Down And Dirty With The Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato

We head to Joshua Tree for a first drive of Lamborghini’s high-riding, off-roading and all-out bonkers final Huracan.

By Stephen Corby 01/08/2023

It’s fair to say that the Huracan Sterrato doesn’t look like an actual, official Lamborghini. With its chunky tyres, beefy guards, a set of bolt-on lights, it presents like the mad work of an after-market lunatic. Or a meme on wheels.

Indeed, you would expect the people at Lamborghini to have been offended when they looked at what someone had done to their beautiful car, but the fact is they did it themselves, after deciding that what the world really didn’t know it needed was the first-ever all-terrain supercar. Yes, half a million dollars worth of V10-powered mad machine designed to be driven on dirt and battered by gravel.

Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato review

“Why?” was certainly the first question I wanted to ask someone when I attended its global launch in Palm Springs, California, where we would be invited to drive this thing on a specially created circuit that was half familiar race track and half specially carved-out dirt rally stage.

Apparently the Sterrato—it means “dirt road”—owes its existence to how much fun some Lamborghini engineers had when tuning the most recent and racy versions of the Urus SUV on dirt. You can imagine the conversation: “Si, this is pazzo fun, but wouldn’t it be cool if we could do this in a Huracan?” At any other car company that would be the end of the chat.

Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato

But at Lamborghini they went out to dinner, clearly drank a little too much, and then somehow convinced each other it could be done, and that, even more wildly, it should be done.

The next trick was the ‘how’—which involved lifting the ride height by 44 mm, softening the suspension and lengthening its travel to cope with off-road punishment and then blocking up the side air intakes, because they’d just choke on all the dirt, and replacing them with a functional, and very noticeable, roof scoop (the changes to the way the V10 breathes also meant it had to be detuned, slightly, to a still staggering 449 kW and 560 Nm).

Hilariously, the roof scoop has made the rear-vision mirror entirely pointless; you can’t see a thing out the back, but then when you drive it the way its makers intended, it’s all just rooster tails of dust back there anyway.

Lamborghini then went to Bridgestone and asked them to produce possibly the hardest-working tyre in history—one with a chunky enough surface to rip and tear through dirt, but which would then compact its tread together under hard track or road braking to provide grip too.

Bridgestone had made many all-terrain tyres before, but because they were for trucks, they never had to be speed rated to do much over 160 km/h—these ones have to cope with a top speed of 260 km/h. And because there’s no room for a spare, they had to be run-flats, too, capable of driving 80 km at 80 km/h to get you and your half-a-million-dollar dune buggy out of a jam.

Frankly, I wasn’t convinced that any tyres were going to save me from excruciating embarrassment once they put me in the Sterrato and pointed me at a dirt course.

I know how powerful Huracans are; I’ve seen them slide around at the rear on sealed roads in the dry, and aside from professional rally drivers and other people who are annoyingly adept at drifting, I couldn’t see how this story would end in anything but disaster.

Happily our day began with a road drive through the other-worldly Joshua Tree region outside Palm Springs, where the Sterrato delivered its first set of surprises. Logic would suggest that chunky tyres would make this Huracan noisier and rougher on the road, but the combination of the higher sidewall and the increased suspension travel somehow make it genuinely smoother to drive than the standard car, while there’s still incredible road holding at pace. The Sterrato is also just easier to drive around town, because the increased ride height means you don’t need to flinch at speed bumps.

At the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, we were shown an in-car video of someone attacking the special course Lamborghini had built for us, grading the inside of the track to create a lap that was 50 percent sealed road and 50 percent sand, gravel, dirt and danger. The video made me feel no better at all as I watched a pro driver hurling a Sterrato sideways like a champ.

And then something truly mind-boggling happened, because soon it was my turn, and my instructor was shouting at me to flick the car right before throwing it into a sharp left and giving it full throttle. I don’t recall breathing at this point, but somehow I did what he was telling me and we didn’t crash. And then I did it again and felt this ludicrous Lamborghini sliding, beautifully, wondrously sideways—responding perfectly to even my inept throttle inputs.

It’s hard to describe how much fun it was. Imagine having played golf all your life at a certain level and then suddenly going out one day and scoring a round of solely birdies and a few eagles too.

