Lamborghini Huracán Performante breaks Porsche 918 Spyder production lap record at the Nürburgring. Climb aboard
Scan through the Nürburgring’s illustrious history of hot laps (ignore that pesky one-year ban on record attempts), and you’ll find that pretty every major manufacturer can lay claim to a Nürburgring lap record of some kind at some point. The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S is the fastest front-wheel drive hatchback ever around those sinuous 20.8 kilometres. The Nio EP9 from China is the fastest all-electric car to have lapped the circuit. Even the new Mercedes-AMG GT R recently beat out the Nissan GT-R Nismo for the ‘fastest street-legal rear-wheel drive car’ accolade.
All very impressive, but given that the Pagani Zonda R’s 6m 47s and Stefan Bellof’s all-time fastest 6m 11.13s in a Porsche 956 are well out of reach for many, and the magnitude and significance of the Nürburgring to both the motoring industry and motorsport in general is so high, it’s left many manufacturers gunning for ‘records’ driven primarily by marketing, a situation that all-too often leads to controversy. In 2008 for instance, so sure was Porsche that Nissan’s 7m 26s laptime with the GT-R was false, Porsche ran a second GT-R at the circuit to re-do the test, it’s fastest lap time almost 25s slower than Nissan’s attempt. And, by sheer coincidence, slower also than Porsche’s 7m 31s laptime set one year earlier with the 911 GT2. Funny that…
It’s a subject we’ve previously discussed – from both perspectives – at crankandpiston.com. Sure, like the brazen little hounds we are, we’ll still bring you news of a ‘record lap’ (on-board hot laps of the Nordscheife are always worth a post), but it does take quite a lot for us to sit up and really take notice, something the Lamborghini Huracán Performante’s recent lap of the Nürburgring has done. For starters, it’s the fastest ever for a production car, the Lambo’s 6m 52.01s run snapping a full five seconds off the Porsche 918 Spyder’s previous best of 6m 57s (with Weissach Package). For another, the on-board video has already ruffled enough feathers that many detractors on the interwebs are already claiming the footage to be fake. You know you’ve done something special when people cry bullcrap on your achievements…
So, the car. As the name will probably have given away, the Huracán Performante – yet to be launched and thus running in camouflage – is a track-focused derivation of SantAgata’s baby model. Build and performance details are few and far between, and will remain so until its Geneva Motor Show debut. However, the Performante retains the road-going Huracán’s 5.2-litre V10 and all-wheel drive setup, with the LP610-4’s 602bhp and 560Nm (413lb ft) of torque figures expected to be boosted by up to 30bhp and 40Nm (29lb ft). Throw in the Huracán’s all-wheel drive system and that slots the Performante straight into McLaren 675LT territory.
What Lamborghini has let slip though is that the bodywork will showcase Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA) technology, meaning aerodynamics and downforce will be top of the company’s to-do list, hence the massive rear spoiler and aggressive front splitter that was seen testing at the Nürburgring a few months ago. It’s also been speculated that special lightweight ‘Becker Carbon’, used prolifically throughout Formula 1 and Le Mans prototypes, could help drop the Performante’s kerb weight significantly from the Huracán LP610-4’s 1422kg.
How capable will the Performante prove? Bear in mind that Lamborghini test driver’s Marco Mapelli’s 6m 52.01s laptime is just four seconds short of the stonkingly fast Radical SR8 LM around the Nürburgring, and seven seconds faster than the 740bhp Aventador SV.