LAMBORGHINI HURACAN PERFORMANTE IS THE 2018 MOTOR TREND BEST DRIVER'S CAR

Lamborghini's latest is quick, sharp, engaging, and sexy

 

Watch out, Ferrari: The Huracan Performante shatters the stereotype that Lamborghinis are only good for boulevard cruising and posing for posters destined for the walls of young devotees. A true driver's car, the Huracan Performante rewards drivers of all skill levels—from newbie millionaire to track-trained enthusiast. That it looks like what one Motor Trend editor described as "pure sex" is simply a reminder that the Lamborghini you knew growing up remains alive and well, too.

At the Huracan Performante's core is a 5.2-liter V-10 that eschews turbocharging; the naturally aspirated 630-hp powerhouse provides a banshee wail to an 8,500-rpm redline. With a mid-engine layout and a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, the all-wheel-drive supercar hits 60 mph in a neck-snapping 2.6 seconds.

But Lamborghinis have always been quick. The Huracan Performante elevates the Italian automaker's game by connecting the driver to the road in a way few Lamborghinis have before. With its aluminum and carbon-fiber frame, the lightened Performante model weighs in at just under 3,500 pounds and features ALA, the automaker's patented active aerodynamic tech that can adjust flaps on the exterior in under 500 milliseconds. The result: The slippery Huracan suddenly develops gobs of downforce under braking—as much as 750 percent more vertical downforce with the rear wing deployed, compared to a regular Huracan coupe.

A stiffer suspension and 43/57 percent front/rear weight distribution keep things interesting on the track, as do new Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, an updated stability control system that allows more fun before intervening, and a tweaked version of Lamborghini's ANIMA drive-mode system. Along with 20-inch forged alloy wheels and a Haldex all-wheel-drive system with a mechanically self-locking rear differential, the Performante is full of high-performance parts and upgrades. When they all come together, you have magic. And there you have our 2018 Best Driver's Car.

 

WE SAY

"Finally, a Lambo that's as good to drive as it looks. There's substance behind the style that makes the drive experience live up to the theatrics. "—Angus MacKenzie

"Wow, wow, wow. Just amazing. I felt so in tune from the first turn of the wheel and tap of the brake—it's amazing how planted the Lambo stayed through the mid-corner bumps. "—Erick Ayapana

"The confidence is unmatched. It's so easy to drive at ludicrous speeds. It begs you to drive crazy-faster than you already are. "—Scott Evans

"Really, really impressed. This is a very stable car, neat and tidy—no lurid stuff going on.—Kim Reynolds

"This is the combination of confidence, performance, and emotion that our Best Driver's Car should possess. "—Chris Walton

"Grip for days and weeks, fantastic power, lovely engine shriek from the V-10 right behind my ears. "—Frank Markus

"This is the Thanos of BDC 2018. Unstoppable, invincible, charismatically devilish. "—Ed Loh

"This car skips from one corner to the next. The power is always there, from a grunt to a howl to a wail. If the song of Ferrari V-12 was compared to the sound of tearing paper, this Lamborghini V-10 is the sound of a phone book being shredded." -Mark Rechtin

"Nothing fazes this car, and that lends it a manic, overwhelming character as it howls from corner to corner, eating up the worst the surface can throw at it, piling on revs over and over again and turning with ferocious bite." -Jethro Bovingdon

"This car makes you into a god. You just get in and you drive like Ayrton Senna. "—Randy Pobst


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