The Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato Remembers What Supercars Should Be

“You ready?” I asked my six-year-old, sitting in the passenger seat. With my right foot on the brake, he flipped the red cover off the starter button and fired up the Giallo yellow Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato. He’s been in exciting cars before, some supercars even, but his face upon the Lambo’s cold start was the happiest I think I’ve ever seen it. And I’m sure the same could be said for my own because that’s what the Huracán Sterrato does—it makes memories. And it makes people happy. 

Happiness isn’t a given with supercars anymore. The days of bedroom wall-poster supercars, when kids dreamed of driving Countaches, Testarossas, or Diablos, are gone. Now, supercars are just number generators, designed to impress TikTok influencers and create social media buzz with the most impressive specs. Supercars no longer sell passion, they sell the prestige of the brand. They sell a lifestyle. Sure, they’re faster and more capable than ever before but they’re also more boring than ever before, too. 

As a teenager, not only could I tell you the lineup of every exotic supercar maker but I could tell you the horsepower, torque, 0-60 time, and top speed specs of them all. That’s because they were all unique and interesting. Now, the only current Ferrari I can name off the top of my head is the Roma and I’m not even 100% sure that’s still on sale without Googling it. Supercars aren’t interesting anymore because they aren’t different enough. They all chase the same performance goals. Except for the Sterrato.

2023 Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato Specs
Base Price (as tested)$276,872 ($348,649)
Powertrain5.2-liter V10 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | all-wheel drive with mechanical self-locking rear differential
Torque413 lb-ft
Dry Weight3,241 pounds
0-62 mph3.4 seconds
Top Speed162 mph
Seating Capacity2
Cargo Volume3.5 cubic feet
Ground Clearance6.7 inches
EPA Fuel Economy13 mpg city | 18 highway | 15 combined
Quick TakeHilarious batshittery.

What Makes the Sterrato Special? 

When Lamborghini announced the Sterrato, car journalists and enthusiasts alike popped their heads up from the sand like curious meerkats. The Sterrato was something new, something fresh. A Lamborghini with a higher ride height, all-terrain tires, black plastic body cladding, a roof rack, a roof-mounted snorkel-style air intake, and rally lights? Before seeing it, such an idea would have seemed like madness. After seeing it, though, er, well it’s still complete madness but the sort of madness that makes complete sense. It’s unlike any Lambo before it, completely incongruous with the brand’s core value, and yet absolutely delightful. 

Sure, Porsche has the 911 Dakar and it’s great. But the Huracán Sterrato is a mid-engine naturally-aspirated V10-powered Lamborghini. The 911 Dakar is cool but in comparison to the Lambo, it looks like a Camry and sounds like a vacuum cleaner. 

Cool Dad Memories

Back to being a cool dad, I had to drive slowly at first, both to get my kiddo ready for the experience and to warm up the V10. I answered all of his questions about the bright yellow rally Lambo as I waited for the digital tachometer’s redline to move from 5,000 rpm to its 8,250-rpm peak. He was fascinated by the car’s looks, sound, and the fact that he could see the engine simply by turning around. Can you blame him? The Sterrato is far from my first supercar but there’s something about it, something that brings back that childlike sense of wonder, that makes everyone stop and stare. 

The red part of the tach soon moved to its rightmost position, telling me the engine was warm enough to hit redline. I headed to a typically deserted backroad and opened the V10’s taps a little bit. Obviously, I’d never drive dangerously fast with my kid in the car, but I went just fast enough to let him feel the forward thrust and hear that glorious engine sing its mechanical song. It was one of those moments I’ll only forget when I’m dead. His childish giggle and ear-to-ear grin are imprinted on my brain forever. 

Is It As Good As the Regular Huracán? 

“Sterrato” literally means “dirt road” in Italian. Unfortunately, despite its name and appearance, I was given strict orders by Lamborghini to not take it off-road. So I didn’t get to slide it around in the dirt, kicking up four-wheeled rooster tails to the tune of a wailing V10 soundtrack. Instead, most of my time with the Sterrato was spent on highways, getting to and from distant destinations. However, even a boring stretch of highway is made infinitely more exciting by the Sterrato.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it rides well. Its longer travel suspension, designed to add some ground clearance and give it more off-road capabilities, ends up making it even more livable than the standard car. It still has the same pointy supercar styling of a Huracán but it doesn’t feel like one. It handles potholes and speedbumps—two things that would frighten a normal Huracán owner—with ease. 

