Pouring rain wasn’t going to dampen the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of a Huracán STO – the most iconic and powerful version of Lamborghini’s super sportscar to date. The fact this example is bright orange, just adds to the fun.
This is no car review though, you can read that elsewhere on our website (there’s even a video to go with it). Suffice to say, we described it thus: “The 2023 Lamborghini Huracán STO is a hardcore road car that pays homage to its GT3 counterpart.”
We also said: “Stripped of any luxury fineries, it’s aggressive and track-ready. Not for the faint hearted, it’s a weapon capable of impaling a bull fighter.”
Take that last quoted sentence, and think about it for a second, or even a few minutes as you read what is a best attempt by yours truly to describe what it actually feels like to drive a supercar that is more than the sum of its parts. Here goes nothing.
From the moment I plant myself in the driver’s seat, align all the controls to my liking and flick up the aluminium start button cover, it instantly feel like I’m in a cockpit. At this point it’s hit or miss as to whether it’s an F/A-18 Hornet or a Lambo.
With a little trepidation, and some concerns about the water falling from the sky, the button is pushed and 10 cylinders spring, or rather roar, to life. We haven’t even driven a single centimetre and already I’m grinning like a little kid who’s hiding chocolate.
Clicking the up paddle into first to take off sees the car pull away a little rough, chirping on the wet gravel underneath. With the engine right behind my ears, snarling like it’s ready for the gates of hell to open, I rolled out onto the open road in STO (normal) mode.
The ride is more forgiving than you’d expect, with shifts from the 7-speed gearbox delivered seamlessly. Make no mistake though, tap it down a few gears like I did and the big Lamborghini will remind you it’s angry, and it wants out.
Semi-slick rubber goes a long way to ensuring you stay on high alert too, with the STO ready to cut loose at any moment. Far from being scary, that thought is almost exhilarating, while still being a reminder to behave, at least a little.
Through the bends, the Huracán feels light and precise, and you really get a feel for how well this can be controlled via the right foot, should you wish to do so. Exiting corners, the grip at the front is plentiful, as long as you feather the throttle.
Pushing down a long, straight stretch of road, it feels like a manageable weapon, a handgun rather than a bazooka. Jump on the stop pedal and the brakes work a treat too. It’s at this point yours truly realised something truly profound.
This is the most Lamborghini, Lamborghini since the days of the Diablo and Countach. In the pursuit of lap times and extreme performance, the Italian car maker has perfected driver engagement, creating an experience that works in multiple driving conditions.
The good looks are there in terms of design, and in the case of the STO, that’s a real road car meets race car persona, writ large for all to see. It’s a combination of the restraint of the Huracán’s design, and the big rear wing of a GT3 track monster.
It’s hard to put that into words, other than to liken it to the Thanator in James Cameron’s Avatar movie. Subdued until disturbed, it’s a powerful and ferocious animal, unique in its ability to lord over its territory and strike fear into the fiercest of Pandora’s carnivores.
And sure, this isn’t a movie, and nor are we Jake Scully, stuck on an off-world in a blue body, but we’d liken the STO to that creature. It’s relaxed, chill almost, until it’s not, and then it’s an animal that will tear its rivals hearts out.
It’s an adrenaline rush in all the right ways – part fear, part excitement, all grin-inducing. Sure, it’s expensive, and sure, it marks the end of an era as Lamborghini moves away from natural aspiration, to hybrids and electrification, but it’s the Huracán STO.
The seats are surprisingly comfortable, the atmosphere inside is pure theatre, the noises, the visual cues on the instrument cluster, the basic infotainment system, the driving modes that shift it from commuter to track attacker; it’s all so raw, and yet very tangible.
We ran without audio, just taking in the car and everything it had to offer. It begs for a good Spotify playlist though, things like Motley Crue’s Kickstart My Heart and Pretty Maid’s When God Took A Day Off would be right at home, alongside Handel’s Messiah.
Such is the Huracán STO experience that it begs for big music, iconic tunes. That aside, the hardest thing about this Lamborghini is giving it back. Returning to the car park, switching it off and handing the keys over is oddly defeating.
It’s like giving up your pet, such is the attachment you develop quickly with this piece of metal. If you are lucky enough to have ordered one or own one, I tip my hat to you. I need to win the lottery, because I want one too.
To find out more about the 2023 Lamborghini Huracán STO, contact your local Lamborghini dealer. Images courtesy of Tamara Jade Media.