Shock supercar transformation
LAMBORGHINI has added some high-riding SUV thinking to its Huracan supercar in creating a radical off-road concept car that would send a high-speed shock through the Simpson Desert.
The Huracan Sterrato Concept - sterrato is Italian for dirt - channels the DNA of the Lamborghini Urus SUV but in the sleek, low-slung shape of Lamborghini's most popular two-seat sports car.
Think of it as the would-be desert racer or rally car that could also cut a mean lap around a racetrack.
It was perhaps only a matter of time until a manufacturer took a perfectly respectable supercar and sprinkled it with the SUV dust that seems to work on just about any other body style.
And it's not the first time Lamborghini has done it. In the 1970s Lamborghini test driver Bob Watson made one-off Rally concepts of the Jarama and Urraco, although neither looked as prepared for rough roads as the Huracan Sterrato.
"Lamborghini's R&D and design teams are constantly exploring new opportunities and delivering the unexpected as a core characteristic of our DNA, challenging possibilities while inspired by Lamborghini brand heritage," said Lamborghini's chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani.
The one-off Sterrato uses the body of the upcoming Huracan Evo along with its 470kW 5.2-litre V10 engine.
The suspension has been raised by 47mm for additional clearance over rocks, stones and gravel tracks.
Ballooning 20-inch tyres have been chosen for off-road grip and are claimed to be "highly damage resistant".
The tyres are also placed 30mm further apart to broaden the Sterrato's footprint, with wheel arch flares employed to cover them, in turn widening the body.
Lamborghini has also tailored the electronic controls - including steering, torque vectoring, dampers and the four-wheel drive system - to gravel driving.
"The Huracan Sterrato illustrates Lamborghini's commitment to being a future shaper: a super sports car with off-road capabilities, the Sterrato demonstrates the Huracan's versatility and opens the door to yet another benchmark of driving emotion and performance," said Reggiani.
In revealing the Sterrato, Lamborghini used terms usually associated with four-wheel drives such as Toyota LandCruisers and Nissan Patrols.
It says the approach angle (the angle at which the nose will scrape when approaching obstacles) has been improved by 1 per cent, while the departure angle (at the rear) is 6.5 per cent better.
The Sterrato also gets a 4WD-style skid-plate to protect the underside as well as a roof-mounted LED light bar and bumper lights with "flood function".
Lamborghini has even leveraged its expertise in carbon fibre to create a hybrid material that pairs the lightweight material with an elastomeric resin, so instead of being brittle it can absorb small impacts and return to its original shape.