VIDEO: PistonHeads drives the new Lamborghini Huracan Performante

A few weeks back, we saw the Lamborghini Huracan Performante beat the production car record lap time around the Nurburgring. That was with a professional driver at the helm and no journalist had yet to get any seat time in it. Now, though, some of us journos have been allowed to sample the new Lamborghini at the famous Imola race track in Italy (not us, though, unfortunately). PistonHeads was one of the publications invited along and they’ve just released their video review.

With only one lap and a bit of time before it to explain everything, the video is quite short. Though, they do a great job of downloading all of the info to us before the impressively exciting lap. So let’s try and recap some of the info.

To compete with the likes of the Ferrari 458 Speciale and the McLaren 675LT, Lamborghini was tasked with creating something more aggressive, more track ready and more exciting than the standard Huracan. So the Huracan’s 602 hp was bumped up to 640 hp, weight was reduced and, most importantly aerodynamics were significantly improved. The first thing you notice is the massive fixed wing at the back but that’s only the top of the aerodynamic iceberg. At the front, there’s an adaptive lower splitter that uses active flaps to direct airflow through the body based on what the car is doing. Under normal conditions, the flaps are up, allowing for front end downforce and increasing grip. I can also load up the front end downforce on one side or the other, when entering a corner. This helps the front end bite hard through corners and proving a ton of grip and confidence. The air can also travel up through the body and out of two vents at the back of the car, just ahead of the rear wing. This smooths out the airflow over the car, allowing it to go faster in a straight line.

All of that is determined by a wealth of sensors and processors that determine what the car is doing and what sort of aerodynamics is needed. It’s all controlled by a system called ALA, or Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (which translates to Active Lamborghini Aerodynamics). This system controls which direction the air goes through and around the body of the car and can be controlled from inside the car.

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The suspension has also been revised. Lamborghini made it firmer but also left some suppleness in there. Over really rough and unsettled pavement, such as on the Nurburgring, that suppleness allows the Huracan Performante to keep its power on the pavement, rather than have its tires skip over bumps. Too much stiffness can result in a lack of mechanical grip so Lambo left the Performante a bit supple. That will benefit it on the track and allow for owners to drive it on the road without ruining their spines.

The end result is a car that’s impressively fast. When the lap starts, you can see just how much harder the Huracan Performante can be pushed through the corners at Imola than the standard Huracan lead car. The Performante is just far more stable under braking, on turn in and can simply power out of corners far quicker than the standard car and it’s evident. Also, the sound it makes is absolutely brilliant and it seems brutally savage under power. That naturally-aspirated 5.2 liter V10 engine is a gem that should be celebrated before it’s replaced by something turbocharged. The sound it makes is the stuff of car enthusiast dreams.

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In a nutshell, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante seems like a huge performance upgrade over the standard car and isn’t just a Huracan with a big wing. It’s the real deal and when watching it take on Imola, one of the most difficult race tracks in the world, you can see why it took down the Nurburgring production car lap record. Even if it was beaten almost immediately afterward.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.