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Geneva show: Huracan Performante takes ’Ring record

Nordschleife production car lap record demolished by Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Lamborghini logo3 Mar 2017

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

LAMBORGHINI has smashed the Nurburgring Nordschleife production car lap record by a smidge under five seconds with the hypercar-harassing Huracan Performante that will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show on March 7.

Behind the wheel was Lamborghini test driver Marco Mapelli, who cut a 6:52.01 lap on October 5 2016 under the pressure of a single attempt within an exclusive 15-minute after-hours window granted to the Raging Bull brand following a day of open sessions.

Mapelli’s time beat the previous record-holder, a Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar piloted by endurance racer Marc Lieb and fitted with the optional weight-saving, aerodynamically enhanced Weissach Package to lap the infamous 20.6 kilometre-long Green Hell in 6:57 dead.

Details are scare regarding what Lamborghini has done to transform the Huracan from lapping the Nurburgring in 7:28 to dethroning Porsche’s finest while laying waste to other ’Ring-leaders including its own Aventador SV (6.59.73), Nissan GT-R Nismo (7:08.68) and Mercedes-AMG GT R (7:10.92).

The flamboyant Italian brand simply states that its new king of the ’Ring features aerodynamic and lightweight engineering innovations, an “improved” power plant and “dedicated set-up”.

Lamborghini has made much of its carbon-fibre expertise in recent years, so the Performante is expected to feature a generous helping of this weight-saving material.

It must have also found reserves of power and torque available from the 5.2-litre V10 used in a standard Huracan LP610-4, which puts out 448kW and 560Nm.

A video issued last week revealed the car to employ a suite of active aerodynamic systems that provide maximum downforce for grip and stability while cornering and minimum drag for straight-line speed, including an adjustable front spoiler and air valve controlling flow across the prominent rear wing.

Pirelli was engaged to develop a specific set of Trofeo R tyres for the Huracan Performante and its engineers were on hand to oversee the lap record fall.

Lamborghini promises Performante customers will get the exact same rubber as used on the record-setting camouflaged car.

All-wheel-drive is confirmed and the ‘Lamborghini Piattaforma Inerziale’ system of quick-thinking sensors that control the vehicle’s dynamics is expected to have received a number of tweaks.

Lamborghini says the combination of upgrades applied to the Performante “allows superior track performance to be maximized while delivering the most engaging and dynamic road drive”.

The company’s chairman and CEO, Stefano Domenicali said watching the record attempt take place “was an incredible and emotional moment”.

“Together with (board member for research and development) Maurizio Reggiani we agreed during the car’s development that with the technical and performance prowess of the Huracan Performante, not only was a sub seven-minute lap at the Nordschleife possible, but the lap record too.”

Mr Domenicali added that Lamborghini wanted to set the lap record ahead of launching the Performante, which presented a challenge given the autumn and winter weather, plus limited availability of exclusive track time at the Nordschleife.

“To make this happen is something that every one of the R&D team who worked on this car can share in: it will forever be a defining moment in their careers,” he said.

“I am so proud of everything achieved by Lamborghini people that day and extremely privileged to have witnessed it.”

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