Lamborghini's Huracán off-road supercar enters the grown-man sandbox
The VW Group really has a thing for off-road sports cars. Nearly a decade after playing around with the Audi Nanuk Quattro concept, it's getting into actual road legal off-road sports car production via not one, but two brands. The Porsche 911 Dakar is now joined by the all-new Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, a Lambo rally rager with a lift, bulged-out fender flares, off-road-specific drive settings, and a 602-hp V10 powertrain. This Raging Bull is ready to break out of the pen and power toward open range.
If you find it hard to take an all-terrain Lamborghini seriously, it only gets worse when noting that the place of reveal was Art Basel, Miami Beach – not an actual car show, or an official rally event, or a gathering of real off-road enthusiasts. At least Porsche used the LA Auto Show, which has some history of major off-roader debuts.
But perhaps Art Basel is perfect, as the Sterrato, much like the concept that preceded it, seems more a Lamborghini decorated as a rally car than any kind of serious all-terrain machine, – even compared to the 911 Dakar. Its costume includes the overcompensating fender flares over widened front and rear tracks, beefed-up side skirts, nose-mounted off-road lights, aluminum front underbody protection, and even a pair of tiny side rails clinging precariously to the Huracán's fast-dropping roof. No word on whether a rooftop tent will write its way into the Lamborghini options book.
The coolest piece of exterior kit is the snorkel mounted just behind the roof panel at the top of the vented engine cover. Usually seen on the A-pillar of a road-legal off-road vehicle, the snorkel gets repositioned for sucking cleaner, less dusty air into the Huracán's mid-mounted V10.
The Sterrato gets a 1.7-in (44-mm) suspension lift, as compared to the Huracán EVO, which looks entirely insufficient on a notoriously low-riding Lamborghini. We suppose it'll help clear a few extra-large chunks of gravel on the way up a long driveway, but we're not sure it will prevent overzealous new owners from beaching themselves out in the off-road yonder.
But so long as the driver targets ground that's relatively flat and smooth, they're sure to experience unfiltered exhilaration while unleashing the hell fury of the 602-hp 5.2-liter V10 on all types of loose dirt and sand. The car boasts a 3.4-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) and a 160-mph (260-km/h) top speed. An electronically controlled AWD with locking rear diff helps distribute up to 413 lb-ft (560 Nm) of torque to the wheels best positioned to put it to the ground.
The Lamborghini Integrated Vehicle Dynamics (LDVI) system welcomes a new Rally mode to a selection that also includes Strada and Sport calibrations. The driver can punch it into Rally when things get loose and shifty, recalibrating system settings for enhanced grip and handling in the rough.
The Sterrato rides on custom-developed Bridgestone Dueler AT002 run-flat tires measuring 235/40 R19 in front and 285/40 R19 in back. Lamborghini says the tire compound and pattern are specially engineered for performance on both gravel and tarmac. Alu-monobloc pistons bite down firmly on carbon ceramic discs to bring the 19-in wheels inside those tires to halt.
Lamborghini drivers who find themselves vising the steering wheel with white knuckles while bouncing around brash-spattered dirt will be happy for the Amazon Alexa voice control for features like A/C, navigation and stereo. The telemetry system and available drive recorder, meanwhile, keep close track of each run, whether embarrassing or triumphant, for later playback, analysis and (hopefully) worldwide social media sharing.
The interior includes an updated HMI with a digital inclinometer with pitch and roll indicator, compass, geographic coordinate indicator, and steering angle indicator added to the instruments. "Verde Sterrato" Alcantara gives the Sterrato a look distinct from the rest of the Huracán fleet.
Lamborghini will begin production on 1,499 planned Huracán Sterrato cars in February 2023. US pricing was not included in Wednesday's announcement.
If you still find the Huracán Sterrato to be a wholly superfluous machine, the on/off-road prototype video below might just change your mind ... if only for a second or few. Today's newer debut video isn't as effective thanks to a truly awful narration, but some of the Sterrato v. sandboarder footage is still pretty good. We especially like watching the driver veer off the road onto bare earthen ground in a way you wouldn't usually do in any vehicle, let alone a Lamborghini at speed.