I had to know how all this was possible, so I cornered an engineer and asked him what had just happened. He said many technical things about weight transfer and so forth, but the crux of the miracle is that the Sterrato has some supremely intelligent software (Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata), which monitors every aspect of the car’s movement, and the flailing of my hands and right foot, and can then predict what is about to happen, milliseconds before it does, and send just the right amount of torque to the wheel where it needs to be to make me look, and feel, good.

Best of all, the system is so clever that you can’t feel it nudging you back into line, the way many intrusive traction set-ups do—it actually lets you believe you’re performing this driving magic yourself. The Lambo folks call it “the hero maker”, which is bang on.

The Sterrato is set to be the last variant of the venerable Huracan supercar (the V10 is about to be replaced by something with a V8 hybrid set-up), and it truly could be argued that it’s the best; more practical and comfortable in the real world, and yet capable of something no other supercar, from any brand, has ever even considered trying to do. I found it miraculous. Sadly, only 1,499 will be built, at $503,949, and all of them are sold already.

But you could always ask some after-market lunatic to build you a replica.

lamborghini.com

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How To Make the Ultimate Hangover Cure

Is this the ultimate cocktail to know by heart?

By Belinda Aucott-christie 29/05/2024

The Savoy in London, a beacon of luxury and opulence, holds a significant place in British history as the nation’s first luxury hotel. It was a haven where the affluent sought to experience a taste of royalty. Interestingly, it was within these grand walls that the alleged liquid remedy for hangovers, The Corpse Reviver, was born.

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Due to its medicinal qualities, this cocktail has passed into drinking folklore, making its recipe a right of passage for any lush.

The Corpse Reviver is aptly named for its life-affirming qualities and claimed ability to knock a hangover on the head.

It’s reassuring to know that the dreaded hangover was such a cause of social consternation in the late 1940s, that it demanded a creative response from Savoy’s hotel bar staff. We’ll drink to that.

Adding to the Corpse Reviver’s allure is the mystery surrounding its creation. Was it the ingenious work of Savoy bartender Johnny Johnson or the creative genius of Joe Gilmore? The exact timeline of its inception between 1948 and 1954 remains a tantalising enigma. 

It’s a zesty, slightly sour hangover cure with a cheeky touch of absinthe shining through. If your hangover is very bad, add a little more syrup to the mix.

To make, take a cocktail shaker and add equal parts dry gin, triple sec, lemon juice, and Lillet Blanc (3/4 of a shot each). 

Add a tiny dash of sugar syrup and absinthe, shake all ingredients with ice until very cold, strain and pour into a chilled coupe.

Garnish with a chic lemon twist and say cheerio to your hangover. 

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ThirdHome Arrives Down Under

The global home-swap club targeting Australia’s millionaires.

By Belinda Aucott 24/05/2024

Wayne Shealy made his name developing resorts from New England to the Caribbean, and shifting more than $3 billion in luxury real estate. In 2010 he started ThirdHome to let luxury homeowners leverage the empty parts of properties in their portfolio to enjoy better holidays. Billed as an exclusive community of ‘neighbours’, ThirdHome now facilitates swapping second and third homes for the super-wealthy.

Wade Shealy, CEO and Founder of ThirdHome, a luxury home-swapping membership program. THIRDHOME

While the glamorous international portfolio spans illustrious private residences, including castles, ranches and chalets, it has been extended to private islands, pieds-à-terre, safari camps, wineries, boutique hotels and yachts.

Turin Castle in Forfar, Scotland. THIRDHOME

Purpose-built for people who own at least two residences and have homes to spare valued at over $2 million, all applicants are vetted and assessed, before being allowed to join. With a global portfolio across 100 countries and 2500 destinations, Shealy is now focusing on Australia.

“We’re super excited for the next chapter of our Australian journey,” Shealy says, from his horse farm outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee. 

“We know there’s an extremely healthy appetite for Australians with second homes wanting to become members, who love to travel and want to enjoy exclusive access to the world’s more exceptional stays for a fraction of the price,” he says of his motivation for extending the network Down Under.  He notes that by cleverly utilising the downtime in their own homes, they can fund extravagant trips they may have never dreamt possible. Doing so in a gated community that values trust and respect.

Château De Vézins in Loire Valley, France. THIRDHOME

The spirit of sharing drives the sservice, with ThirdHome members acquiring points in the system each time they open their doors to others. This makes it a self-regulating community backed by solid technology and vigilant management that keeps applicants A-grade.

