IMAGINE taking a standard Lamborghini Huracan and evolving it into the STO, the pinnacle road going track-focused weapon that sits atop the model range. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to create such a masterpiece, then have we got a story for you.
Drawing inspiration from its GT3, Super Trofeo and street legal variants, the STO is, at this stage, the final Huracan. Shrouded in carbon fibre componentry, every facet of the vehicle has been developed with purpose.
At the heart of its development is a desire to extract the best performance, power and capability from the car, in a bid to create the ultimate driving experience. Under the hood is a 5.2-litre naturally aspired V10, delivering 471kW and 565Nm.
Thanks to its 75 per cent carbon fibre construction, it has a dry weight of just 1339kg, and offers 37 per cent better aerodynamic efficiency than a Performante. It’s custom bodywork delivers 420kg of downforce at 280km/h.
Riding on model-specific Bridgestone Potenza rubber and with a braking system designed solely for this car, the Lamborghini Huracan STO is a race car for the road. It can sprint to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds, and to 200km/h in 9.0 seconds. The speedo stops at 310km/h.
Its design began life as a clay model, and through various evolutions, tweaks and iterations, took on a shape of its own, with a big rear wing, bonnet scoops and winglets all integrated into the STO to vastly improve its shape, and aerodynamics.
None of this astounding performance, and physical beauty is possible without exceptional design and engineering however. That’s why Exhaust Notes Australia sat down with Lamborghini’s chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani and head of design Mitja Borket.
We wanted to get a better understanding of the engineering, inspiration, and balance, required to develop the Huracan STO. What follows are the answers to our questions (as part of an exclusive interview with selected Australian media).
Which is more important, aerodynamic performance or aesthetic design, and why?
Reggiani: “The car is for us, team work, and if you don’t put the best of this toward it, you will never be able to build a Lamborghini.”
“From an engineering point of view, it’s really to put together all of the best factors; aerodynamics, cooling, performance, downforce – only the best mix of all of these elements can generate a Lamborghini, and in this case, can generate the STO.”
Borket: “At the end of the day, it is about creating the perfect product, the perfect car. In the case of the STO it was clear to take all the ingredients and all the design from the successful race cars, and to make them as radical as possible to create that into a street legal car, and that was for us, a challenge and pleasure at the same time.”
How has Lamborghini’s success and the experience from the 24-hours of Daytona influenced the car and the design choices?
Borket: “First of all, the design team are always taking influence from racing. We enjoy the cars, but also it’s about the feedback we are hearing from the race team, Squadra Corsa, and the drivers. For example, one element that sticks out for me is the air scoop and the rear fin.”
“On the race car, this is giving high speed stability while cornering and it was clear we wanted to have this on the street legal car. In the case of the STO, we want to show everything that is on the race car but street legal.”
What sort of technical process does Lamborghini follow in developing a car like the STO and is there a trade off between performance and design when coming up with the end result?
Reggiani: “When we start every new project we have a spider diagram and every time, design is on top of the spider diagram. To be Lamborghini means to have the best design and the best performance.”
“It’s the result of a team working together, and you don’t take priority from one single element, or attribute of the car, and for us, the attributes are what defines the physics of the car and the fundamental design, and while the design is done by Centro Style, they are fully integrated and what they produce is both physics and aesthetics.”
Borket: “For me, what is really cool at Lamborghini is that we all access these iconic cars, like the Diablo and the GT3, and all our cars have these iconic elements. We sit together with the engineers, and the race department, because what is really the strength of Lamborghini is that we race in style.”
“Basically, we are developing and designing the race cars, with our understanding of the aerodynamics. We take the cool design of the Super Trofeo race cars, with the inspiration of the GT3 cars.”
“The Huracan STO was a job where we could perfectly take 100 per cent of all the design elements of the race car because they were already highly functional, and create a car that was perfect for the road.”
Where do you get your inspiration from – what other car or objects inspire you as a designer?
Borket: “In terms of inspiration, for me as a designer, I’m a motorcycle guy, and I like to do track days. The Huracan STO is also the perfect car for when you want to do a track day.”
“Really though, my inspiration is the good mood I have. The best ideas are arriving in the morning, when I start the day. I’m anticipating the projects we are doing, but am quite gifted in terms of the fact that ideas keep coming.”
“At the end of the day, as a designer, you are sucking in every impression; a trip to Rome, a visit to a museum of art, you go to some exhibitions, or Pebble Beach, or you go to a race track and you see a race, or you watch a motorcycle race on the television, you will find there’s always inspiration along the way.”
“I’m personally very proud that in the Huracan range, the STO as a product absolutely stands out. It is already showing in the design and the functionality, the fun that you will have when you’re driving it. For me that’s an inspiration for the next project.”
Is the STO the final variant of the Huracan, or will there be more before the end of its life cycle?
Reggiani: “We don’t like to talk about the future, but we will never stop working and we are full of ideas in terms of design and engineering. We will never give up on seeing what the potential is, with the fantastic base of the Huracan, with its naturally aspirated V10 and a chassis that is one of the best in terms of performance.”
“This is a question mark, but I think we will soon see something different” [a plug-in hybrid version has already been announced and is due in 2024].
On the question of the future of the naturally aspirated V10, he added: “In this decade, you will continue to hear the sound and the voice of our thermo-dynamic [combustion] engine, coupled with an electric motor. We will integrate with the latest technology to be more socially sustainable. This is important.”
For those interesting in owning a 2022 Lamborghini Huracan STO, the car will launch in Australia mid-next year. We’ve been advised by the car maker that while there’s a significant bank of orders, there are still vehicles available to purchase.