2018 Lamborghini Huracan 

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante First Drive

Lamborghini didn’t need to build the Huracán Performante. The folks in Sant’Agata could have just rolled out another special-edition Huracán – Superleggera, Tricolore, probably even Mostacholi – and sold every one. Instead, they gave the junior Lamborghini a trick active aerodynamics system and updated everything enabled by new levels of downforce and more grip from the latest-generation of tires. And then just to prove it’s not messing around, Lamborghini went out and set at new production-car Nürburgring Lap Record.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan 

The Huracán Performante is a statement. This is Lamborghini’s way of saying that its future will not just be high-tech, but the kind that brings world-class performance. And it will be loud. Very loud.

Sound is the most defining characteristic of this car. In the era of turbocharging, everything else is too quiet. Quiet is not a problem in the Performante. In track-ready Corsa mode (one of three settings), the exhaust drowns out everything, even your internal monologue. And it’s not just loud, it sounds like an honest-to-god racecar. Making a V10 sound not just decent, but back-of-the-neck-hair thrilling, would have been enough.

First off, ALA works. You can feel it in the way the car jukes right and left until you realize you can put in less steering. But also because the understeer is gone in the Huracán. It’s tenacious with its grip, but also balanced. Much of this is also due, no doubt, to the tires. But the higher limits of the Performante also come with more engagement at every speed. They took the Huracán and added back the character it needed all along.

Which brings us back to the noise, and the magic that is a naturally aspirated engine. Throttle response is instant in the Performante, and the car reaches the 8,500-rpm redline so fast that cracking off the next gear with the paddle shifter makes the seven-speed dual clutch buck with displeasure. Time the shift better, and things go smoother. The same cannot be said for the suspension, which feels racecar-stiff when clipping curbs through Imola’s numerous chicanes. On the street in the softer Strada and Sport modes (which disable ALA, by the way, lest you juke into a median divider), the ride is softer, even downright livable.

After that, things got pretty emotional. Imola is, after all, a special place. But the Huracán Performante is a special car. It’s easily the best car Lamborghini has ever made, and it also happens to be the fastest. Plenty of cars are fast. The Huracán Performante is faster, and has more character.

Anthony Bunch Author

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