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Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato review: The off-road supercar

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The rugged Huracan Sterrato is a fitting finale for Lamborghini’s V10 supercar. Tim Pitt drives it on the dirt tracks where it was developed.

I sit through the long-winded safety briefing, sign all the legal documents, submit to a bag search and stick a security seal over the camera lens of my phone. Only then am I permitted behind the high walls and barbed wire of Nardo Technical Centre: the secret proving ground where Lamborghini develops its new cars. 

Within minutes, I’ve seen one – or at least, I think I have. As I grab a coffee, a low-slung wedge wrapped in unflattering grey camouflage skulks past, then accelerates away with an electrified whoosh. Nobody here will confirm or deny it, of course, but I’m confident I just caught a glimpse of Lamborghini’s new ‘junior’ supercar, due later in 2024. 

Ironically, I’m at Nardo to bid an arrivederci of sorts to its predecessor. The Lamborghini Huracan ceases production soon, signing off after 10 years and close to 25,000 sales with the limited edition Sterrato. A quiet retirement? No chance. This off-road mutant is the most radical and potentially most exciting Huracan yet.

A modern-day Stratos

First shown as a concept in 2017, it took another three years before the Sterrato was finally given the green light by Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann. Loosely inspired by the classic Lancia Stratos – or so one insider at Nardo tells me – it rides 44mm higher than a regular Huracan Evo, with rugged body cladding, rally-style spot lamps and bespoke Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tyres. Smeared in a thick layer of dust and clay, it looks preposterous and fantastic all at once. 

The Huracan’s successor will be a plug-in hybrid with a twin-turbo V8 and three electric motors, bridging the gap to Lamborghini going entirely EV – starting with the Lanzador SUV in 2028. The Sterrato, thankfully, retains the old-school naturally aspirated V10 that we know and love, which serves up 610hp at a screaming 8,000rpm. Bring it on. 

Before I kick up some dirt on Nardo’s loose-surfaced tracks – where the Sterrato was developed alongside the Porsche 911 Dakar – I head out onto local roads to discover how this steroidal supercar fares in the real world. And the answer is… surprisingly well.

Rough and the smooth

The Puglia region of southern Italy seems almost abandoned in winter, its beach resorts eerily empty and its roads crumbling to coarse gravel. Crazy-paving cracks split the tarmac, which is littered with exposed manhole covers and brutal potholes. Driving a Huracan STO here would feel like riding a bull through the streets of Pamplona, but the Sterrato’s long-travel suspension and taller tyres take the edge off the rough roads. Despite being slower against the clock (0-62mph in 3.4 seconds, versus 3.0 seconds for the STO), it’s a faster car in these conditions.

Even on smoother roads, the Sterrato driving experience is different rather than subjectively diluted. The Huracan’s intrinsic, mid-engined balance is always there, but increased body-roll and the lower limits of the Bridgestone rubber mean it feels more accessible, more malleable and arguably more fun at sensible speeds.

Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato on test.

Vital stats: 610hp, 413lb ft, 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds, 162mph, 1,470kg (dry), 19.0mpg and 337g/km.

Price before options: £232,820 (but all 1,499 cars are now sold). pic.twitter.com/QX1G9pbnMg

— Tim Pitt (@timpitt100) November 30, 2023

Still, who wants to be sensible? Back at Nardo, I rendez-vous with one of Lamborghini’s test drivers and we head for the ‘White Road’, a tightly coiled loop of loose sand and claggy clay where the Sterrato prototypes racked up many test miles. It’s one of 21 circuits on this sprawling site, including the famous 7.8-mile Nardo Ring – home to several world speed records. 

Narrow, deeply rutted and surrounded by viciously spiky cacti, achieving fast lap times on the White Road – recorded by the Huracan’s GPS-based track telemetry system – requires a cool head and accurate inputs. But when you have a furious, maniacal V10 inches behind your ears, showing restraint isn’t easy. A couple of times I overcook it and end up in the undergrowth. 

We don’t need roads…

After several more laps and a stern warning from my passenger, I start to find a flow: braking hard and early, aiming the nose at each apex and then powering out wide and sideways on the exit. The Sterrato’s unique, driver-selectable Rally mode loosens the stability control and uses the ABS to help the car slide, making the whole process feel smooth and easy. Well, until that voracious V10 leads you into temptation again…

Drifting the Sterrato along the White Road was a thrill equal to any supercar I’ve driven around a circuit. However, even Lamborghini owners don’t usually have a rally stage in their back garden, so I suspect few of the 1,499 buyers will ever experience its full breadth of abilities. 

Does that matter? Probably not. The qualities that make the Sterrato capable over rough terrain also make it a superb everyday supercar – and one that deserves a sequel. Let’s hope the team at Nardo is already working on a hybrid V8 version.

Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research

PRICE: £232,820

POWER: 610hp

0-62MPH: 3.4sec 

TOP SPEED: 162mph


CO2 EMISSIONS: 337g/km

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