The most enjoyable – not necessarily the “best” or “fastest” – driving machines permit latitude with their exactitude, using ruthless precision to support a driver’s personal style instead of smother it. Very few cars get it right. The Porsche 911 GT3 is one that does.
Add the Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2 – the new rear-wheel drive variant of the all-wheel drive Húracan LP 610-4 – to the short list.
To get a sense of how the rear-drive car stacks up, let’s revisit our impressions of the all-wheel version. We drove the LP 610-4 at Laguna Seca back in May for the brand’s Intensivo driving school, and two idiosyncracies stood out. The first is that it ticked around corners like the second hand on a watch. That’s great for an autocross, pivoting through cones like a Tron lightcycle. But on a circuit, you want the freedom to find your own best way to move the machine around the track, and the all-wheel-drive Huracán won’t relent on its commitment to ultimate precision. You aim at grace but you get mechanics – a robot trying to follow your instructions for dancing the Tarantella. The second peculiarity was that it squirmed under heavy braking, coming down from triple-digit speeds into a hairpin like a bull shaking off a swarm of flies.
The LP 580-2 is the prescription to cure both symptoms. As the name attests, output drops from 602 horsepower to 572 hp and torque is reduced from 413 pound-feet to 398 lb-ft, all of it sent to the rear wheels. The timed run from 0-62 miles per hour is just 0.2 seconds slower than the 610-4. No mere devaluation of potency, engineers remapped the 5.2-liter V10’s power and torque delivery so it’s different from the AWD version. Power delivery is further differentiated between the 580-2’s manual and automatic shifting, and it feels more linear when you’re working the paddles.
You need a fetish for grilles to spot the variance between this car and the all-wheel drive version. Designers reworked the strakes on the lower front intake and removed the hexagonal mesh ornamentation, so you peer straight at radiators. The corners of a larger rear grille cut deeper into the bumper. The badge ahead of the rear wheels says, “LP 580-2.” The standard 19-inch wheels are of a new design called “Kari.” Those are the visual differences. The cabin is identical.
Forgoing driven front wheels sheds 73-pounds and shifts front-to-rear balance from 43/57 in the AWD model to 40/60 here. Suspension spring rates are ten percent more relaxed in front, the anti-roll bars are softer, and the bushings throughout more forgiving. The tires are Pirelli PZeros designed specifically for this car, with a different compound, structure, and tread design than the LP 610-4.