Geneva 2017 | Lamborghini Huracán Performante

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.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

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.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante


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.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

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.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

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.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

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. (more…)

Friday Photo – The beauty of Daytona

Along with the challenge and excitement, ESM’s favourite thing about endurance racing is the fact it produces some awesome photographs. Sunsets, glowing brakes, and flaming exhausts just make for extremely photogenic scenes.

2016 24H Daytona

Porsche 911 RSR of Patrick Pilet, Kevin Estre and Nick Tandy.

We decided to pick out a few of our favourites from last weekend’s 24 Hours of Daytona, and we weren’t disappointed with the quality of pics on offer. Enjoy.

New Metal – Lamborghini Hurácan LP580-2

In his first article as a full-fledged member of the ESM team, Ned Jasper gives us the lowdown on a new Lambo. Meet the Huracán LP580-2; less power, less weight, and a whole lot more fun.

2015 Lamborghini Hurácan LP580-2Lamborghini, a company famed for bonkers styling, ludicrous power outputs and more recently for making cars with all-wheel drive only. Well not anymore! This is the new Lamborghini Huracán LP580-2, and the keen Lambo nerds amongst you will soon spot the ‘-2’ refers to the number of wheels it’s putting its power through.

As well as ditching the cumbersome all-wheel-drive system, they’ve tweaked the aero, docked the power output and cut the price, all of which is an attempt to make the Huracán a more driver-focused machine.

The front end has been scored, sculptured and moulded into a more menacing shape. The rear has been altered too, with larger grilles and even more absurd quad-tip exhausts. The aim is to increase the downforce on the front end in order to compensate for the now lack of 4WD grip. In addition to that, there’s some new ‘Kari’ design wheels – 19″ on the front, 20″ on the back – which are wrapped in tailor-made Pirelli P Zero tyres developed solely for the rear wheel drive edition.

2015 Lamborghini Hurácan LP580-2Now, I know it may seem a little traitorous for Lamborghini to be cutting the power down from 602 bhp to JUST 571. But there’s good reason for it, when you consider there’s the best part of 600 bhp putting its power down through an area the size of just over an A4 piece of paper it seems a lot more logical – I think you’ll agree.

The weight is down too, thanks to the omission of that pesky AWD system. The dry weight figure has been lessened by 73lbs (33kg) to 3,062lbs (1,389kg). (more…)

Friday Photo – Frankfurt 2015 Gallery

This year’s Frankfurt Motor Show proved to be fairly impressive, with a host of big names revealing new products and concepts. Incredibly, this even included cars that hadn’t been previewed in a press release weeks beforehand! Who knew that was still possible? We’ve picked out some of the notable cars making an appearance in Germany. 

2015 Frankfurt

ESM actually spent the first Frankfurt press day helping out the good people at Motoring Research with their live blog. We heartily recommend you go and read it, especially for the Periscope video action from Andrew and Gav. Trust us, you’ll find yourself longing for a special edition Suzuki Jimny or at least learning where not to leave you bag on a motor show stand.

Possibly the biggest talking point of the whole Frankfurt show was the Bentley Bentayga SUV. Promising to be more luxurious than a Range Rover, but with epic performance from a W12 engine, it’s a pretty big deal. To some it’s a step too far for the Bentley brand, and the styling is also equally divisive. However, ESM is pretty sold on it – especially in orange. The Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo is just as mental in real life as in the initial photos – a definite showstopper. Oh, and yes that is a tent on the back of the Citroen Cactus M.

We’d already seen PR photos of the Ferrari 488 Spider, but it’s seemingly even more impressive in the metal. Some even going so far as to say it’s better looking than the GTB coupé. The Hyundai stand was one of contrasts, with the Korean company pushing its new “N” performance sub-brand with the rather mental 2025 Gran Turismo concept, alongside the Santa Fe and i20 Active. Jaguar’s F-Pace stole the pre-show excitement with a Guinness World Record-breaking launch event, whilst the MotoGP-engined Honda 2&4 concept proved to be a winner.


Research proves footballers to be refreshingly predictable

Oracle Finance; you’ll know them if you’ve ever searched for a high-end car on AutoTrader and found their non-ads clogging up the listings, have published details of the most popular car choices from its footballing clients.


Based on the last five years of data, the numbers represent the most popular cars financed by footballers through Oracle’s services. Predictably, in the same week we’ve covered the new Range Rover Sport SVR and its questionable image, there’s no shocks at the top:

1st – Range Rover
2014 Range Rover
Anybody that surprised? No, didn’t think so.

2nd – Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT
Yeah, this survey seems pretty accurate already.


