Test drive: Lamborghini Huracan Performante

By ahmadzulizwan, 12 January 2019
Lamborghini Huracan Performante

I’m very tempted to start a petition, one that wants Lamborghini to put scissor doors on the Huracan and every sports car made by the company from now on. Why? Because the Lamborghini Countach I had on the wall of my childhood room (a poster of course) had one. As far as I’m concerned, that’s what makes a Lamborghini – scissor doors. It’s a defining quality, so why not? Other qualities, I can do without, and some of it not immediately clear unless you spend some time driving a Raging Bull, such as the off-set pedals.

People don’t really talk about it mainly because it only affects right-hand drive cars. You see, because the front tyres are so wide and the front axle pulled close into the cabin – and intrudes so much into the footwell – the accelerator pedal needs to shoved where most people would instinctively guess as the brake pedal. I’m even told that the driver’s seat is very slightly rotated into the cabin to help with orientation.

Whatever my troubles are, I need to get over it quick. The Huracan Performante test car is in the yellow-est colour ever and is ready to hit the road. Unfortunately it won’t be a track drive as Maro Mapelli did when setting that stunning 6 minute 52.01 seconds lap time on the Nordschleife, and certainly not like how Lamborghini KL boss Marcus Chye did at Sepang more recently (click on the on-board image here to view the drive).

The machine looks and feels hardcore, which is saying something since every ‘regular’ Huracan already looks like it’s made for an intergalactic space battle. In this case, there are two things that jumps out – those gorgeous wheels and the big rear wing. It’s the same inside, and nothing gets you more in the mood than thumbing the jet-fighter start button.

The best thing about modern supercars like the Huracan Performante is also why it’s sort of frustrating. The sitting position is low, but apart from that almost nothing hints of how quick this car can bring you to the dangerous end of 200kph. Super powerful cars used to be a beast even going out of parking, in fact especially when doing so. Now, the steering is light, the engine around tickover is only a little noticeable, and of course the automatic gearbox is flawless.

The up side, however, makes for a longer list. More than anything else, it makes everything in this RM1.25 million car work perfectly from the get-go. What I appreciated most is the carbon ceramic brakes which grips immediately. Just five years ago or it would require time (read: heat) before giving its best. Now, there’s feel to it and zero screeching sounds when cold, basically like normal steel brakes yet with much more performance.

Oops, did I mention RM1.25 million and got you excited? Sorry then, because that’s the starting price sans what any visit to the Ad Personam list of upgrades would add. Also, that’s without duties. And the Yellow unit you see here has had some upgrades – single-nut wheels and some personalisation in the cabin to name a few – so it’s priced at RM1.3 million. Again, without duties.

I would like to say that outside of its racing circuit natural habitat the Performante doesn’t feel much more special than the normal car, but that’ll be a lie. The diet has much to do with it, and losing 40kg is something you feel even at slow corners. The gearshifts are impeccable with quick seamless shifts, and the mapping is still in the default Strada mode (that’s Street, although the Italian version is much sexier, isn’t it?).

The real experience comes with Sport and Corsa mode. The gear response tightens up, the dampers go firm, and noticeably, the revs go up a few hundred rpms with zero motivation for the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox to up-shift by itself. It’s crazy intoxicating. Lamborghini test drives are without fail accompanied by someone from the showroom, yet any in-cabin conversations become invalid at this point and the ears take over the senses. The naturally-aspirated V10 – a reworked and massaged Huracan coupe engine – does all the talking, and all 631bhp getting the attention. The pops and crackles at throttle lift-off is almost violent, yet you can’t help but carving the widest grin everytime hearing it.

... any in-cabin conversations become invalid at this point and the ears take over the senses. The naturally-aspirated V10 – a reworked and massaged Huracan coupe engine – does all the talking

Lamborghini Huracan Performante

This is just not enough – it needs a track drive. No civilian road in Malaysia can take the urgency this Huracan Performante can offer. No turbo, no electric motors, yet 0-100kph in just 2.9 seconds. In just under nine seconds, it’ll shoot you to 200kph from standstill. Madness! And all that in a car with three-point seats belts, license plates, air-cond, and an audio system (why would one switch it on, though?)

To be honest, the ALA system (Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva) is hardly useful in such tame driving conditions. Those flaps that help shape the Performante’s aero according to speed and cornering need is Lamborghini going nerdy with speed. No one actually sees it working like a rear wing that pops out/changes angle, but the Nurburgring drive proves that it does.

Which is why the Huracan needs something flashy like the Aventador’s scissor doors. I can’t lap the Nurburgring in 6:52.01 in the Huracan Performante – not that I won’t try – but flashy doors might make me look faster.

SPECS

  Engine   5,204cc, V10, naturally-aspirated, [email protected],000rpm, [email protected],500rpm
  Price   Starting price RM1.25 (without duties)
  Performance   0-100kph in 2.9s, 0-200 in 8.9s, 325kph+
  Economy   14.8L/100km
  Weight   1,382kg (dry)