by Roger Biermann
Lamborghini’s have been accused of being dull tools compared to their rivals, focusing on mass-market appeal more than outright dynamism. But more hardcore Lamborghinis exist to counter that argument. V12 models get SV variants, and the Gallardo got a Superleggera (super-light) variant, but saving weight wasn’t enough for the newest baby-Lamborghini, the Huracan. And so the Huracan Performante was born – featuring ingenious active aerodynamics and aero-vectoring, engine technologies developed in the one-make Huracan Super Trofeo racing series, and less weight – altogether culminating in a Nurburgring lap time quicker than a Porsche 918 Spyder.
The interior of the Huracan Performante receives a range of both aesthetic and performance enhancing upgrades. In aid of reduced weight, all air vents, paddles, door handles, and center console cladding is manufactured from forged carbon composite. Performante-specific sports seats in the 2-seat coupe are clad in dark Alcantara, though comfort seats are optionally available. An optional Y-shaped graphic can be optionally lasered into the seat backs – a recurring design element in the Performante, including the shift paddle design.
The Performante receives the same digital cockpit as the standard Huracan, with configurable displays dependant on drive mode selection, along with new displays linked to the ALA active aerodynamics package, detailing downforce and drag at any given moment. The digital system also encompasses all in-car connectivity and infotainment, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the Lamborghini telemetry system which allows drivers to record and analyze performance.
Riding on 20-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, with Trofeo R tires available, the Performante exerts higher grip levels than any standard Huracan. The sticky Pirelli rubber pairs with permanent all-wheel drive with a mechanical self-locking rear differential to ensure highest levels of grip and performance. The Performante’s suspension has also been stiffened to reduce roll and suspension travel to enhance body control. Magnetorheological suspension is available as an option.
But it’s the trick ALA – Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva – or active aerodynamics that improve the Performante‘s handling the most. The bodywork features active flaps and vanes to adjust downforce based on speed and cornering angles, and ducts within the body feed air through hollow tubing in the rear spoiler to allow aero-vectoring, controlling downforce on either side of the car independently to enhance handling attributes. ALA contributes towards a 750% improvement in downforce over the standard Huracan Coupe.
A V10 is an intrinsic part of the Huracan’s identity, but the 5.2-liter unit in the Performante benefits from upgrades engineered through Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo race series. New titanium valves, revised air intake, and a new exhaust system increase outputs to 640 European horsepower – 631hp in US terms – and 443 lb-ft of torque. More than 70% of the torque is available from just 1000rpm. All-wheel drive is standard, through a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. With a dry weight of just 3046 lbs, 0-62mph takes 2.9 seconds, while 0-124mph takes 8.9s.
The Huracan Performante’s feature list is decisively performance orientated. Standard equipment includes climate control and the full connectivity infotainment suite, but other options are limited to include comfort seats, 20-inch alloys with central locknut, and Trofeo R tires. But any Performante can be fully customized through Lamborghini’s Ad Personam program for complete individuality. Safety features include a multi-stage stability control system – linked to drive modes – ABS brakes with EBD and carbon ceramic discs, and a carbon fiber and aluminum chassis for enhanced rigidity. The Huracan Performante has not been crash tested, and as a sports car it’s unlikely it will be.
The Performante denomination indicates the scientists from Lambo have dialed the Huracan up to insanity, and as a result it feels like something broken loose from an asylum. It may be a baby Lambo at its core, but its achievements decimate those of 7-figure hybrid hypercars – a true giant-slayer!