The Lamborghini Huracan Performante is the lighter, stiffer, more powerful and aerodynamically optimized version of Lambo's V10 supercar. And as a result of all those upgrades, Pirelli's stickiest semi-slick (but still road-legal) Trofeo R tires, it can go around the Nürburgring in 00:06:52:01. That might be four seconds off a Radical SR8LM's time, but it's also five seconds better than what an 887 horsepower Porsche 918 can achieve. This beefed up Huracan even shaves almost eight seconds off the Aventador SV's time, with the same driver.
These figures, Lamborghini's claim of a 750-percent increase in downforce made a lot of people skeptical. Fortunately, I was able to talk to Lamborghini's lead engineer Maurizio Reggiani, who pulled the telemetry data out on his iPad (we didn't get a photo, ) to guide me through what happened. As far as they're concerned, it all comes down to the ALA system (Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva), the active aerodynamic package they developed and patented before anybody else could think of it.
According to Reggiani, the Huracan Performante in the video displayed the GPS-measured speeds on its speedo accurately, unlike the Aventador SV on its record run, which was about three percent off compared to the satellites. The telemetry data is available and can be checked by the Nürburgring officials if somebody is curious, but there's a smile and an explanation to go with those numbers and graphs as well.
Reggiani says that they could only do a 7:20 lap with a regular Huracan 610-4. So, when they started to look into how to make it noticeably quicker on track about two years ago, an active hydraulic wing was the first guess. But that was too slow to react. Lamborghini wanted something that can use the dynamic stall effect and react as fast as the driver, constantly changing the drag/downforce ratio and applying aero vectoring to reduce the steering angle. At the Nürburgring, there's only one long straight, so it's all about the handling in the corners, with efficient braking and acceleration in and out.
The Performante can stall the front, stall the rear, stall both, or use aero vectoring depending on what makes it faster in that moment. And for the straights, it has 30 extra horses, and 88 lbs. less to carry than in a regular Huracan.
Of course, the tires are a big part of the record time. Pirelli and Lamborghini maintain that the Trofeo R tires that were used were developed specifically for the Huracan (tire manufacturers frequently work together with automakers to make optimized tires) and Lamborghini says they are "the same Pirelli Trofeo R tires available to customers." So that is nearly a slick, but it also sounds like it's a tire you'll be able to purchase with your Huracan.
Lamborghini's team is very proud of the achievement. Reggiani calls the his bible, pointing out how rare it is to see an idea get researched and then installed in a product so quickly. With the Performante, the brand that admittedly used to make cars "more for showing off than performance" is making a strong statement, demonstrating its engineering talent and the change of direction under former Ferrari F1 principal Stefano Domenicali. Suitably, with a particular camouflaged prototype that changes direction very fast.