A bastion of male domination is crumbling as one of the world’s premier sports car makers spots an opportunity with a female touch. Motoring Writer IAN LAMMING takes a gender-neutral look at Lamborghini…
THERE’S a clue in the badge, a snorting, rampaging, raging bull, strong, aggressive, male and macho, full of testosterone, a beast.
It’s a bull, not a cow, which encapsulates the brand, so it is safe to say that over the years the Lamborghini has appealed to men, rich men, macho men, men who in other lives would have loved to have been racing drivers.
‘Lambos’ were also sportscars with a reputation, often difficult to drive, uncompromising, powerful, fast, but also low, with limited vision, rock hard ride, brutal clutches, stiff gearboxes and heavy steering. They were intimidating, they were a bull which had to be seized by the horns.
But that was then and this is now and things, they are a changing. Oh and all that macho bull? It’s just that – the beastly moniker was in fact because founder and celebrated tractor maker Ferruccio Lamborghini was a Taurus star sign and his nemesis Ferrari had a prancing horse.
Recognising the potential of being gender-neutral in the modern world Lamborghini has played a blinder by inventing a 4×4. Enter the Urus SUV, a gamechanger that has helped double sales and, more importantly, open up the brand to the ladies.
Of the lucky buyers of the much sort after Urus, 70 per cent are new to the brand and the aim is to sell the SUV as the everyday car, complete with a sticker that reads ‘My other car is a Lamborghini’. So while Urus does the daily grind, the frivolous femme fatale resides in the garage for the sunny day blast – and that’s likely to come in the form of the brilliant new Huracan Evo.
If you want to carry people, go on long trips, or head for the shops, but do it in the fastest SUV on the road, then you take the Urus. It’s still a Lamborghini by the way so from the minute you unsheathe the fighter-style red starter guard to get to the button, you unleash a twin turbo 4.0 V8 to get at 650hp, which will hurl a very big vehicle to 60mph in just 3.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 190mph, amid a cacophony of glorious guttural, spine-tingling sound. Oh yes!
What is significant isn’t my experience but that of the female lifestyle journalists in the test group who are astounded by how easy Urus is to drive, particularly on beautiful but demanding Yorkshire Dales roads.
With the myths and mystique now dispelled they are just as happy to jump into the supersports – Huracan Spyder and Coupe and the grand dame of the range, the Aventador – as of course am I.
Peering out of the window from my vroom with a view, the bounty, if that is the right collective noun, of Lamborghinis sit waiting on the gravel drive of the delightful Yorke Arms, at Ramsgill, near Harrogate, where we have camped overnight.
Starting the engines of seven Lamborghinis shatters the peace of the village but in a good way, stirring the soul, releasing the endorphins, provoking wide grins. It’s chilly but the roof simply has to come off the Spyder, it’s the law, and there’s the heated seats and climate control to toast extremities.
Huracan is the new breed of Lamborghini spawned since financial security fell upon the Italian brand courtesy of Audi. It is joy personified in metal, carbon fibre, Alcantara and leather.
In the back of a stunning, low-slung, sleek and typically Lambo body lies a snarling, spitting, shouting 5.2 V10. But again, it’s a pussy cat to drive, with a comfortable, well adjust driving position, brilliant ergonomics and great vision. When required it offers 640hp, a sprint time of 3.1 seconds to 60mph and top speed of 202mph. In soft-top form there’s nothing to impede the incredible sound of the V10 and the coupe hardtop, which is a tad quicker (2.9 seconds to 60mph) acts as a boom-box amplifying the noise even more.
They are both incredible to drive, fast, safe, characterful, awe-inspiring and confidence-building. In fact this is how good they are. I drive the £370K Aventador, the 720hp top of the range model and it’s great. But given the choice of the Aventador SVJ, the £500K, 770hp special, I plump for a Huracan instead. Yes! Huracan is that good.
Lamborghini really means business. It’s just opened a new dealership in Leeds so there’s no need for Northerners to head to Edinburgh anymore and the UK remains the biggest market for the brand in Europe.
Women drivers are very much on the firm’s radar – in fact they have launched a female advisory board – and the range now reflects a much broader appeal while retaining the emphasis on passion for driving. As the sign of the bull sits resplendently on the front of the bonnet, Lamborghini’s bright future is definitely being written in the stars.
Lamborghini Huracan Coupe/Spyder
Engine: 5.2 litre V10
Top speed: 202mph
Combined MPG: 20.6/20.2
Transmission: seven-speed auto
CO2 g/km: 314/320
Engine: 4.0 litre V8 turbo
0-60mph: 3.6 secs
Top speed: 190mph
Combined MPG: 23
Transmission: eight-speed auto
CO2 g/km: 325