Since its introduction nearly a decade ago, the Lamborghini Gallardo has been an icon of intense power, performance and considered brand stewardship. Neither the flagship nor a one-off model for the Italian maker, the Gallardo’s introduction into the Lamborghini herd represented a new standard for super sports car engineering without attempting to steal thunder away from the V12 top-of-the-line Murciélago before it was replaced by the current Aventador.
Unlike most carmakers who refresh their lines with new generations every five to 10 years, sports manufacturers exist in a marketplace where limited and collector’s editions thrive, which means a whole new successor vehicle is always cause for celebration. For fans of the Gallardo—which ended production late last year after 14,022 units—the introduction of the Huracán is bittersweet. We’re saying good-bye to the most successful Lamborghini in history while anticipating what the future of the brand looks like.
Let’s take a look at how the offspring compares to the sire.
Can we measure a line by the power of its name alone? In 1962, after touring the Miura ranch, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided that a fighting bull would be his company’s mascot, which is why most Lamborghinis are named after significant moments in bullfighting history. If we were to rate the cars by their appellations, the “Huracán,” named for a particular bull from the Spanish Conte de la Patilla breed who fought courageously in Alicante in August 1879, might win out over the Gallardo, a line simply named for a breed of bulls.
It’s not easy to compare the powertrains of two vehicles fairly when time and technology favor the most recent model. But since 2004 the Gallardo has, over the years, developed one-offs and special editions that have explored new carbon fiber developments, allowing the company to tinker with the vehicle’s engine and weight levels (see 2007’s Superleggera), and the Huracán boasts the best of these modifications.
Since its second refresh in 2008, the Gallardo LP 560-4 base coupe has been powered by a 5.2-liter V10 engine that produces a hefty 552 horses of power and approximately 398 pound-feet of torque. The upcoming Huracán is also powered by a 5.2-liter V10, but its more advanced engineering is obvious, as the total horsepower output has skyrocketed to 610 and the torque is up to 413 pound-feet. The jump isn’t a huge one, but it’s notable. Automobili Lamborghini has definitely been hard at work.
It wouldn’t be a fair competition for Lamborghini if we didn’t talk muscle. While both vehicles claim a top speed somewhere around 201 mph in their standard coupe forms (2008 second-generation for the Gallardo), the advanced engine performance, despite the Huracán’s similar size, should be a clue to expect great things from this new demon of the roads (with no disrespect to the Diablo, of course).
The Gallardo has delivered a 3.7-second sprint from 0-62 mph, with 0-120 mph coming in at 11.8 seconds. Pretty quick by mid-2000s standards, but considering the Germans and Brits are now catching up into the four-second club, the Gallardo needs more edge to differentiate itself than a straight track time.
The Huracán shaves the Gallardo’s 62 mph sprint down to an unbelievable 3.2 seconds, hitting 120 mph at 9.9 seconds—almost a full two seconds faster. Looking at the entire Lamborghini lineup, even some of the more elusive and costlier cars have kept their top speeds somewhere in the low-200s range.
The next-generation Lambo will be making its public debut at the Geneva Auto Show in a couple of months. From what we can see so far, the Huracán retains many of the front intake elements from the Gallardo model, but that’s about where the similarities end. We’re impressed by the more angular body work on the Huracán, specifically the hexagonal design around the lateral windows and the sharply raked back.
The Huracán has the potential to be a worthy heir to the most successful Lamborghini in history, but it faces stiff competition from supercars like the McLaren MP4-12C and Ferrari 458 Italia. If Lambo wants the Huracán to eclipse the Gallardo’s legacy, they’ll have to step up their marketing game. This means expanding beyond the coupe to everything from an inevitable new Spyder convertible to racing variants and the limited editions that will become collectors’ prized possessions. We think the Huracán is up to the task.