“Our members are house proud and guest proud,” he adds. “They want the guests to have a great experience.”

Learn more about membership and the rules of engagement here

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Art for Investment

A new private gallery in Sydney helps collectors enter the secondary market.

By Belinda Aucott-christie 24/05/2024

When Art Basel opens next month in Switzerland, it will do so with fresh power under its wings. In 2022 the global art market totalled $67.8 billion, showing 3 percent year-on-year growth*. This year, art topped Knight Frank’s Luxury Investment Index, with prices rising by 11 percent over 2023. According to most reports, art is now a positively appreciating asset class. By comparison, the values of rare whisky, classic cars, handbags, and furniture fell.

This raises the question of how to invest wisely in art and ensure the sound provenance of your investment. Jesse Jack De Deyne and Boris Cornelissen from A Secondary Eye are here to help art collectors. Conceived as a private gallery with rotating exhibitions, the space is designed to help serious investors confidently buy and sell.

“We offer access to some of the finest works entering the secondary market in Australia and operate with a stringent provenance framework in place,” says Jess Jack De Deyne from the company’s top-floor space overlooking leafy Queen Street in Sydney’s Woollahra.

De Deyne and Cornelissen opened in May with a presentation of rare works by Rover Thomas, the late East Kimberly artist who represented Australia at the 1990 Venice Biennale.

Rover Thomas, Desert Meeting Place, 1994 natural earth pigments on canvas.

De Deyne specialises in Indigenous Australian art and comes to Sydney with a background as a Director in an Aboriginal Arts Centre and working for a leading auction house. Cornelissen is a former contemporary art specialist from Sotheby’s in London and Hong Kong.

“We are most effective when a prospective client comes to us with a specific artwork in mind,” explains De Deyne. “They may have recently been to Canberra to visit the highly regarded exhibition of Emily Kame Kngwarreye at the National Gallery of Australia and there is a specific period of the artist that they are drawn to. Through our contacts, we may be able to help source available related works that would not necessarily appear at auction.” 

Though A Secondary Eye was founded in 2020 in Brisbane, De Denye says the larger pool of collectors drew them down to Sydney. The new gallery’s private aspect seems to be a key selling point for the duo, who prize discretion and private sales. 

Rover Thomas, Lake Argyle, 1994 natural earth pigments on canvas

“Whereas auctions are publicly advertised, a private dealer can offer a work discreetly to a handful of clients without over-exposing it. And we can also present works in a more considered way through curated, high-quality exhibitions that tell the story of each work.”

While some may be intimidated by entering the art market, these art dealers say exposure to the art world is key to unlocking its potential. “Take the time to attend art fairs, exhibitions and auction viewings. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for advice. With time and experience, you will learn what you are drawn to and how the offered prices sit relative to other works in the market.”

In an art world overflowing with rules, customs, and jargon, De Deyne is quick to clarify the key difference between dealers and advisers for newbies. 

“An art dealer helps collectors buy and sell artworks and therefore has a commercial incentive in selling a work. The best art advisors work independently, often on a retainer, and don’t profit from the transaction, which means they can give their clients honest advice. 

De Deyne and Cornelissen are well-placed to help people get a foot in the market, no matter how experienced they are. Ultimately, they preach to the choir, appealing most to fine art collectors searching for a specific work. 

“We work in a niche area and ultimately attract people who share our interests. Art collectors, particularly on the secondary market, often follow the art, rather than the person selling it.”

Follow A Secondary Eye here for future exhibitions. 

*According to the 2023 Art Market 2023, authored by Dr. Clare McAndrew, Founder of Arts Economics and published by Art Basel in partnership with UBS

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Watch of the Week: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph

Roger Dubuis unveils its innovative chronograph collection in Australia for the very first time.

By Josh Bozin 21/05/2024

When avant-garde Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis revealed its highly anticipated Chronograph Collection halfway through 2023, it was a testament to its haute horology department in creating such a technical marvel for everyday use. Long at the forefront of cutting-edge design and technological excellence, Roger Dubuis (pronounced Ro-ger Du-BWEE) is no stranger to such acclaim.

Now, fans down under will finally get a taste of the collection that made headlines, with the official Australian unveiling of its Chronograph Collection. Representing precision engineering, extraordinary craftsmanship, and audacious design, this collection, now in its fifth generation, continues to redefine the chronograph category.

