(CNN)Lamborghini’s new Huracán Evo RWD is the Italian auto maker’s least expensive supercar — and it is also the most enjoyable one to drive.
The base price for the Huracán Evo starts at about $208,000, which is still outlandishly expensive by ordinary standards. Still, it’s much less than the next cheapest Huracán, which starts at about $260,000, or the V12-powered Avantador which can’t be had for any less than about $420,000. Only the Lamborghini Urus SUV can be bought for around the Huracan Evo RWD’s starting price.
The 601-horsepower Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD offers a more old-school experience than other Lamborghinis.Of course, the starting price on a Lamborghini leaves a long way to go. Option costs can add up with startling speed.
For example, the Huracan Evo RWD I test drove cost $285,000. That included an optional $14,000 pearlescent yellow paint job. Photographs don’t quite capture the lustrous impact of the color but, trust me, if there was ever yellow paint worth $14,000, this is it. Still, you could get your Huracán in red, white, or some shade of yellow that doesn’t look like delicious melted butter on top of Pirelli tires. That’s up to you.Sports seats added another $7,500 and a system that raised the nose of the car to clear speed bumps and curb cuts another $7,100.Read MoreThe reason this car is less expensive than other Lamborghinis is due to something that makes the car more fun, not less. The key difference between this new Huracan and other Lamborghinis is the lack of all-wheel-drive, long a standard feature in nearly all Lamborghini models. The Huracán is the only Lamborghini currently offered with rear-wheel-drive.The Huracán is a Lamborghini so, of course, it’s neck-snappingly fast with a transmission that flicks off gear shifts quickly but smoothly. The steering is sharp and quick, especially in Sport and Corsa — Italian for “Track” — modes. It’s also appropriately loud and obnoxious. Drive fast, then slam the brakes to slow down and the Huracán downshifts through its seven gears, the engine roaring and popping with each step down. One thing a Lamborghini will rarely ever be is unnoticed.
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 millionRM Sotheby’s held the The European Sale auction online this week in place of a live auction it would have normally held in Germany.
Among the hundreds of cars that were on the block, 100 were from a single collection owned by retired businessman and race car driver Marcel Petitjean of Strasbourg, France.
The collection included eight Lamborghinis from various points in the brand’s storied history. But there were also less familiar Lamborghini models as well. All told, the eight sales brought in nearly $2 million. Hide Caption 1 of 9
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 million1968 Lamborghini Miura P400
Sold for: €715,000 ($808,000)
The Lamborghini Miura is generally regarded as the first modern supercar. There had been some race cars with the engine mounted right behind the seats before it, but the Miura put that concept into a car intended for public roads.
Designed by Marcello Gandini of the Turin, Italy, firm Gruppo Bertone, the Miura is often cited as one of the most beautiful cars ever made. And its 4.0-liter V12 engine helped make it the fastest factory production car of its day, according to RM Sotheby’s. Hide Caption 2 of 9
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 million1970 Lamborghini Islero 400 GTS
Sold for: €225,000 ($254,000)
The V12-powered Islero represented the final step in the evolution of Lamborghini’s first models, the 350 GT and the 400 GT.
Only 260 Isleros were ever built and only 100 of them were the more powerful GTS variety. It was the only Lamborghini model of this era not designed by Gandini.Hide Caption 3 of 9
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 million1971 Lamborghini Espada Series II by Bertone
Sold for: €96,800 ($109,000)
The Espada was essentially a family supercar with lots of cargo space and relatively roomy back seats. It had the same V12 engine that the Miura had, but it was mounted in front under the hood.
The Espada also sold in higher numbers than the Miura. In fact, it was the most successful Lamborghini model ever sold until the introduction of the Countach in 1974.Hide Caption 4 of 9
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 million1971 Lamborghini Jarama 400 GT
Sold for: €66,000 ($75,000)
The Jarama was introduced in the early 1970s to meet new safety and emissions requirements in the United States, a crucial market for any luxury automaker.
