Bravo Lambo!Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- The Lamborghini Huracán Performante is the high-performance trim level of the already high-performing regular Huracán.
- The Lamborghini Huracán Performante has about 30 more horsepower than the lesser Huracán.
- We drove a $320,785 Huracán Performante and were extremely impressed — although we couldn’t take this supercar to the track, its natural home.
A funny thing has been going on with Lamborghini. When I was growing up, the Italian legend’s supercars were considered wilder and crazier, cruder and more tasteless, than Ferraris. If you liked Lambos, you kind of knew what you wanted to be when you grew up, and it wasn’t necessarily civilized.
Since the late 1990s, however, Lamborghini has been owned by the VW Group and allied with Audi. This structure has tempered some of the old Lambo stuff, beneficially making the brand more dignified, easy to live with, and more technologically up-to-date.
That sounds great, but what about, you know, the Lambo-ness? Well, we’ve seen the benefits played out in the Huracán lineup. Lamborghini sells three cars: the Huracán sports car-supercar, the Aventador super-hypercar, and the new Urus SUV. The Huracán is meant to provide a little something for everybody who wants to get into the brand.
Hence an all-wheel-drive version that can be mistaken for an Audi, a rear-wheel-drive version that can’t — and that remind Lambo lovers of the Lambos of the 1970s and 1980s — and a drop-top Spyder for open-air motoring, and now a track-oriented car, the Performante.
Yes, it looks like a race car. But it can be taken on the road. And then to the track. And back to the road. It’s for that type of well-heeled enthusiast who wants to test their driving skills, as well as tool around and stun the neighbors.
Lamborghini let us borrow a 2018 Huracán Performante for a few days. Here’s what we thought.
Photos by Hollis Johnson.
The ferocious architecture of the Huracán remains: this is a classic mid-engine supercar. Unlike Lambos of old, the Huracán has gone for a more stately, dignified vibe. In as much as that’s possible for the snarling bull.
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
So what’s the verdict?
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
I’ve driven the “base” Huracán with all-wheel-drive, the high-strung LP580-2 with rear-wheel-drive, and the Huracán Spyder drop-top. I’ve genuinely enjoyed them all, so much so that I always look forward to a few days in Huracán-land.
These Lambos are more refined and balanced than Lambos of old, a consequence of Lambo being owned by the VW Group and sharing tech and platforms with Audi.
In this context, the Huracán Performante is sort of the best of all worlds. It can be dialed back to pliability for everyday motoring, although the fact that it’s a V10 mid-engined two-seater supercar means it will never really be practical.
Once a Lambo, always a Lambo, as I found when I drove nice and slow around my suburban town and watched the jaws of teenagers drop everywhere as I tooled by. They seemed paralyzed by the Lambo’s undeniable Lambo-ness. As they should have been!
But its blistering velocity bona fides are also undeniable. The Performante lapped Germany’s famous Nürburgring track so swiftly that it set a new record for production vehicles in 2017.
As with the 755-horsepower Corvette ZR1 that I drove a few months back, you simply can’t get into the Performante’s capabilities in normal life. You have to find yourself a race track in order to access the more hypnotic and thrilling orders of speed the Lambo can deliver. And that’s why this car exists. Lambo wants track junkies to have a car that’s up to the task, but that’s still street-legal.
Street-legal-wise, the best part of the Performante is of course that vicious, snarling, belching, burbling V10, all thrust and backfire and bark and yowl. Simply driving around at the legal speed limit, flipping between gears, is auditory bliss. You don’t need to go fast, heretical as that is to say. You can have fun playing the pipe organ of combustion that is the Performante’s brilliant motor.
Yes, indeed, 320 grand is a rich price to pay for such pleasures, which can also be had with less-expensive versions of the Huracán.
But if you are a track hound, or if you simply have the resources to spend up on Forged Composite carbon and the like to feel your car glued to pavement at all times, then you’re not going to want to overlook the Performante. It’s spectacular.