Is Anyone Taking the Huracán Sterrato Serious?

Is Anyone Taking the Huracán Sterrato Serious?

by Michael Satterfield - 11/23/2022

It seems that "rally cars" are in vogue again with Porsche unveiling the 911 Dakar, Weird Car Twitter celebrating the Mitsubishi Pajero Evo turning 25, and even Morgan offering a limited edition off-road version of their ash-framed sports car the Morgan CX-T. Safari all things is a theme I can get behind, but only when the cars actually do safari stuff. Porsche, to its credit, took the 2023 911 Dakar to summit the world's tallest volcano, but the Morgan is described as "Dakar Inspired" and while I love the look of the CX-T, cars that have actually done something incredible are far more interesting. Enter the Huracán Sterrato, which has yet to do anything, and likely never will.

The Huracán Sterrato isn't the first off-road Lamborghini, LM002 better known as the "Rambo Lambo" started life in 1977 as a military prototype, but it didn't get picked up by the Army, so 328 civilian versions were built and sold between 1986-1993. In 1988, Lamborghini built two LM002 Evoluzione to take on the Pairs to Dakar rally, but they never competed in the legendary race due to the company's money woes. One of the chassis would go on to take on a few smaller rallies but Dakar glory never came. While a few privateers have built some off-road-inspired Lamborghinis the factory has never really pursued off-road racing beyond the LM002. 

YouTuber Chris Steinbacher, of 'B is for Build' never actually raced his LS-powered Lamborghini Huracán, better known as the Jumpacan in the Mint 400 as planned. (Note: Chris didn't enter the event in 2021 due to a medical condition, but has missed 2022 and has not announced entering in 2023). Other than this really fun, promo video shot in 2021, it looks like the Jumpacan never got a chance to race and is just parked with the rest of his collection of eclectic cars. 

Art Basel

So outside of the clout points, should anyone take the Huracán Sterrato off-road credentials seriously? At the time of this writing, Lamborghini has not announced any plans to do any form of competitive rallying, no off-road challenges, or even shown us the production car is capable of getting dirty, we just have some moody photos shot on a set with a smoke machine. 

The official unveiling of this car at Art Basel in Miami Beach, pretty much tells you everything you need to know. Instead of Lamborghini Motorsport Vice President Maurizio Reggiani climbing out of the Huracán Sterrato after 500 miles of dusty white-knuckle driving to announce what they have created, he will be showcasing as a static art installation. A choice that says speaks volumes about this "off-road" Lamborghini which I am sure will look stunning as men with lightly tinted sunglasses and far too many beaded bracelets, discuss the deeper meaning of the air inlets. Perhaps it will be sandwiched between the installation of chairs suspended from the ceiling and the presentation of stained glass that explore the relationships between Black bodies, diaspora, and the ocean? Who knows. 

Art Basel is an incredible event, and if you ever have a chance to go, take it, but not much about it really screams "Off-Road Lamborghini." Sadly while Lamborghini had a chance to do something really interesting, they chose to produce yet another boring limited edition, that will be quickly sold out and spirited away into storage... seldom seen by the plebes. I understand that a lot of Lamborghini Urus customers are going to be at Art Basel, it is a major event to be seen at, but it is an event that is centered on expressing stories through every medium of art, and what is the story of the Huracán Sterrato? 

Is Anyone Taking the Huracán Sterrato Serious?

The dirt road diva doesn't have much of an origin story. They developed it at Strada Bianca of Nardò, which is basically a series of pretty nice dirt roads, which makes sense because even the press photos of the production car are on concrete. Rouven Mohr, Automobili Lamborghini's Chief Technical Officer, confirms this by saying: "The goal was not so much to create an off-road vehicle but rather an unprecedented super sports car for all surface conditions." So yeah it has the ability to drive down dirt roads...stop the presses. While I am sure Instagram star Alex Choi will buy one, strap a rooftop tent on it and shoot some lifestyle photos while camping in the Pacific Northwest that will drive the fanboys wild, outside of that, the only story is that Lamborghini wanted to sell another special edition.   

Besides the lift which is described by the Lamborghini team as "installing off-road solutions with a higher ground clearance," they put bigger tires on it, reinforced the chassis, and added some skid plates. Apparently, no one at Lamborghini has been to a custom truck shop in the south, where all of these modifications could be done in a weekend for about $2,500 and a case of Bud Light. No instead the press release from Lamborghini declared the concept of lifting a street car and putting some bigger tires on it as "brave" and "distinctly different," just be sure not to tell them about the AMC Eagle, a car that at least took home podiums in the ProRally series.  

Is Anyone Taking the Huracán Sterrato Serious?

But for Lamborghini, just making something expensive and outlandish has always been enough, unlike most of the competition the Raging Bull has no Formula 1 constructor or driver championships, no historic Le Mans wins, and only in recent memory has brought home some victories in GT3. Lamborghinis at least used to be rare, and that was vastly a part of their appeal. When I was a boy I can remember seeing a Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole, one of just 610 made over three years, and that was the most common version of the roughly 2,000 Countach variants built. To put it in perspective, in 2019 alone, the company built 800 Aventador SVJ Roadsters.No doubt there will be a line of people to buy the Huracán Sterrato, in fact, entire personalities are likely to be built around owning one of these cars, but in the end, it is just another mass-produced limited edition.