As electrification takes over, automakers are going all out with our beloved ICE-only (internal combustion engine) machines. And, on November 30, Lamborghini will present the 2023 Huracan Sterrato all-terrain supercar at the Miami Art Basel show. However, we don’t have to wait for the official unveiling or squint at the countless teasers to check out the appearance of the thing, as the production Huracan Sterrato is right here on our screens.
An example of the Huracan Sterrato was captured on camera—completely free of any camo—while driving around the Lamborghini factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese thanks to YouTuber Varryx. Now, we’re going to go out on a limb here and say there’s a slight chance that Lamborghini and Porsche did the math to ensure the Huracan Sterato and the 911 Dakar, which debuted yesterday, won’t cannibalize each other.
It’s worth noting that both AWD machines have been in the making for about a decade—Lambo plotted the Sterrato, which means “dirt road” in the Gallardo era. As for Porsche, the Germans built a lifted 911 Safari prototype just months after the introduction of the ex-gen 991 Neunelfer back in 2012, but only showcased this in 2020, as part of the Porsche Unseen series of concepts.
911 Dakar vs Huracan Sterrato
The differences? It’s not just that the Raging Bull is a mid-engined supercar animated by a naturally aspirated 5.2L V10 and the Neunelfer is a twin-turbocharged 3.0L flat-six sportscar. The pricing will be different too: while the 911 Dakar’s MSRP sits at $223,450, the on-stilts Italian exotic will be even costlier, as its price should start with a “3”.
Besides, given how tuners or home-brewed builds have covered the market for years, the demand for these machines will outweigh the supply, even with those dreaded markups. For one, the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar is a one-year-only offering. This should be mirrored by the Huracan Sterrato, which is expected to mark the end of the road (pun intended) for the 2014-introduced Huracan series.
Sure, despite the 991.2 release being the first officially-lifted 911, the all-terrain DNA of the Neunelfer goes back to the 1960s. Back then, Lamborghini was busy introducing the world to the concept of the modern supercar via the Miura. And the Raging Bull wasn’t ready to give up on such pioneering efforts, which resulted in what can arguably be labeled as the world’s first super-SUV.
We are, of course, referring to the LM002 of 1986—with its Countach V12 base engine (a much larger marine V12 was optional) up front, this could be considered a conventional recipe compared to the development vehicles that led to it—Lamborghini first experimented with the Ceetah, a late 1970s-developed rear-engined all-terrain vehicle that was supposed to serve the US Army.
The tech details
Now, it remains to be seen how Lamborghini has covered the rugged part of the Sterrato equation. For one, the 911 Dakar sits 1.96 inches higher than a standard 911 Carrera. However, up to 105 mph, you can have an extra 1.18 inches, which brings the grand total to 3.15 inches.
The extended suspension travel is accompanied by longer links that expand the track width, thus bringing a bit of a stability boost. However, Porsche also cites the new suspension as the culprit for removing the rear seats, which means the Dakar (sort of) joins the Sterrato in the two-seater club.
As with, say, a race car, a jacked-up go-fast machine requires a tire strategy. Porsche fitted Dakar-specific Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus rubber that offers nine millimeters of tread depth for extra grip, but limits the top speed to 150 mph. However, you can also get bespoke Pirelli snow and summer tires for going all out in each type of scenario.
The Porsche rides on 19-inch wheels, which means there’s no room for super-sized carbon-ceramic brakes. The Sterrato should follow suit, joining the RWD Huracan models that use steel brakes.
The calibration of the various systems is a key component here. So the 911 Dakar features two new driving modes (Rally Mode for low-grip areas and Off-Road Mode for rugged terrain), whose effect ranges from stability control to ABS setups. Oh, and let’s not forget the rally-dedicated Launch Control that offers an extra 20% in the wheelspin department so you can take off on those loose surfaces.
Exterior and interior
You can obviously expect this sort of goodies in the Huracan Sterrato. The same goes for the protective body cladding, which we can already see on both cars, the underbody shields, and the more practical treatment of the interior.
Liveries? the Porsche has a few (“Rothmans” included) and so will the Lamborghini. However, if the driver of the Huracan Sterrato decides to take the 600+ hp N/A V10 high up into the rev range, it might be hard for bystanders to focus on anything else. Consider yourselves warned.