Roger Dubuis Australia welcomes the Excalibur Spider Collection to the market, featuring the exquisite Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph, as well as the Excalibur Spider Revuelto Flyback Chronograph (a timepiece made in partnership with Lamborghini Squadra Corse). Each model speaks at lengths to the future of ‘Hyper Horology’—watchmaking, as Roger Dubuis puts it, that pushes the boundaries of traditional watchmaking.

Roger Dubuis

“Roger Dubuis proposes a unique blend of contemporary design and haute horlogerie and the Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph is the perfect illustration of this craft,” says Sadry Keiser, Chief Marketing Officer. “For its design, we took inspiration from the MonovortexTM Split-Seconds Chronograph, while we decided to power the timepiece with an iconic complication, the flyback chronograph, also marking its come back in the Maison’s collections.”

The Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph is bold and flashy—a chronograph made to be seen, especially at its 45mm size. But Roger Dubuis wouldn’t have it any other way. The supercar-inspired watch is certainly captivating in the flesh. Its multi-dimensional design reveals different layers of technical genius as you spend time with it: from its case crafted from lightweight carbon to its hyper-resistant ceramic bezel, black DLC titanium crown, open case back with sapphire crystal, and elegant rubber strap to tie the watch together, it’s a sporty yet incredibly refined timepiece.

The new RD780 chronograph calibre powers the chronograph, a movement fully integrated with two patents: one linked to the second hand of the chronograph and the other to the display of the minute counter. The chronograph also features a flyback function.

The complete set is now available at the Sydney Boutique for those wishing to see the Roger Dubuis Chronograph Collection firsthand.

Roger-Dubuis

 

Roger-Dubuis

Model: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph
Diameter: 45mm
Material: C-SMC Carbon case
Water resistance: 100m

Movement: RD780 calibre
Complication: Chronograph, date
Functions: hours, minutes, and central seconds
Power reserve: 72 hours

Bracelet: Black rubber strap

Availability: upon request
Price: $150,000


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Thanks to NETGEAR, the First Quad-Band WiFi 7 Mesh System Has Arrived

Elite WiFi performance for your whole home.

By Robb Report 30/05/2024

There’s no denying that in today’s era of technological innovation, home living and entertainment have reached unprecedented heights. In fact, modern home technology is so advanced that we can now enjoy futuristic comforts at the touch of a button (or the flick of a switch).

But one caveat to overcome before enjoying such modern perks: you need ultra-fast Wi-Fi to feed internet-hungry devices, especially when our dependence on Wi-Fi will only grow. Enter, NETGEAR’s latest Wi-Fi technology, set to change the performance of your whole home.

NETGEAR

The NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band WiFi 7 Mesh System is the first of its kind in the category of Wi-Fi technology, unlocking the extraordinary power of WiFi 7 (with 2.4 x faster speeds than WiFi 6). The Orbi 970 Series elevates what most households love, like streaming movies in the highest possible quality, linking wireless speakers throughout your home to play concert-quality music in every room, and gaming like a pro without any lag or drop-outs. But the Orbi 970 Series will also drastically improve your workflow, from email and colleague chats to taking Zoom calls and more.

Leveraging over 25 years of NETGEAR engineering innovation and exclusive patented technology, the Orbi 970 Series will service all of today’s needs, as well as tomorrow’s—in a country like Australia, where internet standards lag behind the rest of the world, residential multi-gigabit speeds will become a godsend. With unparalleled performance based on cutting-edge, patented technology, the Orbi 970 Series will continue to grow with its users, especially as our homes get “smarter”; relying on technology, such as the Orbi 970 Series, will be paramount.

And design doesn’t have to be compromised, either. Wi-Fi might not necessarily be the sexiest topic out there (very few Wi-Fi routers exist that you could call “design-drive”), but the Orbi 970 Series changes that. Thanks to a new sophisticated design, the Orbi 970 Series is elegant enough to blend seamlessly with your home décor.

Netgear

Best of all, thanks to a one-year NETGEAR Armour included with your purchase, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your family and your home are protected with an automatic security shield across your connected devices.

The NETGEAR Orbi 970 series Quad Band WiFi 7 Mesh System retails for $4,299. To learn more, visit the website here.

 

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