The Huracán LP580-2 gets a slightly more modest version of the four-wheel-drive car’s 5.2-litre V10 engine, now producing 571bhp instead of 602bhp. However, the new model’s dry weight is just 1389kg, a 33kg saving over the LP 610-4, and it takes just 0.2sec longer to reach 62mph from rest, at 3.4sec. The top speed is 199mph.
There are visual differences between the LP580-2 and the LP610-4. The new car gets revised front and rear styling, with air intakes designed to increase downward pressure on the front axle, along with a fresh design of 19in ‘Kari’ wheels. Pirelli has developed bespoke P Zero tyres just for the rear-drive edition.
The V10 motor has a recalibrated ECU map to produce 384lb ft. Again, it's a slight reduction on the four-wheel-drive car’s figure but 75% of this torque is available at just 1000rpm.
The new car’s weight distribution is 40/60% front to rear, and Lamborghini says the selectable driving modes - Strada, Sport and Corsa - are “tuned to provide oversteering characteristics”, which could address widespread criticism of the four-wheel-drive car’s ultra-stable handling set-up.
Unlike the previous rear-drive Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2, which was offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, the LP580-2 will keep the Huracán's standard, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It will become the cleanest model in Lamborghini’s line-up, too, with an official claimed average fuel economy of 23.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 278g/km (down from 290g/km on the Huracán LP610-4).
Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann said: “The rear-wheel-drive model fits perfectly into our Huracán family. It’s the purest expression of a Lamborghini to date, and a serious car for serious drivers.”
No UK prices have been announced, but the quoted figure of €150,000 plus taxes means that the LP580-2 is likely to be slightly more affordable than the £180,000 LP610-4 - and that could make it up to £10,000 cheaper than a Ferrari 488 GTB.
An open-topped Spyder version is a near-certainty, too, although Lamborghini sources have given no indication of when it might appear.
Speaking at the launch of the Huracán LP580-2, Winkelmann said that Lamborghini will add more rear-wheel-drive versions of the Huracán to its range in the future, as well as more extreme versions of the car, but ruled out any model with a manual gearbox.
“With the Gallardo a lot of those things were not in place,” said Winkelmann. “With the Huracán we are in a much better position because we factored in the whole story when we were doing the initial planning. So yes, there will be much more to come - and that does include more rear-wheel-drive versions.”
Lamborghini believes that the LP580-2 will allow it to compete in the ‘up to $200,000’ supercar class, which accounts for almost 70% of the top-end sports car market. However, unlike the rear-drive Gallardo, which was offered in an even cheaper form with a manual transmission, the Huracán will stick with its dual-clutch gearbox across the line-up.
“There are technical reasons we cannot do a manual,” said Winkelmann, “but there is also no feedback from customers really wanting this either.
“With the four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, our research says that in this area of the market there will be 55% rear-drive sales between 2015 and 2020. So there are clearly some buyers - younger customers, I think, but also more experienced enthusiast drivers - who want rear-drive. We don’t have the same impression with the manual gearbox compared with the dual-clutch. I can say now: there will not be a manual Huracán.”
Winkelmann suggested that the Huracán range would expand upwards from the LP580-2 instead. “We have no plans to go below this price - the $200,000 mark,” he said. “But expansion at the top end of the Huracán range? It’s possible, for sure.”
That’s likely to be a reference to a potential SV version of the car. The case for such a vehicle - which would potentially pair the four-wheel-drive car’s more potent version of the 5.2-litre V10 engine with the rear-drive layout - has been made stronger by the sales success of the Aventador SV. The hardcore versions of that car, in coupé and open-topped form, are now completely sold out.