Only 327 of the V12-powered Jaramas were ever made. The Jarama would become the last front-engined Lamborghini model to be introduced until the Urus SUV in 2018.Hide Caption 5 of 9
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 million1974 Lamborghini Urraco P250 S
Sold for: €58,300 ($66,000)
The Urraco, with its back seats and V8 engine, was intended as a more accessible and practical alternative to the Miura. Hide Caption 6 of 9
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 million1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400 S
Sold for: €451,000 ($509,000)
The Countach is the car that has defined Lamborghini style ever since its introduction in the early 1970s. Also designed by Bertone’s Gandini, it was intended as a replacement for the Miura.
The V12 engine behind the seats was mounted lengthwise rather than side-to-side. That meant the seats had to move further forward, giving the car its radical proportions. “Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but nothing better has been done since,” Gandini said in a 2019 interview with CNN.Hide Caption 7 of 9
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 million1986 Lamborghini Jalpa
Sold for: €66,000 ($75,000)
The V8-powered Jalpa was conceived as a more affordable and manageable alternative to the ferocious Countach. Today, it’s one of the more affordable classic Lamborghinis.Hide Caption 8 of 9
Photos: These 8 rare Lamborghinis just sold for a total of nearly $2 million1991 Lamborghini Diablo
Sold for: €126,000 ($142,000)
Introduced in 1990, the Diablo was Lamborghini’s long overdue replacement for the Countach, a model that had been in production in 1974.
The Diablo’s initial design was again by Gandini, but it was reworked by Chrysler Corp. designer Tom Gale. (Chrysler had purchased Lamborghini in 1987 and sold it in 1994.)
Powered by a 492-horsepower V12, the Diablo was the first Lamborghini capable of going more than 200 miles an hour.Hide Caption 9 of 9
The brakes are appropriately strong, but not too grabby for normal use. Since the engine’s power is going only to the back wheels — and not all four — there is just slightly less of it. In the Huracán Evo RWD, the 10-cylinder engine produces just 601 horsepower instead of the 631 you can get in the all-wheel-drive car. But it’s plenty.A sense of drama pervades the Huracán’s interior, as well. As in all Lamborghinis, the start button is under a small red cover that must be raised before the button can be pressed, like the button to fire a missile in an old movie. Yes, it’s a pointless bit of extra effort, but it adds to a sense of moment that climaxes with the V10’s satisfying roar. The digital speedometer — the whole gauge cluster is actually a computer screen — always displays three digits. There’s no better way to make 92 miles an hour feel slow than to render it as 092 mph. (Even in reverse, when the gauge screen changes to show a rear camera view, the speedometer still shows three digits as if you might rocket backwards at 112 mph.)The engine’s power goes to just the rear wheels, leaving the front wheels to just roll along and point the car. That makes a noticeable difference in how the car feels to drive. The steering is more sensitive. The finer points of the road’s surface can be felt through the steering wheel. It gives this car more of a pure, old-school pure sports car spirit that I welcomed.Putting power through the back wheels alone can also allow skilled drivers, through clever use of the gas pedal and steering wheel together, to deliberately slide the back end of the car around through curves. It’s a fun trick and, in track driving, sometimes useful. But it also points to a potential hazard of rear-wheel, rather than all-wheel, drive, when dealing with this kind of power. The back wheels can sometimes slide when you don’t really want them to, or more than you want them to, which can result in the car leaving the road entirely and possibly hitting things.
The Huracan Evo RWD has special aerodynamic touches to hold the car more firmly to the road at high speeds.Computerized traction control and stability control systems have been engineered to reduce the chances of things getting out of hand while you’re driving. According to Lamborghini, the systems work with extraordinary smoothness, allowing the driver to more safely play with the car without abrupt interventions.
I didn’t personally test the limits of these systems too much because I didn’t have access to a track and there were trees and sizable bodies of water around. For now, I will have to take Lamborghini at its word that these things function as advertised.Even without any of that, the Huracán Evo RWD is a blast and at a relatively lower cost. What’s more, its performance is more enjoyable on ordinary roads so you don’t have to wait for a track driving session to really have fun with it. But it’s still far from cheap and, as ever, a Lamborghini is not to everyone’s taste. It presents itself with the subtlety of a 1980s hair metal band, but with 21st century technology. And, when it comes to Lamborghinis, that is at it should be.