The four fat rubber circles that attach both you and the Lamborghini Huracán to the road were chosen to be worked very, very hard. So were the 601 horses that shriek from its 5.2-liter V10 power plant. There’s an extra incentive behind each of these Italian supercar’s facets: it’s not enough for this car to move like Usain Bolt or look like Elisabetta Canalis. The Huracán is Sant’Agata’s replacement for the monumentally successful Gallardo (huge shoes to fill) and frankly, it makes its predecessor seem rough and antiquated — even a bit homely. The mechanical shaming of the Gallardo tells you just about everything you need to know about the Huracán. It’s next-generation Lamborghini.

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Lamborghinis remain insane performers, as proven by the wickedly capable Aventador, but they also no longer feel like they were inspired by Jack Kevorkian. No doubt about it, driving a modern Lambo still instills fear into the average human. But an infusion of driving dynamics that don’t require hummingbird-like reflexes or the skills of Fangio has watered down the necessary sanity levels of drivers from “death wish” to “short a few marbles” — “thrill seeker”, even.

The Huracán takes this level of supercar civility even further by refusing to simply play the role of the V12 Aventador’s baby brother. It’s taken a few trips to the fat farm and trimmed a few hundred pounds, making it more responsive and a sharper tool for the driving surgeon. This has also made it beautiful, something you couldn’t say about the Gallardo. Though angles still abound, the overall design is softer without diluting the Lamborghini brand identity. Big intakes in front, rear and sides still frighten small animals, but they’re appropriate for this supercar. The deep-set side windows with a beveled portion just below are a design highlight that add more character to an already stunning vehicle.

The Huracán refuses to simply play the role of the V12 Aventador’s baby brother.

On the track, a chassis that’s 50 percent stiffer than the Gallardo’s has created a new composure no reworked version of the Gallardo could provide. The addition of Lamborghini’s Piattaforma Inerziale — a set of accelerometers and three gyroscopes, one dedicated to each dimension for accurate calculations — housed near the car’s center of gravity gives nano-second responsive control during hard driving. Powertrain and component sharing with Audi’s R8 V10 Plus as well as the addition of another clutch add everyday drivability on top of track readiness. But, true to Lamborghini’s reputation, it’s still a bitch to park.

Then there are its three driving modes, which couldn’t be more distinct. Strada (street) keeps the bulls chained up in the stables. Sport mode notches up the excitement by adjusting throttle mapping, increasing the seven-speed DCT’s responsiveness and loosening the Strada’s stability control’s tight reigns. You can still let the tranny shift for you, or you can go with the paddle shifters. Corsa mode is serious. Shifting is manual only, and those aforementioned bulls are let loose on the world. The roar of the exhaust gives you goosepimples, and makes you think — when you have time to think, after you’ve turned the car off — that this isn’t just some boosted, re-skinned Gallardo. It’s a whole different animal.