Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine one day jumping a six-figure supercar. At least, not on purpose. But, at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway for the world debut of the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, an insane Italian test driver in my passenger seat egged me into full-throttle slides in the dirt, top-speed drifting on asphalt, and yes, even catching some air over a series of sharp, small whoops.
When Lambo first teased a Sterrato package for the Huracán, nobody expected a car this great to eventually hit the market. The fact that any lawyers actually signed off on a half-tarmac, half-asphalt stage rally course at Chuckwalla perfectly proved the concept’s capabilities, though. But perhaps the greatest trick up the Sterrato’s sleeve isn’t how well it can handle hard-charging in the dirt, but instead how well the combo of knobby tires, long-travel suspension, and a lifted chassis perform during daily driving, as well.
In short: The Huracán Sterrato might just be the greatest supercar ever, entirely unexpected but undeniably exciting. Playing with too much power and not enough grip harkens back to an earlier era of supercar performance, with a healthy dose of rally-style slip-and-slide thrown in for good measure. Fair warning: Your cheeks will ache from grinning so big.
2023 Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato
- Engine 5.2L V10
- Transmission Dual-clutch 7-speed gearbox
- Horsepower/Torque 610 hp / 417 lb.-ft.
- MPG 13 city / 18 hwy / 15 comb.
- 0-60 mph 3.4 sec.
- Top speed 161.5 mph
- Dry weight 3,241 lbs.
- Dimensions 14.8' L x 6.4' W x 4' H
- Price $273,177+++
- Cargo 3.53 cu.-ft. in front trunk
- A lifted supercar that can truly take a beating
- Volkswagen AG build quality shines through
- Easy to rip off road and perfect for daily driving
- If you have to ask, you can’t afford it
- No steel brake disc option
- Does sacrifice all-out performance in the name of fun
2023 Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato Review
Six months after the global launch at Chuckwalla, Lamborghini dropped off a Sterrato loaner for me to test on the streets and in the canyons of Los Angeles. But first — sadly, but understandably — I needed to sign a contract that stipulated no unsupervised off-road shenanigans. Over the next 4 days, I racked up a few hundred miles on the odometer, every single one filled with smiles per gallon unmatched by any car I’ve ever driven previously.
The Sterrato package essentially takes a base all-wheel-drive Huracán and bolts on safari-inspired modifications. Unlike so many aftermarket safari cars, Lambo did the job right. It revised suspension mounting points on the chassis and developed new components to allow for 44 additional millimeters of ride height.
A wider track and increased wheel travel were engineered into the car as well. Bold fender flares, roof rails, and a functional roof intake scoop (as opposed to the Huracán STO’s fake piece) also fit into the mix.
Tires & Culture
The 19-inch wheels on the Sterrato come shod in an entirely new tire developed by Bridgestone using a racing rubber compound with an all-terrain tread to deliver the grip a Sterrato requires in town and in the dirt simultaneously. The chances that any Sterrato owners will ever find the limits of those Bridgestones — or the car itself — remain extremely slim.
Part of that sad fact comes down to supercar culture, but also the exorbitant price tag. My loaner added over $100,000 in options to a starting sticker of $273,177. No wonder Lambo didn’t want me out ripping in the desert solo, risking flat tires or serious damage, in my unadulterated enthusiasm!
And yet, even driving the Sterrato on asphalt still delivers the fun factor in spades. The tires measure 10 and 20 mm narrower, respectively, at the front and rear versus a Huracán Tecnica. A smaller contact patch interrupted by all-terrain sipes and lugs makes for far less grip at all times on pavement. Yet, the naturally aspirated V10 still puts out 610 horsepower (SAE) on the way to an 8,500-rpm redline.
Blasting through gears with the seven-speed DCT or hammering on the massive carbon-ceramic brakes simply overwhelms the rubber with ease. And, best of all, Lambo’s refined traction control programming allows for more countersteer in the Sterrato’s Sport and Rally drive modes than ever before.
All in all, the knobby tires, roof rack, and underbody protection still only result in a 3,241-pound curb weight. The ride quality, with plenty of tire and body roll, complemented by enough power to produce tail-end squiggle at any time, truly approaches a Tokyo Drift style of fun.
Never mind the pebbles or moist patches in the canyons of Malibu. Put the hammer down and enjoy the mid-engine balance transitioning through slaloms of oversteer and understeer galore. Or, hold the slide with confidence and let the rear tires just slowly slip back into line.
No, this kind of driving doesn’t translate to the fastest possible clocked times around the track at Chuckwalla. But that’s not the point.
Instead, driving into grocery store parking lots requires zero worries about scraping front splitters. The same for speed bumps, which the Sterrato gobbles up at 25-30 mph without bottoming out.
I never even missed the front-axle lift system, a feature required for me to park most supercars in my tiny one-car garage.
Inside the Lambo Sterrato
On the interior, the only difference between a Sterrato and the rest of the Huracán lineup is the “Rally” mode selection on the steering wheel. Choosing between the Strada, Sport, and Rally modes switches up the mapping for throttle response, gear shifts, exhaust valving, steering, and suspension firmness.
Otherwise, a typical smattering of Alcantara and carbon-fiber trim dots the surprisingly comfortable cockpit. The front trunk can fit a couple of grocery bags, while a tiny parcel shelf behind the seats can hold smaller items.
But the otherwise legitimate daily utility of a Sterrato does, however, make the roof rack’s paltry 88-pound rating something of a bummer.
My own Sterrato would come in gunmetal grey or matte green, not the bright Arancio Xanto orange or Giallo yellow on the cars I tested. The more subdued colors would help hide some of the more plasticine exterior details.
I also wish steel brakes came as an option, as opposed to the carbon ceramics that come on the Sterrato. I’d want the steel disks mostly just to avoid scoring the four-figure carbon rotors with pebbles or rocks while ripping around off-road.
Still, the fact that Lambo built something so stupendously fun boggles my mind. Will this go down in history as the most awesome gas-powered supercar at the end of the ICE era? Probably.
And in comparison to Volkswagen AG’s other lifted sports car, the Porsche 911 Dakar, everything about the Sterrato gives Lambo a serious edge. (Now if only the Dakar came in a manual!)
2023 Huracán Sterrato Review: Conclusions
Everyone deserves a spin in the Sterrato, my favorite car of 2023 without any doubt. Nothing on the market can top a Huracán in off-roading spec, as proven by the grins on the faces of pedestrians of all ages who stopped to stare as I drove around Los Angeles (where more typical supercars barely turn heads anymore).
In a world where EVs have rendered supercar speed and specs somewhat irrelevant, the Lamborgini Sterrato proves that fun doesn’t necessarily mean fast. Configure your dream spec Huracán Sterrato here.