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2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante First Drive

The most attractive aspect of the new Lamborghini Performante does not add strength to new tires, rewrite pauses, or improve the ABS system. It is not a recalculation of the Stabilization and Traction Control System project, promotion of transmission, or reduction of body weight.

The most exciting of all your super sports car enthusiasts is Alabama. Aerodynamica Lamborghini Attiva short from Sant ‘Agata has just applied for a patent because Alabama is a brand new way of active aerodynamics.


This is a good thing. Especially when your garden comes with a variety of “only” 602 horsepower and 413 pounds of torque 5.2 liters naturally aspirated V-10. Performante responsibility for the engine to get new intake and exhaust camshafts, gentleman racing air intake borrowed from the Super Hurricane Triangle Cup, and a new exhaust system to reduce back pressure. The result is 25 to 40 horsepower and an additional 30 pounds of torque. Assuming the final number will be 625 and 640 hp and 453 lb-ft of torque. They still work in the details. 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is also optimized, intelligent change. Our last test, it reached 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds. Want Performante faster.

Weight is down by about 90 pounds, thanks in part to that new exhaust system, which alone reduces fat by nearly 25 pounds. The rest of the weight loss is due to increased use of forged carbon fiber composite, or Forged Carbon (FC) as Lamborghini would like you to call it. The largest single piece of FC on the Performante is the rear wing, which is where the bulk of the ALA magic happens.


A side note: There was an internal fight at Lambo in regard to the car’s name, with none other than board member and R & D boss Maurizio Reggiani thinking Superleggera was the better moniker. However, because the primary focus of the car is performance and not lightweighting, Reggiani and several others were overruled.

The suspension has been massively reworked. The electric lime green Huracán with fixed dampers that I drove for an “Ignition” episode had brilliant handling. To be blunt, the other one—our long-term Huracán—with magnetic dampers, did not. That dark gray MR car pushed and understeered, and it felt a bit mushy (it also weighed 200-plus pounds more somehow). It simply wasn’t as sweet. It’s important to remember, though, the Huracán was Lamborghini’s first use of magnetorheological shocks; They didn’t do a great job. The Aventador Superveloce was their second effort, and based on that alone, my mind was at ease. The Performante represents something of a third draft, and the results are stellar.


What’s different? For one, the aforementioned shocks have been retuned to deal with the fast-acting active aero gear and as a result are much stiffer. The springs and anti-roll bars are retuned to provide 10 percent more vertical stiffness and 15 percent more roll stiffness. All the bushings are about 50 percent stiffer to cope with the stickier tires. The adjustable steering has been revamped, though most of the changes are in Corsa (track) mode. The Performante also gets newly developed special-application high-performance Pirelli P Zero Corsas. This caused the all-wheel-drive system to be reprogrammed and the ABS system to be reworked. Brake pedal feel is also improved. Finally, the ESC system was revamped. Because the Performante is more stable than the regular Huracán, ESC is less intrusive. Switch into Sport mode, and you’re essentially in Drift mode.

Then there’s ALA, for which you can thank Antonio Torluccio, Lamborghini’s head of aerodynamics and previously an engineer on both the V-10 and V-12 programs. Torluccio describes ALA as a smarter way to do active aero. Think about traditional active aero, such as on the Bugatti Veyron or Lamborghini’s own Centenario. Typically you have a large wing on some hydraulic struts. Based on conditions, the struts change the wing’s position. It works, but there are two drawbacks. One is speed, as most hydraulically adjustable wings need about a second to move fully from one position to another. The second is weight, as hydraulic fluid is heavy.

