The Lamborghini Huracán STO is the best-driving car in the marque’s 59-year history, full stop. Yeah, I have a soft spot for the mega-awesome Aventador SV, but the STO—which got the second-most votes in our Performance Vehicle of the Year shootout in the April issue—is the king of bulls. What’s so great about the way it drives? No compromises. Features editor Scott Evans referred repeatedly to the STO as “a race car for the road.” He acknowledged the phrase as being cliché but swore it applied in this case.
Remember the O in STO stands for omologata, Italian for “homologation”—there’s that racing thing again. One example: The car’s nose is dedicated almost entirely to aero, so much so that you can maybe fit a solitary helmet in the frunk. Maybe. It depends on the size of the helmet. In any other Huracán? A rollaboard would fit, maybe two. The interior is extreme, as well, even in the form of drive modes, where you have a choice of street (Strada) or race (STO). That’s it; all other modern Lambos have a Sport mode. The STO skips it. Best-driving Lamborghini ever, yes, but a difficult car to live with.
Not to paraphrase Yoda, but what if there were another?
Dialing Back the Audi Within
Meet the Huracán Tecnica. Should you think of it as a more civilized version of the STO? Yes, because that’s essentially what it is. Like the STO, the Tecnica is powered by Lambo’s brilliant 631-hp, 417-lb-ft 5.2-liter humdinger of a naturally aspirated V-10 and uses the same throttle map. Lamborghini claims the Tecnica can hit 62 mph in 3.2 seconds, which might be a tick or two slower than what we can likely extract. Both cars are rear-drive, though due to the freaky, gluelike capabilities of Bridgestone Potenza Sport tires, both grip better and inspire more confidence than the 2020 Best Driver’s Car-winning AWD Huracán Evo. (Funny side note about the tires: Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s ever-smiling vice president of motorsport and former longtime chief technical officer, said, “Speaking as an Italian, do you know how great a tire has to be for me not to use Pirelli?”)
Both the STO and the Tecnica have rear-wheel steering, but before we get to how the two differ, it’s appropriate to note a somewhat common phenomenon. People—and by people I’m talking about rich folks who, to borrow a phrase from Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann, buy “super sports cars”—tend to think they are much harder core than they are.
It’s an anecdotal observation, but I’ve lost count of the number of folks I’ve interacted with who purchased a Porsche 911 GT3 only to ditch it in favor of something like a 911 GTS or Turbo. While the STO is exactly as super-duper fantastic as we as an institution say it is, boy, would it be a hard car to live with. Not only does it lack storage space, but it’s also stiffer and crankier than what a lot of owners probably assumed going in. So a vehicle like the Huracán Tecnica makes a ton of sense. You get about 90 percent of what the STO offers, and you can take a date out of town for the weekend. Then again, I drove the Tecnica on Italy’s Nardo handling circuit then visited Lambo’s HQ and factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Inside, it looked like 80 percent of the vehicles coming off the Huracán production line were STOs. Maybe those buyers don’t care.
There’s a clear market for the Tecnica, though, and it drives fantastically. As has been the case since 2016, initially with the mega-bucks (and mega-awesome) Centenario, Reggiani invited a select group of journalists to southern Italy to try out his team’s latest creation. I was the only American present, driving the car in the middle of November 2021—Italy’s rainy season. At the time, Reggiani mentioned he was starting to think about retirement. In January 2022, Lambo announced his new post as VP of motorsport, with Rouven Mohr (formerly of Audi) taking over as CTO.
In a sense, then, we can think of the Huracán Tecnica as Reggiani’s last hurrah. (It’s not, strictly speaking: Cars take time to go from drawing board to journalists’ hands, so stay tuned.) With that in mind, here’s what he said about previous Huracáns: “Too much Audi.” He excluded the STO from that statement, as much of what makes the Tecnica the Tecnica is lifted straight from it.
Judge Me By My Wing’s Size, Do You?
Part of that de-Audification process was ditching the variable steering. The Tecnica, like the STO, now has a single, direct steering ratio; the car is much better to drive as a result. The LDVI (Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata)—essentially the traction- and stability-control systems, plus torque vectoring—are programmed more aggressively for Tecnica duty. The suspension settings are unique (softer than STO but sportier than Evo), as are the aerodynamics. Rear downforce increased by 35 percent over the Evo, and drag coming off the rear wing decreased by 20 percent. Much of the technical presentation was dedicated to the Tecnica’s dedicated brake-cooling channels: Lamborghini claims a 9 percent reduction in fluid temperature and a 7 percent reduction in disc temp, which allegedly translates to 5 percent less pedal travel and 13 percent less brake pad consumption. Moreover, the improved aero is said to “increase stability during braking.”
