Lambo lusting in Italy

Vroom with a view

When the Italians invite you to their 60th anniversary celebrations, all bets are off. Living by the mantra of ‘eat slow, drive fast’, the Lamborghini team ensured there were long, lazy lunches by the Bolognese countryside and maximum joy to be had around the hills of Modena. And of course, a bunch of brightly hued Huracan Tecnicas and Urus S and Performantes to feast on!

If you believe in idioms, finding yourself in the midst of M&M-coloured Lamborghinis, in their hometown of Sant’Agata Bolognese, choosing which one will turn your knuckles white first, is the correct time to use “pinch me because this can’t be real”. Almost like a scene from my childhood bedroom wall, only without the adolescent odours, I found myself surrounded by (almost) the finest that Lamborghini has to offer. Until the new V12 flagship, the Revuelto gets into the hands of frenzied media hounds, the Huracan Tecnica is as good as it gets. It’s the latest and last iteration of the epic, naturally aspirated V10-engined supercar that is close to 10 years old, but refuses to age. 

Having mastered the art of ageing gracefully, the Huracan Tecnica is meant to be cherished as the last of its kind. Sure, there is the STO above it if you live close to (or even better, own) a racetrack and the EVO RWD which is much less of a troublemaker around gated neighbourhoods. The Tecnica is honed by the wind tunnel and every new slat and scoop is in the service of increasing downforce or reducing drag. In the flesh, it’s incredible how a decade-old silhouette can be chiselled into something that still looks futuristic. The front is like a spaceship, the rear like a rocketship with giant tailpipes and in its entirety, is unmistakably a Lamborghini.

Lined up in an officious convoy right outside the Museum building at Lamborghini’s HQ in Bologna, the line-up comprised Urus S, Urus Performante and of course, the Huracan Tecnica. Resistance was futile and jollification was inevitable. Off we went looking for the twisties around the hills of Modena and the colourful caravan attracted more smiles and cameras than I honestly expected. One would assume that the locals around the region are used to a bunch of loud Lamborghinis gingerly traversing through the narrow village roads, but boy was I surprised. Every school crossing we encountered was a cacophony of kids squealing in excitement, goading us to give them a few extra 8000rpm hits. It was a stark reminder of why these cars have been adorning bedroom walls since the first Countach came out in 1974.

After clearing civilization, the mountain roads really put the Tecnica’s prowess in perspective. Its magnificent naturally aspirated V10 is the first and obvious thing you notice since it burbles barely a few inches behind your head at legal speeds. But opening up a little gap in the convoy shows you how explosive and direct a non-turbo big block feels. Now, I’ve never tried or would endorse substance abuse, but I’m pretty sure the intoxicating racket from this engine will reset your benchmarks of what a happy high should feel like. Even the most gentle nudge of the right foot just brings it alive, the steering begins to talk to you, relaying everything the tarmac is whispering into the grooves of the massive Pirelli P-zero rubber. The acceleration is explosive, the noise is intoxicating and the massive carbon ceramic brakes, brutal. Having an 8500rpm redline staring right back at you gives you a sense of bravado few other cars, if any, can match. The tight corners around these two-way mountain roads leave no room for error and this is exactly where the Tecnica feels like a living beast, waiting to be unleashed.

As you’d expect, it’s stiff. Right from its bodyshell with carbon fibre bits to its complex suspension with digital bits. Even the door pads are exposed carbon fibre with only fabric pulls as door handles and seats are a mere coating of Alcantara on carbon fibre. Or at least they feel like it. A raft of digital nannies constantly monitor the movement of the car and make corrections on the fly, without taking away the analog feel. The violent gear shifts and a steering that feels like it’s sending a morse code from the tarmac to your fingertips keeps you on the edge. It’s like a thriller movie’s climax, except you can have a different ending every time you mash your right foot and clench your fists hard on the steering wheel.

The driving experience is so overwhelming though, that the tech interface inside the cabin becomes almost inconsequential. You do get a touchscreen infotainment system with basic speakers, drive modes that turn it up from an already insane 10 (Strada) to 11 (Corsa) and buttons for turn indicators on the steering wheel that I never really got used to. Rearward visibility via the rear-view mirror is almost non-existent but the camera helps to back out of Casino Royale without an incident. The Huracan Tecnica is a wide car and keeps your senses on high alert while manoeuvring through narrow B-roads, but find a fast corner, drop down a couple of cogs and the rear-axle steering does its job and just darts into the direction your eyes are focused on without drama. It grips and then it grips some more. Even without the safety net of a 4WD system, the Tecnica never felt unruly, making it all the more useable as an everyday supercar. The nose lift feature is a handy hard key away and works like a charm on broken roads or light speedbumps.

Moving from the Tecnica into the Urus S was like getting your first taste of luxury. A Bang & Olufsen sound system, cooled seats, cupholders and even a connected car app. All while banging out 657hp and 850Nm of torque with potentially three very scared passengers on board! It didn’t have any trouble in keeping up with the Tecnicas in the convoy and just shrank around me the more I pushed it. The Performante brings back the stiffness and the sound of the Tecnica to a certain extent and makes a strong case for anyone who wants a supercar but lives in Mumbai. Eventually, they all stirred the senses in ways most cars cannot and like all Lamborghinis, make you appreciate your senses so much more. Now to find that pot of gold.