Enter ALA. Rather than moving a large part around, ALA uses fast-acting, electronically controlled motors to open and close flaps. The Performante has a little flap in the snout , which can open to decrease downforce and drag. That’s cool but not groundbreaking. The groundbreaking part of ALA can be found in the hollow FC wing. Each of the big uprights that support the wing is also hollow. Right under the engine cover sits a pair of small dual-mouthed intakes. One mouth on each feeds cool air onto the hot exhaust, and the other allows air to flow through an upright and into the wing. There’s an outlet on the underside of the wing where the air exits. Like the front flap, the dual flaps can open to reduce drag and close to increase downforce. Or they can open one at a time.

That’s right. Depending on which direction the Performante is turning, either flap can close in 0.2 second to create aero vectoring. Turn right, for instance, and the right flap closes while the left flap opens. With the right flap closed, downforce is exerted on the right rear wheel while the left wheel is looser and free to rotate in an arc. The opposite is true if you turn the car in the other direction. Lamborghini says ALA works between 43 and 193 mph. Any faster than that, and you don’t want to be turning the steering wheel. I asked if they looked into putting aero vectoring on the front axle. Torluccio told me they did, but there was no advantage.

How’s it all work? Quite brilliantly, if the 14 laps I did around Italy’s famed Imola circuit in a heavily camouflaged prototype are any indication. If you were to strap me to a lie detector and ask whether my experience was from ALA alone or if the improved power, tires, ABS, weight reduction, and suspension all played their parts, I couldn’t honestly say. Taken as a whole, however, the Performante is sublime, and a major step forward in performance. For instance, I was able to squeal a tire or two (and induce a big, dumb grin on my face) all the way around Imola’s awesome Acqua Minerale corner in the regular Huracán. In the Performante? No smiling. If anything, my face was showing nothing but fear as a result of the high velocities I was hitting. The Performante was much more accurate and precise, albeit a different sort of fun.

A few more examples: High-speed braking in the normal Huracán is, well, too exciting. We’ve long thought the ABS programming was a little funky. Combine that will the squishy shocks, and you get a car that wiggles around too much. That’s something you sure don’t want when you’re coming down from 170 mph, the indicated top speed you’ll see on Imola’s frightening front straight at the top of sixth gear. In the Performante? No drama whatsoever. On that narrowing front straight in the regular Huracán, I had visions of my own mortality. In the Performante, I had lucid dreams of catching the instructor—a Formula 3 winner, no less. Like all aero cars, going faster to improve handling is a counterintuitive proposition. I needed a few laps to calibrate my brain.

Performante On my last two laps, my friend climbed into the seat and the coach’s hurricane team had upgraded the high-performance Pirelli because of chasing the car’s athletic ability. The teacher himself is like this I asked my friend to report to me how hard this guy actually drives. After two laps I really gave everything to me and I was glad to hear my friend say, “Yes, he is driving very hard.” You have it. Hurricane Performante This high level of performance, mortals can feel like they know what they are doing at the old F1 circuit. How can you put a price? I climbed out of Performante and I said, “I do not know why you let a bad driver like me drive such a good car.” He just smiled and shook his head.

One last thing: Nürburgring Nordschleife Performante is progressing very fast. How fast? Well, Lamborghini’s Aventador Superveloce set a time of 6 minutes, 59.73 seconds. The only production car that travels around the Porsche 918 Spyder is more quickly, making an icy 6: 57.00. Hurricane Performante? Lamborghini is not saying no matter how many times I ask (but just laughs at me), but I hear complaining about “six hundred and fifty-two – something.” This will break Porsche’s record. We will discover when Lamborghini will unveil Performante in March at the Geneva International Motor Show.


2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante
BASE PRICE $350,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Mid-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe
ENGINE 5.2L/635-hp (est)/443-lb-ft DOHC 40-valve V-10
TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto
CURB WEIGHT 3,400 lb (est)
WHEELBASE 103.1 in
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 175.6 x 75.7 x 45.9 in
0-60 MPH 2.7 sec (MT est)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 14/20/16 mpg (est)
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 241/169 kW-hrs/100 miles (est)
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.20 lb/mile (est)
ON SALE IN U.S. Fall 2017

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