Thankfully, that added comfort and usability do nothing to hurt the Huracán’s exotic nature. Its screaming 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10, making 602 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, is still there. A quick stab of the throttle and suddenly the tedium of highway cruising is broken and you remember that you’re in something with a Raging Bull badge. But the noise it makes as it screams to redline is even more thrilling than the forward thrust it brings. The roof-mounted air intake—which was created to keep dirt and sand out of the engine—means you hear even more induction noise and it’s right behind your head, separated by only a glass partition. As it revs, the V10 lets out a symphony of mechanical noise. Some of it’s pretty, some of it isn’t. But all of it is real and it adds so much character to the experience. 

There is a drawback to that roof intake, though: rearward visibility. There’s absolutely nothing to be seen in the rearview mirror aside from that intake and the engine cover. That’s it. There may as well not even be a rearview mirror because it’s useless. And, for reasons only known to God and Lamborghini, the Sterrato lacks blind-spot monitoring. I’m not a religious man but lane changes in the Sterrato require prayer. 

Nico DeMattia

However, such fearful drawbacks are as endearing as they are frustrating because supercars are supposed to be compromised—and perhaps even mildly terrifying. If you don’t fear for your life at least three times per drive, you aren’t supercar-ing correctly. Maybe I’m old school but I don’t like the idea that anyone with money can just get into a supercar and drive it. Skill, and the pain necessary to earn it, should be required. In that regard, the Sterrato is delightfully old-fashioned and unlike the video gamey supercars of today.

Does It Still Handle Like a Huracán? 

I didn’t get as much twisty-road action as I would have liked. Blame New Jersey, as it’s probably the second most boring state to drive in, behind Florida. What can I say, Italians with too much arm hair and gold bracelets don’t want to steer their Escalades, they only want to cruise. 

That’s why I drove the Huracán Sterrato up to New York (the state not the city), where there were plenty of twisty, curvy roads to play on. And even with its bespoke Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires, the Sterrato is more than up to the challenge. It isn’t quite as sticky as a normal Huracán but that actually makes it more fun. It will wiggle its back end more than any modern supercar I’ve driven, simply because its tires lack the on-road grip of its contemporaries. 

Make no mistake, though, the Sterrato is still a Huracán. Its delightfully weighted albeit numb steering brings razor-sharp precision, the nose turns in beautifully, and it still makes you feel like a superhero most of the time. And when it does slip, it’s easy to catch, making your powers feel even greater. 

Lamborghini also deserves commendation for its drive modes, of which there are three: Strada, Sport, and Rally. The first two are typical of a Huracán but the latter replaces the usual Corsa mode. On pavement, I didn’t notice a difference between Sport and Rally but I can’t fairly make that comparison without a dirt road. However, Strada and Sport feel like completely different machines. Sport is far, far more engaging, while Strada is comfy and quiet for cruising. 

Some of The Drive crew gathered to see the Sterrato in all of its bumble bee-liveried glory. All of us have driven fast, exotic, expensive cars. Some of us own them. And many of us have become jaded by the cynicism of modern-day supercars. And yet everyone who saw the Sterrato giggled just as much as my son did at first sight. It’s such a laugh, such a silly, unnecessary, fantastic car that it brings out the inner child in all of us. 

The Best Supercar In the World Right Now

As I pulled back into my driveway, with my very smiley kid riding shotgun, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude toward the Sterrato. Not only did it give my son and me a lasting memory but it reignited my passion for supercars. It reminded me that they don’t have to be cynical TikTok content generators. They can be ridiculous cars for you and me. 

The Huracán Sterrato is a four-wheeled reminder that Lamborghini remembers how to ignite passion and kickstart imaginations. It brings back the thrill, the curiosity, and the absolute batshittery of exotic, Italian supercars. And, because of that, it may just be the best supercar in the world. 

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