment. Exclusivity is important here, too, and while the STO isn’t seemingly limited in production it remains more exotic than others in the range and maintaining its ongoing value would likely mean throwing a sheet over it and never using it. Which would obviously be a huge waste…
Expert rating: 1/5

Reliability of a Lamborghini Huracan STO

If you look after it properly it should return the favour and prove trouble free
Now owned by Audi, which supplies many of the parts in the Huracán, outdated stereotypes about flaky Italian build quality have seemingly been overcome. There aren’t enough Lamborghinis in the market to make meaningful measures of where the brand stands on reliability standings but, anecdotally, the engines and other mechanical parts are tough and, while servicing will obviously be expensive, if you look after it properly it should return the favour and prove trouble free. Or – see above – you could simply not drive it all to preserve its value and therefore not have to worry about reliability in the first place.
Expert rating: 5/5

Safety for a Lamborghini Huracan STO

If you choose to drive your STO on the road more than the circuit you can have a ‘street’ optimised tyre with more tread
Most Huracáns have traditionally used all-wheel drive to help put all that formidable power to the road in relative security. As a reflection of its purist credentials – and because the racing versions it’s based on are the same – the STO is only rear-wheel drive, though. Full disclosure – as it stands we’ve only driven it on a baking hot race circuit outside Rome and here, on sticky road-legal track tyres and at speeds where the wings could glue it to the ground like the wannabe racer it is, it had grip galore and two-wheel drive was no handicap. If you choose to drive your STO on the road more than the circuit you can have a ‘street’ optimised tyre with more tread, plus Lamborghini has added a new driving mode specifically for wet conditions – flamboyantly titled ‘Pioggia’ on the basis everything sounds more exciting in Italian – that optimises the traction control and other systems for slippery surfaces.
Expert rating: 3/5

How comfortable is the Lamborghini Huracan STO

It’s also ridiculously loud, which at least means you won’t hear the screams of your passenger
Again, we’ll have to caveat these impressions with the fact we only drove the Huracán STO on the circuit so – as yet – we can’t speak for how comfortable it is on the road. But when we accidentally drove a stint with it in its ‘everyday’ STO mode it felt refreshingly compliant for a machine that looks like a racing car that took a wrong turn out of the pitlane. And while the interior has been pared back in the name of weight saving there remains the same wide range of adjustment in the seating position for drivers of all shapes and sizes and you still get air-conditioning and other mod-cons. Rear visibility and the small luggage compartment up front you get in regular Huracáns have both been sacrificed in the name of cooling and aerodynamics but, hey, if you want practicality you don’t buy a supercar. It’s also ridiculously loud, which at least means you won’t hear the screams of your passenger if you do decide to demonstrate the performance to them…
Expert rating: 3/5

Features of the Lamborghini Huracan STO

There are endless personalisation options to avoid the acute embarrassment of meeting another Huracán STO that looks like yours
While some rivals use motorsport-inspired weight-saving as an excuse to strip out all the toys Lamborghini has thankfully kept the central touch-screen introduced on the Huracán Evo, through which you can control the car’s infotainment and some trick new features like lap-timing telemetry to bore your friends with via a phone app once you’re done with your track day. As is typical on a car of this type there are endless personalisation options to avoid the acute embarrassment of meeting another Huracán STO that looks like yours, up to and including motorsport style liveries of contrasting colours and stripes. Want it to feel even more like a racing car? Tick the box for the titanium rollcage and four-point harnesses to really hammer the point home.
Expert rating: 4/5

Power for a Lamborghini Huracan STO

We’d still call this relatively old-school engine the main event because that’s exactly what it is – an event
Lamborghini has tweaked and improved the Huracán in various detail ways over the time it’s been on sale but, thankfully, the engine and gearbox have been left alone, on the basis they already delivered the goods. While rivals have all gone turbocharged and some – like the McLaren Artura and Ferrari 296 GTB – are now switching to hybrid power too Lamborghini has stuck with the traditional formula of a huge, high-revving and naturally aspirated engine, here with 640 horsepower. While this new generation of hybrid rivals will likely be faster by the numbers we’d still call this relatively old-school engine the main event because that’s exactly what it is – an event. Outrageously powerful, stupidly noisy, thrillingly responsive, it is probably the Huracán’s single most distinctive and appealing feature and, in the STO, has been given licence to shout at the top of its voice. Even better? Where the original Huracán was somewhat underwhelming in its handling the STO finally delivers the sharpness we’d all been crying out for. Everything from the steering to the feel from the uprated brakes and special tyres has been calibrated to make this a Huracán for purists as well as posers – a welcome development given Lamborghini had traditionally overlooked the former in favour of the latter. Now both camps are equally well-served.
Expert rating: 5/5

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