We Should All Thank Lamborghini for the Huracan Sterrato

by Andrew Maness

May 30, 2024

Ridiculous. That’s the first word that came to mind six years ago when I gave serious thought to what an off-road Lamborghini Huracan would be like. All sorts of wild ideas spring forth at parties during Monterey Car Week, but very few make the jump from fantasy to reality. Happily, the Huracan Sterrato is one that did. I’m not saying the conversation I listened to an acquaintance have with the bosses at Lamborghini directly led to the Sterrato going into production, but given the juice this individual carries I have to imagine that it didn’t hurt. The specificity of the use case this person laid out was mighty convincing, even if it was unconventional. The desire for a mid-engine supercar that could eat up highway between megaopolis and remote desert escape property, whilst also possessing the capability to access said desert escape property is one very few people have. However, Lamborghini is in the business of providing for the desires of the few, so perhaps it’s not such a surprise that the Sterrato exists. Considering what some people will pay for highly modified 4x4 vehicles that are miserable to drive anywhere other than a trail, the Sterrato becomes a relative bargain for those that are able to get one. Even if the use case doesn’t include a remote hideaway down miles of sandy roads, I’d argue the Sterrato is the best Huracan a buyer could ask for. It may have an additional 1.7 inches of ground clearance and ride on bespoke Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires, but it still does all the things that a driver wants a Huracan to do, at least one public roads anyway.

Fun. That’s the second word that came to mind when thinking about what at the time was simply described as a “safari-ed Huracan”. Keep in mind that in the summer of 2018 the “tent-on-a-sportscar” crowd was growing, but had not yet had the accelerant of a global pandemic and the resulting explosion of disposable income for those already doing well poured on it. The arrival of the Sterrato in 2023 was perfectly timed as enthusiasm for off-road capable performance cars reached a fever pitch. It’s distant cousin, the Porsche 911 Dakar, has been widely hailed as one of the best 911s ever and many of my peers think it is the one to get among the current generation. Having not had the chance to drive one yet I can’t say for sure, but given my experience with the Sterrato, I suspect they’re right. I’ve been fortunate to drive every variant of the Huracan since it launched, the Sterrato is without a doubt the one I’d want in my garage. The wildly emotional Performante Spyder is a close second, with the hardcore STO rounding out my top three. As much as I enjoyed both of those models and think of them often, I don’t get a little pang of desire when they cross my mind. It’s a different story with the Sterrato. Over the course of four days I put 800+ miles on the one Lamborghini delivered to me in Manhattan and not once did I find myself wishing it did something better than how it was doing it. That has not always been the case with me and Lamborghinis. Early in my career I’d say things like “this is a supercar you can daily” or “of course you can roadtrip this exotic”. Yeah, that’s youth and inexperience talking. I’m 38, I stretch, I do yoga, I’m not taking a roadtrip in a regular Huracan. They are just not pleasant cars to be in if the primary focus of the journey is anything other than spirited driving. Even if it is, better be in short stints because driving one is exhausting. What a difference a more forgiving suspension, tires with sidewall and more ground clearance makes.

You won’t forget you’re in a V10 powered mid-engine supercar when driving the Sterrato, however you may find yourself wondering how it’s possible that you’re as comfortable as you are while doing so. All of the conditioning my brain has been through over the years with regard to the Huracan was tough to overcome. My body instinctively tensed up when approaching highway joints, potholes and the myriad of other road imperfections that exist between New York City and Vermont. I still did my best to avoid the gnarly ones that may have resulted in unwanted testing of the Bridgestone’s run-flat capabilities, but time and again moments that would have sent a chill up my spine, not to mention a shock to my tailbone, came and went without drama. Confidence in the ability to just pull a Huracan out of the garage and go drive aimlessly for hours on end, what a time to be alive. Speaking of confidence, what a job Bridgestone did with those aforementioned all-terrain tires. Any concerns about the Sterrato not retaining the feel of a Huracan due to the atypical rubber on the 19” wheels are completely unwarranted. Hard acceleration, hard cornering and hard braking remain easy. Only if you are one of the very rare individuals who actually takes their Huracan to the track would you be wishing for more capability on asphalt. If that is you, I’d still recommend getting the Sterrato, removing the roof rack and swapping out the wheel/tire setup for those few and far between track days. It would be worth the effort and then some every time just for the moment you toss the Sterrato sideways on gravel. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again, off-road shenanigans trump on road shenanigans and you’ll rarely be in violation of the law with the former. Drifting a Huracan on dirt is infinitely more fun than drifting a Huracan on asphalt. Doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, it just feels cooler to go sideways off-road. Introduce a more spirited pace to the equation and you’ll really be hooked. Best of all, after you’ve had your fun you click the steering wheel mounted mode selector from “Rally” back to “Strada” and cruise home in 7th gear averaging somewhere in the 24-25 MPG range. What initially sounded ridiculous all of the sudden sounds downright sensible does it not? Well, as sensible as a $300k supercar can be anyway. As I often say with regard to the vehicles I approve of in this segment, “If you can, you should. If you can’t, you should aspire to.” The Huracan Sterrato is a brilliant send-off to Lamborghini’s V10 supercar, proof that fun loving engineers can still slip one past profit minded product planners once in awhile. I’ll be not only be thinking of my time with it often, but plotting how I can get more, ideally with a great deal of snow in the picture