The association between supercars and anything other than pristine, ultra-smooth surfaces is not a particularly happy one. Broad tyres and low ground clearance make heavy work of ripples and bumps, and that’s just on a badly laid motorway, let alone the smoothest of gravel tracks.
Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato: an off-road supercar
Lamborghini hopes to shift that balance of power with the launch of the new Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, a pumped-up version of its V10-engined Huracán (the ‘baby’ Lamborghini of the current range). The Sterrato model bolsters the Huracán’s era-defining form with bolted-on bits of black plastic, the addition of front LED driving lights, a raised ride height, chunky tyres, and underbody protection.
The new model is also accompanied by one of the most OTT promotional videos ever put out by a major car maker, with poetry and delivery that is as rich in unintended humour as the car itself is in subtlety and nuance. Lamborghinis were never intended for shrinking violets.
Only 1,499 examples of the Sterrato will be built, effectively running out Huracán production after eight years and over 20,000 units (making it Lamborghini’s best-selling model ever). Like a few of its peers, the Italian manufacturer isn’t rushing to embrace electrification, engaging in a bit of foot-dragging and hand-waving, mumbling about things like ‘clean’ fuels.
Clean or not, combustion’s time is nearly up, and safety, speed limits, congestion, and social change have made the supercar more unviable than ever before. However, the Sterrato implies that tomorrow’s supercar owners are going to be searching for a different kind of bragging rights.
Just like Porsche’s recently announced 911 Dakar, the blend of SUV practicality with familiar sports car styling is a niche that very few had considered before. The Sterrato (the name means ‘dirt road’) adds elements like the ‘Lamborghini Drive Recorder’, which is a sort of personal digital archive of your favourite roads.
This is, in effect, the third off-road car to come from the brand, following the brutalist LM002 of the mid-1980s and today’s Urus SUV. The car is clearly pitched at markets where there is a surfeit of sand and not a whole load of regulations about who gets to play where and how in their motor vehicles. As a result, the Sterrato could be seen as little more than a glorified toy.
It’s also telling that the company chose to announce the car at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022, a place where there is a ready currency for the superfluous and far-fetched. Whether the car is truly ‘an avant-garde work of art’ remains to be seen. It’ll certainly drive straight into the collections of Lamborghini fans who know an investment when they see one.
Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, from €263,000
Lamborghini.com (opens in new tab)
Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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