You could be forgiven for thinking that this Huracán Performante review is simply the next generation Huracán with a few extra bells and whistles. Why? Because that’s what we naively did before driving this ourselves.
Turns out it’s actually MUCH more than that. Lamborghini were keen to push the Huracán to its limits on the track but still have it perform as a road car, so they’ve worked hard to overhaul the standard Huracán dramatically and created the Huracán Performante .
Here’s what we found…
3 Days Earlier
We first laid eyes on the Huracán Performante at a special car event a few weeks earlier. It had been overcast at the time but this time the sunshine was out in full force and the Ad Personam Rossa Bia Glitter paint was glistening from every angle thanks to all 7 layers of the specialty glitter paint (an optional extra at $27,500). At first glance, it’s very similar in appearance to the Huracán, sharing the same design facets of the “spiky hexaganol form of the carbon atom” as Lamborghini describes it, but the marble/camouflage look of the forged carbon on the front splitter and the rear wing is the give-away between the standard Huracán and the Performante.
Being the baby bull with its V10 engine, it sits slightly smaller on the road than the Aventador’s, but here’s where it gets fun – this is Lamborghini’s fastest production car to date.
This was proven on at Nurburgring Nordschleife track when it covered the 20.6km (12.8 miles) track in 6:52:01, beating the Porsche 918 spyder with its 2 electric motors and smashing the record set by the Aventador SV by 7 seconds.
Then when you discover it beat the standard Huracán around the track by 36 seconds, you really start to understand there have been some serious changes made.
SO, HOW DID THEY DO THIS??
This was the question we wanted to find out ourselves. Turns out there are three ingredients that have gone into the baking of this Performante speed cake as we’ll call it.
Body & Engine
The first one is the body & engine itself which has been completely re-engineered. The naturally aspirated V10 engine with its Audi DNA has been ref-fitted with titanium valves and has a higher torque and power output of 640 horsepower. The suspension has been stiffened and improved, the exhaust system is lighter and they’ve also fine-tuned the double-clutch transmission (while one gear is engaged, the next one has already been selected and when driving it feels like gear shift happens instantaneously).
Carbon Fiber Forged Composites®
Secondly, Lamborghini have used the marble looking carbon fiber extensively throughout the Performante. This material is a patented forged carbon fiber created by Lamborghini known as “Forged Composites®” and is a much lighter & stronger material made of chopped up carbon fibers, forged in resin, which shaves 40 kilograms (90 pounds) off the weight of the standard Huracán.
ALA – Active Aerodynamic System
And last but probably most importantly, Lamborghini have introduced the active aerodynamic system known as “ALA” which stands for “Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva” and is 80% lighter than a traditional hydraulic system.
This clever system completely integrates into the design of the car and actively manages the aerodynamics of the Performante whilst driving. When necessary, it can increase the vertical load to assist stability and speed through curves or reduces aerodynamic resistance to assist acceleration. It does all of this by channeling air through the front spoiler and rear wing
To better explain – part of the ALA system is built into the front spoiler which has electric motors with active flaps that allows air to flow through. When the ALA is off, the flaps inside the front spoiler are closed which generates high down force for high speed cornering and full braking.
When the ALA is active, the front flaps are opened, allowing the air to flow through an inner channel and the underside of the car, reducing the air pressure on the front spoiler and drag. This is best for maximum acceleration.
Not to mention, all of this is done within 500 milliseconds.
Meanwhile at the back, the rear of the Huracán is designed around the four air ducts. Two of the air ducts are permanently open and channel air for ventilation and exhaust cooling while the other two ducts are directed into to the hollow wing and struts.
When the ALA system is turned off, the rear flaps are closed on the wing which makes it act like a traditional fixed wing, giving maximum stability in high speed cornering (the difference between the Huracán coupe and the Huracán Performante is a huge 750% added downforce!!).
When the ALA system is turned on though, the rear flaps open and direct air under the rear wing which minimises drag on the car and allows for maximum acceleration.
The ALA system comes into a league of its own especially when cornering as the active system splits the flow of air into the left and right sides of the wing, depending on which side of the car requires increased downforce and traction
On top of all that, the rear wing also splits the flow of air into left and right sides so that the ALA system can improve dynamic stability by actively directing air to increase downforce on the inner wheel when cornering.
Inside the car, the forged carbon carries over and we notice that this Performante has come with the track bucket seats. There is the option for the comfort seats though if you plan on using it for daily driving and after 3 days driving on public roads with the the track seats you can start to understand why. While fun to really feel every movement of the car, if you plan on using this car any longer than an hour a day you’ll need the softer seats so you don’t feel like you’ve been pummeled in the back by an overly eager Swedish masseuse.
In the Huracán Performante you’ll still find the standard Lamborghini driving modes to choose from when driving: Strada, Sport & Corsa.
In Strada mode, traction and stability have been prioritized while Sport mode favours more rear-wheel drive allowing for oversteer and drifting.
As always, Corsa is the mode best for track performance and in the Performante you’ll notice that when you’re in Corsa mode that the instrument panel switches to “race car mode” and you can see the tachometer and gear indicator.
There is also the optional extras like CarPlay which lets you pair your iPhone so you can see the apps on the instrument panel and the Lamborghini Telemetry System which records your driving performance in real time.
Another difference between the two models is the wheels. Where the Huracán uses standard Pirelli P Zero tyres, the Performante sits on bronze 20″ Narvi forged rims and come with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres especially designed for road and track use. If you are REALLY serious about racing though you’ll want to take the option of the stickier high performance Pirelli Trofeo R track tyres.
– The incredible technology of the “ALA” system and the glued-to-the-road driving experience you get when pushing the Performante hard.
– The confidence you feel when taking corners.
– It’s fast. Very fast.
– Explaining how the technology of the ALA system works to an elderly gentleman who was fascinated by it and then have him come back 5 minutes later with his wife and hear him explain it to her in great detail all over again.
– Racing seats were firm and while best for track, not advised for long periods of every day driving.
– Had a few observers note that at a quick glance, the forged composites on the rear wing and can appear “dusty” and look like it needs cleaning until you look closer and realise its actually the design of the forged carbon material! Not exactly a “low” but something you’ll want to see in person yourself to see what we mean.
– With great power…comes a slightly higher cost (worth it in our opinion though).
– Having to hand it back.
It’s all well and good to write down what the experience was like, but we like to take it one step further….watch for yourself what it was like to spend a couple of days driving the Huracán Performante!
Special thanks to Lamborghini Brisbane .