Lamborghini's new Huracán STO is the most track-focused version yet of the Italian brand's smallest model.
Said to draw inspiration and technical learnings from the Huracán Super Trofeo Evo and successful GT3 racing models, the STO (which stands from Super Trofeo Omologata) is effectively a road-homologated version of the racer that won the 24 Hours of Daytona three times.
"The concept of the project was in what way can we capitalise on all this [racing] know-how, all this experience, and create something that is missing in the portfolio of the Huracán family," Lamborghini's head of R&D, Maurizio Reggiani, told Autocar. "It is a car that can be dedicated to track activity in a puristic way."
Sitting above the Huracán Performante, the STO has power from its naturally aspirated V10 pegged at 631bhp - exactly the same as its sibling. However, it's 43kg lighter than the Performante, thanks mostly to the removal of the four-wheel drive system, but also due to the use of carbonfibre for 75% of the car's body panels.
Notably, the rear wings use a carbon 'sandwich' formation, using 25% less carbon material while maintaining the same rigidity. There are magnesium wheels, too, and even the windscreen is 20% lighter than the Performante's.
But there's far more to the STO than just lighter weight. As its race-bred bodywork suggests, aerodynamics play a core role. Reggiani said "extensive" wind tunnel work has helped the car "have the right balance in terms of outstanding downforce but with reduced drag over the race car".
To that end, new downforce- and cooling-boosting bonnet ducts and a splitter are added at the front and, as with the racer, the bonnet, wings and front bumper are all linked as one body piece. A redesigned underbody and rear diffuser feature, while race-derived NACA intakes at the sides improve cooling.
Further additions include an air scoop and deflector design sitting over the engine cover to boost cooling for the V10. Sitting atop that assembly is a 'shark fin' design to improve yaw stability in fast cornering while also straightening airflow to the rear wing.
The wing itself, single slotted with a double aerofoil, is manually adjustable to change the aero balance of the car by up to 13%, claims Lamborghini.
The overall result is a 37% increase in airflow efficiency and a stark 53% downforce increase over the Huracán Performante - up to 450kg at 174mph.
The STO also benefits from a number of chassis revisions, including a wider wheel track, stiffer suspension bushes, a new anti-roll bar design and MagneRide 2.0 adjustable damping. Thee damping in particular is claimed to keep the STO usable as a road-going model.
"This car must be usable. Our customer must be able to use this car to go into town or to travel to tracks," said Reggiani, who also claimed that this car in default mode offers similar comfort to the Performante in Sport mode.
Further tweaks include steering with a more direct and fixed ratio - while still retaining rear-wheel steering - and three new driving modes. Default STO mode is joined by Trofeo mode, which optimises the car for fast lap times, and Pioggia mode for adverse weather conditions.
Two bespoke Bridgestone Potenza tyre compounds - one road biased, another track oriented - are available. The braking system has been overhauled, too, with a Brembo CCM-R system using F1-optimised carbon-ceramic materials.
In the cabin, the STO makes extensive use of carbon, including carbon-backed sports seats, carbon door panels with lightweight door latches and even carbon-weaved floor mats in place of carpets. Lambo's Carbon Skin material - a fabric even lighter than Alcantara - is used throughout. A vast array of personalisation options is available.
Lamborghini quotes a price of £216,677 excluding taxes, which works out to about £260,000 - £45,000 more than the Huracán Performante's base price when it was available to order. Deliveries are due to start next spring.