Driving Lamborghini’s new off-road supercar

Driving Lamborghini’s new off-road supercar



CNN
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The low-slung automotive shook as I sped down a gravel-strewn rutted path by means of the California desert, the vicious sound of its 10-cylinder engine, simply behind my head, blasting in my ears. I used to be driving a $380,000 Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, and I couldn’t assist laughing out loud.

I reached 40 miles an hour at most however, on a highway like this, in a spot like this, 40 felt like racing. I dodged tufts of vegetation reaching out from the perimeters of a path often traversed by pickup vans. Lamborghini additionally makes an SUV, the Urus, by which all of this might need felt nearly regular. This was completely not regular. Among the bigger bushes I handed have been taller than the roof of the wedge-shaped automotive.

The Sterrato is about 1.75 inches greater off the bottom than a typical Huracán supercar and about 1.3 inches wider with its huge fender flares. (It’s barely wider on the rear than on the wheels.) The underside of the automotive’s pointy nostril is protected with aluminum shielding.

With all of the filth and sand its wheels kick up, the Huracán Sterrato – the title means “filth highway” – has an air consumption up on prime of the roof to carry clear air to the engine. Lamborghini labored with Bridgestone to create tires utilizing rubber much like that on Lamborghini’s different efficiency tires, however with an off-road tread.

Moreover the engine, the loudest sound was gravel rattling repeatedly off the Lamborghini’s underside. Sure, I’ve pushed costly supercars on gravel roads a couple of occasions earlier than, often to get a automotive into place for a photograph or video shot. Nevertheless it’s all the time been a slow-going cringe-inducing operation, crawling alongside at single-digit speeds for concern a tiny stone kicked up by a tire would possibly scratch the paint.

A Lamborghini Haracán Sterrato in the desert in California.

Not this time. Lamborghini had instructed me to take this lizard-green Huracán Sterrato wherever I appreciated. So I did. And that led to me bombing down this rocky desert highway, throwing up a thick cloud of white mud behind me with out worrying, within the least, about damaging the automotive’s iridescent paint job.

It was probably the most enjoyable I’d had in years.

I’d already pushed this identical automotive on on the monitor at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway about 15 miles away. There, I’d hit triple digit speeds on the twisting asphalt as I took the automotive by means of a snaking filth course, sliding sideways by means of curves because the tires sprayed darkish brown soil excessive within the air.

Lamborghini drivers stand next to Lamborghini Haracán Sterratos at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center, Calfiornia.

It simply occurred to be 60 years, nearly to the day, since tractor-maker Ferruccio Lamborghini based his personal automotive firm, hoping to point out Ferrari how automobiles should be constructed. And right here I used to be, listening for rattlesnakes whereas taking a look at a automotive not like any his firm had made earlier than. However on the identical time, it was probably the most Lamborghini factor I might ever think about.

The thought for it emerged whereas Lamborghini engineers and designers have been having beers after a day driving off-road in a prototype of the Urus SUV. That was lots of enjoyable, they thought, however wouldn’t driving one in all our all-wheel-drive supercars off-road be even higher?

So the engineers took an previous Huracán and made a prototype, principally only for kicks. Nevertheless it was such a blast Lamborghini executives finally determined they only needed to put it into manufacturing for many who might afford its $273,000 beginning worth. (The automotive I used to be driving had had almost $110,000 in choices, half of that price physique paint.)

There are already orders in place for all 1,499 Huracan Sterratos Lamborghini will construct, but when somebody backs out – I imply, I wouldn’t, however it occurs – you would nonetheless have a shot.

It’s the form of factor different automotive manufacturers might need scoffed at as not becoming the right picture. Fortunately, Lamborghini realizes that, finally, it ought to all the time be about having enjoyable. And few issues carry a smile like throwing round filth with a supercar.

This Sterrato is out across the identical time as Porsche’s 911 Dakar, a equally lifted sports activities automotive. Regardless that each manufacturers are affiliated with the Volkswagen Group, Lamborghini insists this can be a coincidence. Each are additionally on the excessive finish of automakers of all types popping out with off-road the whole lot, from Subaru’s knobby-tired Wilderness fashions to Honda’s Trailsport SUVs. For some purpose, it appears, in the previous couple of years, everybody determined they should escape civilization.

A Lamborghini Haracán Sterrato with cameras attached drives on the track at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in Desert Center, California

As I drove the Sterrato by means of ochre-colored canyons, it occurred to me that if Wile E. Coyote actually wished to catch the Roadrunner, he ought to cease investing in ineffective Acme merchandise and purchase this. Excellent for the job, actually. Quick, agile, goes nearly wherever.

On asphalt, the Sterrarto drives properly, clean and quiet – aside from that V10 engine sound, after all – and quick. The Sterrato has three driving modes chosen by a stubby paddle on the steering wheel. Strada (Avenue) for regular driving, Sport and Rally, which adjusts the all-wheel-drive system for off-road use.

There’s no Corsa mode, the hyper-aggressive monitor mode different Lamborghini supercars have, as a result of this automotive isn’t about that. The trade-off appears fantastic to me. I’ll take rather less monitor efficiency so I can blast down a dusty path. Moreover, the individuals who purchase this automotive will, little doubt, produce other Lamborghinis within the storage so, actually, they’re giving up nothing.

Even these of us who can’t afford one ought to maybe be glad the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato exists. In an business the place each resolution is pored over by accountants and model picture consultants, it’s a pleasure to have one thing that exists for no different purpose than, actually, simply because it’s a blast.