"Road legal race car", "race car for the road", "track car for the road" are common tag lines all sports car makers use quite regularly these days. However, the most famous homologated cars are a rare breed, built only to meet a racing series rule that participating cars must be based on a model people could buy. Lamborghini took a rather longer route for the Huracan STO though they first modified a road legal Huracan Evo for their Super Trofeo series, won at Daytona for three and at Sebring for two consecutive years, brought all these learnings back to Huracan Evo and created the Huracan STO. In case you were wondering, STO stands for Super Trofeo Omologata where omologata is Italian for homologated.
The Huracan STO is as subtle as, well, a bull in a china shop. I mean, look at it and tell me you can't see this car means business. Here are some numbers to add to the incredulity the STO is 43 kgs lighter and has 53% more downforce than the Huracan Performante, it has a shark fin to keep the air straight over the manually adjustable massive rear wing, magnesium wheels, extra carbon-fibre body panels, a flat underfloor, a thinner windshield and an unmissable V10 engine that makes 640hp and 57.5 kg/m of torque. A red line of 8,500 rpm, without any hybrid-electric support and an exhaust note that could restore hearing in a deaf persons ears. Imagine, getting your hearing back thanks to a glorious V10 howl. The Huracan STO is loud, aurally and visually, and carries it off without a care in the world.
I got 5 laps around the BIC in the STO and they are very close to the most fun I have had on this track. The first lap was, honestly, lost in just listening to the engine note it is thunderous, unrelenting and the down-shifts make the child inside you smile wide. By the second lap, the only word playing in my mind was immediate. It is like the car knows what you want it to do next, and is ready for it when you actually do it. The V10 dominates the entire driving experience, roaring, literally and figuratively, way past normal up-shift territory egging you to take it to limit.
See, the STO makes you the hero from the moment you start driving and there was a lesson to be learnt, for me. On the last corner of the second lap, I was all pumped up to start my fast lap thundering out of the last corner. All I did though, was prove that the STO is insane but it still needs to conform the laws of physics. Too much throttle mid corner, and I was back from playing Real Racing 3 to reality with an embarrassing spin. Stayed on track though, which would have been a relief for everyone who was to drive the car after me. The remaining laps I was, obviously, more cautious and focused more on enjoying the car rather than keeping up with Armaan Ebrahim in the pace car. The STO will do everything you ask of it, as long as you don't expect it to defy the laws of physics.
The STO feels light and more connected than any road-going car really should, in today's world of dull steering. The grip from the Bridgestone Potenzas is stupendous. There are times when you expect them to give up, but they carry on squealing happily. The braking is just as impressive as the acceleration, but it may take more than 5 laps to truly appreciate them.
The other thing which stands out is how beautifully balanced the STO is. Even while you are pushing it or braking hard, it never feels out of sorts. It can be extremely forgiving, as long as you know what your limit is. Of course, it lets you show off a little bit thanks to the very coolly named driving modes STO, Trofeo and Pioggia street mode, track mode and wet mode in English. Each mode comes with its own stability control settings, but not acting as your nanny. Act over-confident and the STO will make you work for it, catching you just in time before you bin it.
As a Ferrari fan, it is not easy to praise a Lamborghini so much. But the Huracan STO deserves nothing less. This particular STO at BIC had been doing laps, with different and mostly amateur drivers, for three days and yet it hadn't broken a sweat. This is a car which is not just poster worthy, but respect worthy. Lamborghini has made something which will tug at your heart, have you grin goofily and make you look like a better driver all at the same time. All Lamborghinis are special in a way, but the STO is memorable. The tag line may be a marketing spin, but it is not easy for a road-legal car to be so good on the track. The Huracan STO simply is.