Friday Photo – 2014 Geneva Motor Show Gallery

It’s been a busy week at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show with a number of launches and debuts. We’ve covered a lot of it here on EngageSportMode already, but here’s some our photo highlights:

V8 Vantage N430 special edition

Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 special edition

A big week for the Audi, with the Audi S1 Sportback, RS4 Nogaro Blue special edition, new TT and TT quattro sport concept all on show. (more…)

The new Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 – Spec and Photos

Lamborghini’s Gallardo has been with us since 2003, and seen a number of enhancements, facelifts and limited editions along the way. It’s also been the best-selling Lamborghini ever, with the 14,000 sold accounting for half of all cars produced by the Sant’Agata factory. But now, its 2014 replacement is here:

2014 Lamborghini Huracán 001

As with the Gallardo, the Huracán is named after a famous Spanish fighting bull. Huracán was apparently known for his ‘outstanding courage’ and ‘strong sense of attack’  whilst remaining ‘defiant and invincible’ during his career in the 1870s. Strong stuff, and good pedigree for a supercar name if you’ll excuse the pun. Huracán does also mean hurricane in Spanish but, naturally, Lamborghini would rather you focus on the bull, not the weather.

2014 Lamborghini Huracán 003

In terms of styling, the Huracán looks classically Lamborghini. Being unkind, one could almost call it generic or a “parts-bin” creation, so much does it look like a merger of the Gallardo and Aventador into one. After the radical styling of the Sesto Elemento concept and Veneno limited edition, we might have expected something a touch more flamboyant. But, that isn’t to say the Huracán is not brutally beautiful; it just looks more like evolution rather than the revolution Lamborghini claims. As its mass-market model, you cannot really blame Sant’Agata for erring on the side of caution.

2014 Lamborghini Huracán 004


Top Gear Review – Series 20, Episode 5

After the mixed up message from the previous week’s episode, including the media fallout from parts of the Hover Van segment being staged, what would number five bring? As usual, contains spoilers (of the pop-up kind too).

Top Gear Series 20, Episode 5 – UK Air Date 28th July 2013 

Some people have already labelled this as the best episode of the season so far. Hmm…

Porsche 911 (991) 001


The Lamborghini Murcielago SV – Does it have a soul?

After playing around with WordPress this weekend, I realised I could change the header image (that picture at the top of the page) to rotate randomly through a selection of suitable ones I uploaded.

Since I began EngageSportMode back in December 2011, I’ve always had one picture in the header. This:


If you don’t know, it’s a Lamborghini Murcielago SV. It’s very loud, very fast and very, VERY orange. When I was trying to come up with names and ideas for this website, the SVwas the one image I kept looking at and thinking about. The reason being that it, and the associated memories, encapsulate everything about why I love cars and what I want this site to be.

The backstory to the Murcielago SV picture involves ESM’s Other Half. As a Christmas present I had bought her a supercar driving experience day at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire. I’d done one similar for my 21st birthday, but the machinery on offer had moved on since the Ferrari 308 GTS was the top vehicle on offer. The format involves starting off with slower machinery, before working your way up to the main event, or something along those lines.

For ESM’s OH, this meant learning the circuit in a Mazda 3 MPS, then driving a Porsche Cayman, followed by a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. It would have been the Murcielago were it not for the fact it was hugely expensive in comparison. This was rounded off by a few laps in a track prepared Ginetta.

North Yorkshire in May is hardly renowned for its glorious weather, despite how much the locals call it “God’s own County.” In particular, race circuits seem to act like magnets for bad weather, which was exactly what happened whilst ESM’s OH was on track in the Ginetta. The rainfall which happened can probably be best described as biblical, and meant all track action was swiftly stopped. Much like a rain hit F1 practice session, this meant everyone cleared off into the pits or to the burger van to escape the downpour.

It was at that moment that I found myself leaning against the door of one of the pit garages, looking at this:


With the full size picture you can see just how heavy the rain actually is.

For a brief period of time, it felt like it was just the Murcielago SV and me in that rain-soaked pit lane. The violence of the ducts and intakes, the ridiculousness of that rear spoiler and the knowledge of the potent performance underneath it all were hugely emotive, as I watched the rain lash down onto it. Many have talked about the stupidity of ascribing emotion to mechanical objects, but in that moment it was clear the SV had a soul. It was not just another car built to travel from A-to-B; the craftsmanship and creation behind it had given it the potential for far more than that.

As car enthusiasts we look beyond automobiles as mere transportation.  They bring us joy, happiness, frustration and heartbreak; human emotions caused by a collection of metal and plastic. The Murcielago SV represents the zenith of such enthusiasm and, whilst other images may rotate at the top of this page, only one truly symbolises the ethos beyond EngageSportMode. Deep, I know.

I Could Afford That/Classified Dreaming – #1

Today brings a double-barrel of EngageSportMode goodness at either end of the automotive economic spectrum. So whether you’re scrimping by on £30k worth of benefits from your seven children, or if you’re Fred Goodwin, there’s something for everyone. Anyway, without further a topical money slur, let us proceed.

I Could Afford That!

The clue for this is very much in the title. Unless you are a former banker, having thousands and thousands to fritter away on cars doesn’t come easily. Instead for many the  budget end of the market is where the action is really at. So what offerings does the ever faithful Pistonheads bring forth on this occasion?

2000 Volkswagen Polo GTi – £1,695

“Flash (red) A-AHHHHH, saviour of the universe”

Confession time. I used to own a 6N2 Polo GTi, in red, so I do tend to have a real soft spot for them. It’s one of the first listing sections I always check to see if my old car has appeared for sale. (more…)