Interesting chat last night with a confident Stephan Winkelmann, who was preparing to perform the official unveiling of the new Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2 (even though it had been released a few hours earlier).
Our impromptu five-minute interview segment was all running smoothly enough. Yes, he said, there would be more rear-wheel-drive versions of the Huracán to follow. Yes, he acknowledged, there is scope for higher-end editions of the car and more extreme versions. Yes, the rear-drive LP580-2 is designed for some younger buyers and older enthusiasts who don’t want a four-wheel-drive supercar - but that technology will remain, because it’s considered a Lamborghini Unique Selling Proposition.
And then I asked if there are plans to have an even cheaper, rear-drive and manual-gearbox version of the Huracán, as there was with the Gallardo. “No,” said Winkelmann. “There are technical reasons why we cannot do a manual, but there is also no feedback from customers really wanting this either.”
This seemed an important point, so I pressed him further. “I can say now,” he stated, “there will not be a manual Huracán.”
I find this a little sad - not only for what it tells us about supercar customers these days, but also because it seems that a bit of Lamborghini’s edge is being rubbed off. Winkelmann went on to make his presentation, labelling the LP580-2 as the Huracán that’s ‘Fun To Drive’ (makes me wonder what the other two versions are for). But it’s a genuinely sad day when there aren’t enough enthusiasts asking for three pedals as well as just two driven wheels, isn’t it?
I am definitely not one of the finest drift merchants on the Autocar staff list, but when I had an LP610-4 Huracán for an evening a few months back, I was blown away by its performance but left slightly underwhelmed by its generosity - which is to say that there was a bit too much of it. The market for supercars probably dictates that Lamborghini needs to make more civilised, usable, friendly supercars. But I reckon at least one Lambo Huracán should be a bit hairy, force the driver to work really hard and yes, potentially, master the gear shifts for themselves.
Right now, it feels like Lambo’s product line-up is being painted purely by numbers - and the avoidance of that approach thus far is what has made the brand so inspiring. Is anyone else troubled by that?