Ever since Lamborghini launched a whole new era with the Huracan, they’ve been hitting us virtually non-stop with new versions of it. The latest is the Performante, and if you’re a track day enthusiast, and can afford the price of admission, it’s just what you’ve been waiting for!
You know you’ve been in this business a while when you hear “why are we testing another Lamborghini Huracan?” come out of your mouth. But we are, and it’s a special one, the 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante.
The Performante takes the Huracan’s timeless design and adds some active aerodynamics, additional carbon fiber for weight reduction, a bit more power, unique suspension tuning, exclusive all-wheel-drive calibration, reprogrammed stability control, and a new tire-and-wheel package.
Not to mention, tweaked front styling, as well as a huge wing and high-mounted exhaust tips added to the rear, and of course “tricolore” striping down the sides.
There was a time when not all Lamborghinis lived up to their hype, but we haven’t found that to be the case with the Huracan. And there’s nothing along those lines here either, as the Performante was designed with one thing in mind only, lowering lap times.
Weight has been shaved by 88-lbs. with forged composites used for both structural components as well as the rear hatch.
Power has been added, with the 5.2-liter V10 now cranking out 630–horsepower, while whipping up 443 lb-ft. of torque. The additional power comes courtesy of new titanium internals, as well as a reconfigured exhaust manifold. It looks gorgeous, pulsating below the rear hatch; though not everyone here was enamored by the classically-inspired bronze intake manifold.
Downforce has been improved upon, but the aero treatments here are more than just the bigger rear wing. Active elements include multipurpose rear vent flaps that can either channel air into the engine bay for additional cooling, or directly to that rear wing for tire-shredding grip.
It all works together to make this Huracan hellaciously faster, in fact it was a record holder on the Nurburgring for a brief time. But it seems like we get a press release just about every other day of that happening, so it didn’t last for long.
Here at Savannah, Georgia’s Roebling Road Raceway, it still feels more at home in high speed corners than super tight ones, but there’s an enormous amount of grip available regardless of the radius you’re navigating.
Corsa mode makes all of the appropriate adjustments, keeping it a simple operation to prep for track work.
Steering is very direct, with an almost manual effort feel; and that powerful engine is full of naturally-aspirated goodness that makes you never want to drive a turbo again.
Lambo’s stability control will still intervene if it senses you’ve gotten too out of shape, but it does so almost behind the scenes, not taking total control of things.
There’s nothing quite like going full throttle in an Italian exotic, and the Performante does not disappoint. No active aero needed here. Just push the pedal to the floor and this Lambo streaks to 60 in 2.9-seconds.
The symphonic wail that pours out of the exhaust is about as epic as it gets. While you’re enjoying that, your grip naturally tightens on the wheel, the scenery through the windshield blurs, the 7-speed DCT cracks off lightning quick shifts, and in 10.7-seconds you’re at the end of the ¼-mile travelling 132 miles-per-hour, feeling like you’ve just went through some crazy time warp. And just like a kid in an amusement park, you can’t wait to line up and do it all over again.
This particular piece of Italian performance art will set you back $279,185, “only” about $36,000 more than a base all-wheel-drive Huracan.
Legendary performance? Yes. Aspirational design? Of course. It looks like it checks all of the traditional Lambo boxes. But this 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante is more than just poster material. It’s the convergence of all that Lamborghini does best, into their most capable V10 production car to date. The only performance envy here, is coming from other supercar makers looking up at the Performante.
Engine: 5.2 liter
Torque: 443 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds
1/4 mile: 10.7 seconds @ 132 mph