New body parts include the front splitter, hood, bumpers, and engine cover. The hood and engine cover are now made from CFRP (carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic) as opposed to aluminum, and the interior door panels are also made of CFRP. The Tecnica’s face is different from other Huracáns, with head of design Mitja Borkert deciding to incorporate the big epsilon (Y) shapes from the electric Terzo Millennio concept and the Sián FKP 37 on the outside of the headlights. The daylight opening was remade to resemble that of the bonkers, track-only Essenza SCV12.
The wing is of course new (hence the change in downforce and drag), and both the tailpipes and wheels feature hexagonal shapes. The interior is more luxurious than the STO’s, though anything would be. The big news for many customers is the Tecnica can be had with much softer sport seats. Except for luggage space, the seats are probably the Tecnica’s strongest selling point.
The Situation Went From Bummer to Badass
Remember the bit about Italy’s rainy season? My first session behind the wheel did not go well. As fantastic as the Bridgestones are in the dry, imagine the inverse of that on a wet racetrack. I left the Tecnica in Strada and the nannies fully on, something I never do on track. Or the street, even. Neither decision helped much, as the Huracán was all over the place; the sticky, racy summer tires just couldn’t find purchase. I headed in after three laps of one of my absolute favorite tracks (it’s a shame only car-industry people get to drive on the Nardo Center’s handling circuit), jetlagged and frustrated. We only had a few hours, and to come all this way to get no notion of how the newest Lamborghini handled seemed a big waste. However, the sun was out, and the second session was much better. I began seeing some actual high speeds on the front straight, around 160 mph. Braking seemed OK, but turning remained a bit sketchy. The track was drying but not dry.
Power was excellent, and the car felt light for a Huracán. Lamborghini claims the Tecnica weighs 3,012 pounds dry; now’s a good time to point out the factory claimed the STO weighs 2,946 pounds dry, but on our scales with a full tank of gas it clocked in at 3,390 pounds. Assuming the Tecnica is 30 kilos (66 pounds) heavier than the STO like Lamborghini says, it would weigh 3,456 pounds. These days that’s not too shabby, especially with this sort of power. Still, because of the rain, I simply wasn’t getting a clear picture of how the Tecnica drives. I returned to the pits, frustrated as before. Third time’s a charm, especially in Italy; by 11 a.m. the sun and the winds had done their jobs, and the track was dry. Time to make hay.
First, Sport mode. Although tailored specifically for Tecnica duty, in typical Lamborghini fashion, Sport—the middle setting—is the most playful. Throttle response increases, and gearshifts from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission happen quicker. The tire-slip threshold is higher, so electronic intervention kicks in later. Sport also features “Enhanced Oversteer,” which, while fun for part of a lap, still wasn’t what I traveled all this way to experience. Just weeks before, I’d driven the STO for the first time, and it blew me away. Now I wanted to see if the Tecnica was in fact a civilized STO, a chip off the old carbon-fiber block, or was it something else entirely? Switching to Corsa mode helped to clarify things. In Corsa, the throttle response becomes direct and the transmission shifts as quickly as is possible. Grip, both lateral and longitudinal, is maximized.
This all felt exceptional. Enough good things can never be written about this screaming V-10 engine and dual-clutch gearbox that initially showed up in the excellent Huracán Performante. Once you get past the shouty bits, you realize what an outstanding machine the Tecnica is: sharp, focused, quick to change direction and to bleed off speed, with world-class grip tossed in for good measure. Compared to all other non-STO Huracáns, the combination of rear-wheel drive and Bridgestones makes the Tecnica more fun, more dynamic, and more satisfying. At some point toward the end of my first dry lap in Corsa, I stopped comparing the Tecnica to the STO and began simply enjoying the machine I was driving.
This is another brilliant Huracán from a long line of fantastic and exotic mid-engine Italian supercars. Compared with both the Performante and the Evo AWD, the Tecnica has better steering and better body control, and it’s much less squirmy under braking. It’s more fun, too.
The STO remains the better-driving car, but if you can’t live with it, the Tecnica is the Huracán you’ve been waiting for.
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|2022 Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica Specifications
|Mid-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe
|5.2L/631-hp/417-lb-ft DOHC 40-valve V-10
|3,500 lb (est)
|LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT
|179.1 x 76.6 x 48.0
|3.0 sec (MT est)
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON
|13/18/15 mpg (est)
|ON SALE IN U.S.