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2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante: A Four-Wheel-Drive Aerodynamic All-Timer


The Lamborghini Huracán Performante wasted no time living up to its name. Before the official unveiling, the sliced-and-diced baby Lambo already made headlines with the claim that it beat the Nürburgring lap record for a production car with a time of 6:52:01—that’s about five full seconds quicker than the previous record holder, the Porsche 918 Spyder. We’ll likely have to wait until Lightning Lap XII in 2018 to see if this Lambo can break our 918 lap record at Virginia International Raceway. Even being in the same ballpark with the million-dollar 918 makes the Performante one of the most dynamic and quickest cars ever made. It. Is. Fiery.

The Huracán has been spun into several variants in the relatively short time since it arrived as a 2015 model. There have been rear-wheel-drive versions, the typical Spyder treatment, and limited editions. But none has been as specialized as the new Performante. Every part of this particular Huracán has been massaged, from the chassis tuning and aerodynamics to the powertrain and even its mass.

Naturally Nasty

Lamborghini squeezed still more power out of its naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10, which here makes 631 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm, up from 602 and 413 in the standard Huracán. More than 70 percent of that torque is available at 1000 rpm, which required beefing up the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The company asserts that the Performante can sprint from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, but that’s probably conservative; in our most recent test of the 602-hp regular car, it needed only 2.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. Given a chance to stretch its legs, the Performante tops out somewhere north of 202 mph, the company says, same as the basic model.

Lamborghini says it used knowledge from its Super Trofeo motorsports program to improve engine airflow efficiency, adopting new titanium intake valves with higher lift and new exhaust pipes that mount higher and more toward the center of the car. The bronze finish on the intake manifold, visible through the rear glass, is meant as a nod to previous special-edition engines like that on the Diablo 30th Anniversary, while the engine cover partially done in exposed carbon fiber does the same to the lightweight philosophy that guided Performante development.

The Huracán Performante uses an aluminum-and-carbon-fiber spaceframe, while the body panels are formed from aluminum and Lamborghini’s trademarked Forged Composite carbon-fiber technology. Shifting to this composite for the engine cover, front splitter, rear wing, and the rear fascia and diffuser pared about 88 pounds. Lamborghini claims the dry weight (without fluids) is 3047 pounds with a 43/57 front/rear distribution; full of fluids, the Performante should weigh about 3350 pounds.