Usually, when an automaker boasts that their latest six-figure supercar borrows tech from a racecar, they’re referring to the use of exotic materials or some slightly tweaked aero. However, Lamborghini’s latest creation takes that statement and runs with it, creating one of the best vehicles I’ve ever driven in the process.
It’s called the 2021 Lamborghini Huracán STO, meaning Super Trofeo Omologata. As its name suggests, the STO is a homologation special based on the brand’s Super Trofeo EVO and GT3 EVO racecars, the latter of which won the 24 Hours of Daytona three times and the 12 Hours of Sebring twice. To put this latest track day special through its paces, I traveled to Willow Springs International Raceway in California, one of the fastest racetracks in the western United States.
A Body Shaped By Motorsport
A quick glance is all you need to know that the STO is no ordinary Huracán. From its widened bodywork to its manually adjustable rear wing sitting behind a massive roof scoop, the STO elevates your heart rate before you even get behind the wheel. However, you’ll need to look closely to appreciate the magic behind this unique machine.
Take the front end, for example. In a “normal” Huracán, you have your front bumper, hood, and fenders as separate pieces. In the STO, these are all one solid piece of carbon fiber, just like those racecars mentioned above. Aside from taking inspiration from the brand’s most iconic model, the Miura, this clamshell design helps reduce weight thanks to its construction and lack of additional mounting hardware found in the standard model.
The clamshell design the Italian carmaker calls “cofango” also houses a brand-new splitter that directly channels air into a central radiator to improve cooling. Additionally, the clamshell generates downforce by directing air to a new set of louvers found on the front fender area, where it meets with air exiting the front wheel arches. The result is a decrease in air pressure in the front arches and an increase in overall downforce.
As we move to the rear, the 2021 Lamborghini Huracán STO has even more party tricks on offer. While it’s almost impossible to appreciate from photos alone, the rear quarter panels have also taken inspiration from the Super Trofeo EVO, including a brand new set of NACA air intakes. Not only do these ducts feed air into the STO’s V10 engine, but they also help decrease static pressure losses by up to 30%.
Bringing up the rear is the STO’s most striking design element, its massive air scoop. Aside from channeling air directly under the STO’s hood, the scoop serves as a mounting point for the integrated “shark fin.” According to Lamborghini, this aerodynamic element has a yaw angle, separating the different air pressures on either side of the car while cornering, aiding overall stability.
Just behind the shark fin, you’ll find a brand-new adjustable rear wing with three different configurations. In its most aggressive setting, the STO can generate up to 935 lb of downforce at 173 mph. To put that into context, that’s a 37% improvement over its closest predecessor, the Huracán Performante.
Speaking of the Performante, the STO also takes a massive leap forward by losing 94 lb thanks to its carbon-fiber construction coming in with a dry weight of just under 3,000 lb. 75% of the STO’s body panels are made of carbon fiber, utilizing a method Lamborghini calls the “sandwich technique.” In short, this method uses 25% less carbon fiber while retaining the same structural rigidity.
155 MPH Down The Front Straight And Into Turn 1
Now that we’ve gotten all of the numbers out of the way, we can hit the track. My day with the 2021 Lamborghini Huracán STO consisted of three separate stints on the iconic Willow Springs International Raceway in California. As I joined the track from the pits, hammering the throttle just before Turn 1, it became immediately apparent that the STO would be different from any Lamborghini I had driven previously.
While the STO houses the same 5.2-liter naturally-aspirated V10 we’ve all come to know, and love, a brand-new titanium exhaust system developed by Akrapovič allows it to scream like never before. Add in the wooshing sounds from the roof scoop right above you get the closest thing to a race car that can still wear a license plate.
The STO develops 640 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque, marginally more than a Huracán EVO. However, unlike its more affordable sibling, the STO is rear-wheel drive and even features a clever rear-wheel steering system, a first for a RWD Lamborghini. Sending all of that power to the rear wheels is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. At full speed, the Huracán STO can hit 60 mph in around 3 seconds and continue to a top speed of 192 mph.
I’ll admit, I’m not exactly Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel. However, the STO is not a car that punishes the inexperienced. Instead, its excellent aerodynamics invite you to push until you reach your driving limits, long before the car even breaks a sweat. The result is tremendous speed down the front straights and organ-crushing G forces during high-speed cornering.
In short, the STO gives you access to tremendous speed and performance without putting yourself at risk. Even when I came into a corner too hot, the STO’s bespoke Bridgestone Potenza racing-oriented tires never gave up, gripping well even on Willow Spring’s bumpy track surface. If you aren’t hitting the track regularly, you can option a more street-friendly set of tires also developed exclusively for the STO.
As you might expect from what is essentially a road-going racecar, the STO grips harder the faster you go. A sensation you can feel as the whole car hunkers down above 100 mph. The more I pushed the STO, the more rewarding the driving experience became. While all of its aerodynamic elements result in faster lap times, they also build confidence in you as a driver, allowing you to drive even faster.
To keep you from the barriers, of which Willow Springs Raceway has none, Lamborghini has fitted the STO with an enormous set of carbon-ceramic brakes. The system is called CCM-R, and its racing origins mean that these brakes can withstand up to 60% more stress than a standard set of carbon ceramics. This system gives the STO 25% more braking power than the already-impressive Performante. As mentioned earlier, the STO’s limits are likely far beyond your own.
After a day at the track and around 20 laps in various cars, I can confidently say that the STO is best at the limit. If you are fortunate enough to have enough for the STO’s $327,000 asking price, do yourself a favor and sign up for a track day or ten.
A Racecar You Can Drive Every Day?
While the 2021 Lamborghini Huracán STO is undoubtedly best at speed, I’m well aware that most of these cars will spend 99% of their time on public roads. While I’ve only driven the STO on the track, Lamborghini has added a couple of notable features that should make your drive bearable. For starters, the STO features a MagneRide system, allowing for a more comfortable ride on the street. However, we’ll have to wait until later this year to test that out for ourselves.
On the steering wheel, you’ll also find three brand-new driving modes that should drastically alter the driving experience. The first is STO, which is tuned for ordinary street driving. In this mode, the car is in its most docile setting, shifting all of its gears for you. From there, you can choose Trofeo, which is essentially the new track mode. This alters the car’s suspension, traction control system, and you’ll need to shift your gears via the mounted paddles. Lastly, there’s Pioggia, the STO’s rain mode, which should keep you from losing control of your 640-hp Italian supercar.
There Is An STO For Everyone Who Wants One
While most track-oriented supercars are part of a limited run of just a few units, the 2021 Lamborghini Huracán STO is not. This means that anyone who wants one and has the cash can go into a Lamborghini dealership and order one. However, it seems the wait times for delivery will be at least a year. As mentioned earlier, the Huracán STO carries a base price of just over $327,000. However, expect that number to climb quickly once you add in your optional extras.
While my time was pretty brief with the STO on the track, it’s made a lasting impression on me. There’s no denying that there are plenty of cars faster than it in a straight line. However, what the STO accomplishes is more than just outright speed. With turbocharged engines, no amount of power seems to be too much nowadays. Instead, the STO’s most tremendous success is how it manages to provide you with mind-boggling performance without forgetting about the fun factor. The STO may be the send-off for the Huracán model line, but it’s also the greatest version to date.