By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business
The Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, officially unveiled in Miami Wednesday will be the Italian automaker’s maker’s last purely gasoline-powered supercar. It will also be unlike any Lamborghini supercar before because it’s designed to go off-road.
If Mad Max owned a Lamborghini, it would probably look a lot like the Sterrato, with its big, dark-colored fender flares, off-road lights on the hood and an air scoop on the roof. Sterrato means “dirt road” in Italian.
Other Huracán supercars have air scoops on the side but, in this car, the side air scoops are permanently closed. Instead, air for the car’s 5.2-liter V-10 engine is drawn from above to minimize dirt being sucked in as the tires throw up clouds of dust. There are also roof rails for tying down baggage and gear, something not ordinarily seen on a Lamborghini sports car.
“It’s a completely different Lamborghini,” said Lamborghini’s lead designer, Mitja Borkert. “It’s for the guys here in Italy that go skiing. You go to the Dolomites and you have a quite cool car where you can put your skis, your snowboard, your kite surfer, or you’re in California, you can put your surfboard on top.”
The Sterrato is about 1.75 inches higher off the ground than a typical Huracan supercar and about 1.3 inches wider with its big fender flares. (It’s slightly wider at the rear wheels than at the front wheels.) The underside of the car’s pointy nose is protected with aluminum shielding.
The general idea is similar to that of the recently unveiled Porsche 911 Dakar, another lifted sports car with knobby tires, and both companies are part of the Volkswagen Group family. But the concept of the Huracán Sterrato came entirely from inside Lamborghini, said Brokert, as engineers were developing the Urus, Lamborghini’s SUV.
“It was so fun to drift and to drive the Urus [off-road] that we said, ‘Why can we not have the same fun-to-drive also in a super sports car?'” said Borkert. “And obviously, the Huracan is the perfect match because of this enjoyable V-10 engine.”
Inside, the Sterrato’s digital gauge cluster offers data that’s usually not required in other Lamborghini supercars, such as a “pitch-and-roll” gauge that shows how far the car is tilted side-to-side and front-to-back. One trade-off for the additional off-road performance is that the Sterrato will have a lower top speed than on other versions of the Huracán. With its 601-horsepower engine, it will be able to reach a mere 160 miles an hour instead of over 200 miles an hour, like other Huracán models.
Production of the Huracán Sterrato will begin at Lamborghini’s factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, in February. Only 1,499 of the car will be built at a price starting of, in Europe, €263,000, or around $271,500. Pricing for other markets, including the United States, has not been announced.
The Sterrato will be the last version of the Huracán. Lamborghini recently ended production of its flagship supercar, the V12-powered Aventador. Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann previously announced that its future supercars will be plug-in hybrids, which have electric motors in addition to gasoline engines. Lamborghini is also working on a fully electric car, but it will be a four-seater, not a traditional supercar.
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