Lamborghini Huracan (© Perry Stern)Click to enlarge picture

Lamborghini Huracan

The birth of the 2015 Lamborghini Huracan, which debuted this week at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, is a somewhat bittersweet occasion. Its predecessor, the Gallardo, is one of the most successful and entertaining cars in Lamborghini's history.

We've certainly had our fair share of fun times behind the wheel of numerous variants from the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera to the Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni. But after almost 10 years of service, the time has come to put this Raging Bull to rest. And if you weren't one of the lucky 14,000 or so customers to take home a Gallardo, then the Huracan appears to be a promising successor, boasting a lighter curb weight and a new V-10 churning out more than 600 HP.

For now, Lamborghini is releasing only preliminary details on the new Huracan, but at least we have a few important specs like power figures. Lamborghini also provided details on the origins of the new name, which was rumored to be Cabrera during the months leading to the Huracan's debut. Unlike the Gallardo, named after a breed of Spanish bulls, Huracan was the name given to a courageous and strong fighting bull back in 1879. Not only does the Huracan carry on the tradition of bullfighting-inspired names, but it also continues Lamborghini's practice of mounting a loud and powerful engine in the middle of the coupe's low-slung body.

View Pictures:  Lamborghini Huracan

In the case of the 2015 Huracan, that mill is a new, direct injection, 5.2-liter V-10 that produces 601 hp at a sky-high 8250 rpm and reaches its peak torque of 413 lb-ft at 6500 rpm. That's an increase of nearly 50 horses and 15 lb-ft compared to the top-spec Gallardo LP570-4. Better yet, it's mated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which replaces the slow-shifting, head-whipping single-clutch auto in the Gallardo. Combined with the all-wheel-drive system, Lamborghini says the Huracan's powertrain will propel the coupe from 0-62 mph in just 3.2 seconds, while reaching 124 mph should only take 9.9 seconds.

A big question mark is the availability of a manual transmission. That bit of info was missing from the Huracan's press materials and a Lamborghini rep said it's too soon to disclose the inclusion of a row-your-own gearbox. Also unknown is if the Huracán will follow in the Gallardo's footsteps and spawn a rear-drive variant for drivers seeking an even risker experience behind the wheel.

As previously reported, the 2015 Huracan and next-generation Audi R8 share a new chassis constructed of aluminum and carbon fiber to help shave curb weight. Tipping the scales at 3135 pounds (dry weight), the Huracan's stronger engine means that it only has to lug around about 5.1 pounds per horsepower. The Huracan should also be more fuel efficient thanks to engine stop-start technology. We'll have to wait to drive both the Lamborghini and new R8 to decide if the cars provide two distinct driving experiences despite sharing platforms.

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That said, the 2015 Huracan sports a number of improved performance hardware. For starters, carbon-ceramic brakes are now standard and a new magneto-rheologic suspension system is offered as an option. Also available is a variable steering ratio. The new Lamborghini is fitted with three driving modes, which can be selected via a switch mounted on the center spoke of the Huracan's steering wheel. Lamborghini hasn't released detailed info on the three modes — Strada (road), Sport, and Corsa (track) — but it should tweak the behavior of the gearbox, all-wheel-drive system, stability control, and engine.

The Huracan showcases many design cues from its bigger brother the Aventador, with trapezoidal air vents and sheetmetal and sharp creases dominating its body. Compared to the Gallardo, the Huracan is fitted with larger air scoops to cool the engine and rear brakes. And while it lacks the Aventador's intricate set of louvered glass panels covering its engine bay, the Huracan's rear end is plenty dramatic thanks to ginormous exhaust tips and sleek taillights. Speaking of the taillights, all lighting elements are LEDs, including the headlights.

The interior shouldn't disappoint when it comes to craftsmanship and technology. Nappa leather and Alcantara can be found on the seats, dashboard, and door panels, while a configurable 12.3-inch color instrument panel clearly displays car and infotainment data.

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