It’s bright orange, it’s got a huge rear wing, and it’s a Lamborghini. Of course we were going to feature the new Huracán Performante on EngageSportMode.
The Performante is hardly a well-kept secret, as disguised test versions have been spotted out in the wild for months. We’ve also already seen the video of Lamborghini setting a new Nürburgring Nordschleife production car lap record of 6 minutes 52.01 seconds. Yet despite not being a surprise, it’s still a deeply impressive machine, and offers up more than the typical “less weight, more power” supercar special edition formula.
For a start, Lamborghini has made use of Forged Composite technology, which sounds a little like a cross between regular carbon fibre and glass fibre construction. In short, it has allowed Lamborghini to craft bumpers, and other complex shapes, from a lightweight, but strong, material. The result is a saving of some 40kg, with the 4WD Performante clocking up a family hatchback-rivalling 1,382kg weight on the scales.
The 5.2-litre V10 engine has also been updated, with output now 631hp at 8,000rpm. That’s an increase of 29hp over the regular Huracán, whilst torque has also increased from 413lb-ft to 442lb-ft. Proving that the effects of Dieselgate don’t quite appear to have reached Sant’Agata, CO2 emissions have increased to 302g/km – although we doubt that will be a major concern for any customers. Likewise the official combined fuel economy of 20.6mpg. Lamborghini is also keen to stress that the manifold cover is now bronze, in a knowing nod to previous special edition models. Exhaust noises are also said to be made even more aggressive, with a revised higher position.
So far, so standard supercar upgrades. However, where the Performante does move things on is with the use of active aerodynamics system. Which actually sounds far better in Italian: Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA). Working on both the front spoiler, and vents in the rear engine cover, the ALA system can with between low drag and high downforce, or even allow aero vectoring. The latter shapes air flowing across the rear spoiler, and pushes the inside wheel harder into the ground to increase traction when cornering at high speed. Clearly this is more than just Lamborghini bolting on the biggest set of wings and spoiler they could find.
Suspension settings have been stiffened by 10% over the regular Huracán, with optional magnetically adjustable dampers also available. The steering has also been recalibrated for better response and feel, although we wonder just how much you can fine tune a supercar. Braking is via carbon ceramic discs, with six-pot calipers at the front and four-pots gripping the rear. Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres are fitted to the 20″ wheels as standard, with optional track-orientated Pirelli Trofeo R rubber also on offer.
Pleasingly for ESM, the Performante retains the Strada, Sport, and Corsa options for the drive mode system. Sport mode is designed to offer “a more rear wheel orientation, with oversteer behaviour and easier drifting” for drivers. Yeah, we certainly approve of that definition.
Thanks to all the revisions, Lamborghini has created a Huracán capable of hitting 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds, and with a top speed of 202mph. There is also that small matter of the Nordschleife lap time, even if people on the internets are already debating the legitimacy of it. Does it really matter? In the grand scheme of things, no. But to Twitter and forums, it is obviously of great concern…
Other changes for the Performante include an interior which features substantial amounts of the Forged Composite ‘chopped carbon fibre’ material. Covering the door handles, centre console, air vents, and gearshift paddles you’ll probably not forget what is making the car lighter. There is also a rather neat display for the ALA aerodynamics, showing when it’s making the air move for you. Try not to get too distracted by it.
Prices in the UK start at £173,271 (plus taxes), although Lamborghini hasn’t specified if the Arancio Anthaeus matt orange paintwork comes as standard. It doesn’t really matter – if you’re buying a Performante it needs to be in that hue. Trust us. The first cars are due to be delivered in the summer, so not long to wait if you’re placing an order.