Review: The 2022 Lamborghini Huracán STO is a race car for the street
In an era where the future is electric, the 2022 Lamborghini Huracán STO is an automotive rude gesture to this impending reality, with a name that tells its purpose. In this case, STO stands for Super Trofeo Omologata, meaning it's a homologation of the Huracán Super Trofeo Evo and GT3 Evo race cars, and is the first Lamborghini designed for regular track use.
If that comes as a surprise, you probably didn’t know that, unlike his rival Enzo Ferrari, company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini didn’t believe in racing. But now that the brand is a part of the Volkswagen Group, such notions no longer matter. This explains the Huracán STO’s existence: to compete against Porsche, McLarens, Mercedes-AMGs and Ferraris.
Built for track use, the Huracán STO is made mostly of carbon fiber in order to make it as lightweight as possible. And it is. In fact, it weighs less than a Lotus Evora. But its mission explains the car’s outrageous style, with a manually adjustable rear wing can be set to one of three positions. There’s also a roof-mounted air intake, along with a number of other stylistic flourishes that help the car slice through the wind.
Open its door, and you’ll find Lamborghini has pared back the pounds wherever possible. There’s no carpet. The door panels are simple carbon fiber shells with nylon straps to open the doors. The dashboard is covered in Alcantara, punctuated by carbon fiber air vents.
But there’s little here that follows the orthodoxy that has relegated most car interiors to a mind-numbing sameness. A mammoth digital instrument screen in front of the driver is dominated by a tachometer, as well as a plethora of ancillary gauges for all sorts of information that’s useful for track driving.
Meanwhile, the infotainment and climate control screen is placed farther down on the instrument panel, so as not to distract you. The power window buttons are at the top of the instrument panel, while the turn signals and windshield wipers are each controlled by toggle buttons on the steering wheel. The starter button is under a small red flap that makes you feel as if you’re about to launch a missile, which in fact you are.
Mounted amidships is a monster motor that’s responsible for the good times this vehicle delivers, a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V-10, the last one still being manufactured. Rated at 631 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission to the rear wheels, which help steer the car along with the front wheels.
Engineers also included a mechanical limited-slip differential and brake-based torque vectoring. The driveline can be driven in three modes. There’s STO for street driving, Trofeo for track driving and Pioggia for wet weather in that order.
The results can be seen in its numbers: 0-60 mph takes but 2.6 seconds. In the 9 seconds that it takes some sleepy crossover to reach 60 mph, the STO hits 124 mph. Top speed is 193 mph.
But while there are cars that are nearly as fast, none delivers it in the manner of a Lamborghini.
Nothing quite prepares you for this car’s intense response. More speed? Instantaneous. A lane change? Swift and precise. Incredible stability and traction in turns? Track worthy. And the dual clutch gearbox? Lightning quick. Its extreme response to the tiniest of inputs is delightfully fun.
And it’s accompanied by a mechanical symphony whose malevolent wail is extraordinarily loud, one delivered at a volume known only to professional race car drivers. Place it in Trofeo mode and keep the revs above 4,500 rpm and your ears bleed. Certainly, you won’t want to turn on any music; that’s provided by the engine behind you.
But its ingratiating wickedness makes it one of the most adept dance partners, one that provides a primeval automotive thrill ride of the first order. Its personality, like so many supercars, is uniquely its own.
That’s not to say it’s not without some foibles. Rearward visibility is virtually nil thanks to louvers that block the view through the rear window. Over-the-shoulder visibility is equally lacking. So your side mirrors become essential.
Then there’s the STO’s carbon fiber body. Traversing speed bumps or exiting the parking lot calls for care so that you don’t mar that expensive carbon fiber body lower fascias. Thankfully, a $4,000 lifting system is available to help prevent unexpected trips to the body shop.
While the era of vehicle electrification is upon us, the 2022 Lamborghini Huracán STO is a raucous, loud and fast reminder of the thrill that only an internal combustion engine can provide, a visceral thrill that can only come from an intercontinental ballistic missile disguised as a supercar.
2022 Lamborghini Huracán STO
Base price: $331,533
Engine: 5.2-liter DOHC V-10
Horsepower/Torque: 631 horsepower/417 pound-feet of torque
EPA fuel economy (city/highway): 13/18 mpg
Length/Width/Height: 179.1/76.6/48 inches
Cargo capacity: 1.34 cubic feet
0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
Top speed: 193 mph