Lamborghini's Huracan Evo made easier for non-expert drivers to enjoy
Easy evolution The Lamborghini Huracan Evo has improved agility and steering sharpness, and greater stability at higher speeds. PHOTO: TOM SALT

Cynics may say the Lamborghini Huracan Evo is a mere refresh of a car launched in 2014. That is technically true, but there is a lot more to the Evo than what meets the eye.

Externally, the biggest change is a raised rear decklid spoiler which helps generate seven times more downforce than the standard Huracan.

In front, there is now a pronounced splitter below the spoiler to reduce drag and improve downforce.

Beyond aerodynamics, the Evo is an easier car to drive. Unleashing its 640hp engine - last seen in the Huracan Performante - is no longer as taxing as before. Instead of intervening after the fact, the car's electronic stability program is proactive - calculating what is needed and meting out countermeasures in an incredible 20 milliseconds.

It is, however, not overbearing, making corrections via torque vectoring, power delivery, damper settings and braking only when it suspects things are going awry.

Key to the Evo's enhanced driveability is rear-wheel steering, which Lamborghini first implemented on the Aventador S. It gives the Evo improved agility and steering sharpness without the need to use stiffer springs. It also confers greater stability at higher speeds.

The car's latest MagneRide suspension has the quickest and most resolved damping of any Lamborghini. It has a wider range of damping forces as well as the ability to apply them in a way which keeps the car unruffled.

The Evo matches the Performante's 0-100kmh sprint time of 2.9 seconds. Both are said to be capable of breaching 325kmh.

Compared with the Performante, the Evo's throttle response is a bit less aggressive, making the drive experience more pleasant. Its soundtrack however, is as exciting as the Performante's.

On the Bahrain International Circuit (a full-fledged F1 track), an expert driver led the test-drive through 12 hot laps.

Quite quickly, the car's LDVI (Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata) stability system came to the fore. It is so slick and organic in its application that it feels as if it was not there at all.

Strada is the most pleasant drive mode, thanks to a relatively smooth dual-clutch transmission.

But it is unsuitable for track use. For that, Sport and Corsa modes are better suited. Sport mode is the most fun but slower, while Corsa is a no-nonsense mode which requires manual gear shifting. In this mode, the stability system keeps the car sharp and as close to neutral as possible for a quick and neat lap time.

My personal preference is Sport, which allows for some drifting fun. Here, the LDVI is by no means infallible and the driver needs to have a modicum of experience at the wheel.

While it is always a good idea for owners to go for a skills upgrade, Lamborghini has now given the Huracan a more accessible performance envelope. As such, the car is a far more enjoyable drive than even the Performante.

It is due here in the third quarter of this year.