The 2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante was put to the test by Car and Driver and passed with flying colors.
There are a few names in the automotive world that are always spoken with a note of reverence. Ferrari is one. Porsche is another. But Lamborghini is perhaps the one spoken most reverently while also blaring Italian slash-core metal from a V10-powered boombox.
Lamborghinis were always about utter lunacy engineered into a supercar. They were designed to be as loud and obnoxiously fast as possible. Sure, sometimes they’ll get you there upside down and on fire, but it was about the spectacle of the thing more than actually ensuring the driver actually survived.
When Lamborghini was purchased by Audi, themselves a subsidiary of Volkswagen, it was like the company was suddenly shackled by Germanic chains called “sensibility” and “safety”. No longer were Lamborghinis all about the spectacle of the thing, they concerned themselves with things like performance and comfort as well.
The latest Lambo, the Huracán Performante, is a bit of a return to form for Lamborghini. The car is still mostly a Huracán, itself a perfectly fine V10 supercar, but the Performante is tuned for the track. Well, more tuned for the track.
What that means is the car is both more powerful and lighter than ever before. Lamborghini engineers have tuned the 5.2-L V10 to within an inch of its life to scrape together an extra 29 horses to bring the grand total to 631 hp. A crash diet of proprietary carbon fiber alloy, called Forged Composite, drops the weight by 88 lbs. It also lends the body and cockpit a sort of marbled look that makes it seem like an ancient Roman ruin.
These factors combined shave 0.2 seconds off the Huracán’s 0-60 time, down to 2.3 seconds. The quarter mile is blown past in 10.2 seconds. Top speed is over 202 mph.
But the weight savings and track tuning come at a cost. The seats are made of a single piece of carbon fiber — a very thin piece. With the sport-tuned suspension built for a pristine track, every bump is transferred directly to the driver’s spine. The result is a ride quality that some might consider uncomfortable.
There’s also a lot of noise, as weight savings were considered more important than noise dampening. Having a V10 blaring in your ear all day can be a bit of a distraction.
But never forget, this car is a return to the spectacle of Lamborghini, one that has been sorely missed.