Lamborghini’s Huracan Performante might just be the best Lamborghini ever made.
I’ve driven a few Lamborghinis – the Aventador S and Huracan Spyder. All-wheel drive, V12, rear-wheel drive V10. Before The Redline there was the Huracan LP610-4 at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia and then on Australian roads.
It’s a terrific car. Fun, silly, entertaining, emotional. And a naturally-aspirated V10. The Spyder I drove was fun because it was rear-wheel drive and I came away thinking that it was my favourite Huracan.
And it was. Then the Performante came along.
The Performante is one of a great tradition at Lamborghini. SVs, Superleggeras – Sant’ Agata knows how to turn up the volume.
The Lambo/Audi 5.2-litre V10 is still here in all its high-revving, soundtastic glory. Except here in the Performante, power is up to 470kW (640PS), a rise of 22kW (30PS). Torque is also up slightly, to 600Nm (up from 560Nm). Well, slightly is a relative term. Another 40Nm makes quite a difference in a hatchback, less so in a V10 supercar.
Lots of stuff is new and/or improved. Shorter intake ducts, lighter exhaust, modded software contribute to the extra power. Not sure if the gold coloured cam covers do much, but they look good.
The seven-speed twin-clutch transmission is back, but Lamborghini says it’s even better and the all-wheel drive system has absolutely been tweaked.
0-100km/h (0-62mph) now arrives in just 2.9 seconds. 0-200km/h (0-124mph) is an impressive 8.9 seconds. Braking from 100km/h (62mph) to zero happens in just 31 metres, or about 103 feet.
Yes, there’s been some work done here. The suspension had a lot of work done and our car was fitted with the optional magneto-rheological dampers. Huge 20-inch forged alloy wheels are fitted with Pirelli P-Zero Corsas, with 245/30s up front and 305/30s at the rear.
Braking is by a whopping set of carbon ceramics – 380mm up front and 356mm at the rear.
When my fat backside isn’t in the driver’s seat, the car weighs 1390kg and weight distribution is 47/53 to the rear. That works out about 22kg lighter than the LP610-4 coupe.
This is kind of important. So far, the changes aren’t really all that big. Ten percent here, ten percent there, it’s a bit lighter. Lots of small details. Most of the changes Lambo don’t really talk about – the software, the tweaks to the oily bits. But the company is super-happy to talk aero.
For the first time, a Lamborghini is fitted with ALA – Aerodynamica Lamborghini Attiva – or Lamborghini Active Aerodynamics. ALA partially explains the giant wing at the back and the even more racy front splitter.
That front wing changes its angle of attack to improve downforce in the corners.
The rear is even more complex. If you’re familiar with the way torque vectoring works, ALA does the same with air. In a straight line the air flows over the wing creating even downforce. Hidden in the engine bay are two intakes with flaps. They’re connected to two ducts hidden in the struts holding up the rear wing.
Underneath the trailing wing is a series of perforations. When you turn the wheel, one of the engine bay flaps opens and lets air up the duct to help equalise the pressure – or stall – that side of the wing.
So when you apply right lock, the left side of the wing stalls to promote turn in. Can you feel it? Not specifically. Is it clever? Hell yes.
I was convinced this car was over-tyred – 305 is a lot of P-Zero Corsa at the back and without a ton of extra torque, it was hardly likely the fairly neutral-to-mild understeer attitude of the Huracan LP610-4 (with oversteer on provocation) was going to change too much.
But I was wrong. So wrong.
The Performante is a whole different beast. It’s hugely fast. It’s enormously grippy. It’s utterly, devestatingly, brilliant. And you should watch the video to find out just how good.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.