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Best V10 Engines Ever Produced

Most people probably don’t know it, but V10 engines are kind of the awkward middle child within the high-performance engine family. They are often overlooked for their smaller, more compact, and just-as-spirited V8 siblings, yet still somehow manage to cut a notably less brawny figure next to the larger V12 motors. In terms of outcomes, this is probably why even the most hardcore car enthusiasts will have a difficult time recalling more V10 production cars than you can count on one hand – there are fewer of them than you’re likely thinking, and perhaps there should be more of them for this reason, but that’s for a different discussion.

Interestingly, it’s the Volkswagen Group which currently has the monopoly on supplying this particular engine, via Lamborghini and Audi production models which are under the corporation’s umbrella (plus its namesake Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI – more on that below). Meanwhile, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Ferrari would at the very least have delved into the art of the V10 -which they did, though only to produce such engines for Formula 1 cars from 1996 to 2005.

Quantifiably speaking, yes, there are fewer V10s out there than the other engines most closely related to it. However, each V10 engine mentioned on this list is undeniably iconic and rightfully potent, particularly when it comes to panache. So while this middle child might not always steal the spotlight, nor hog affection that goes to its siblings, it is in no way lacking any of the talent in its DNA.

Here’s the shortlist of 10 such engines, which we have curated:

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10

Lamborghini / Audi 5.2L V10 Engine

Ever since 2008 – when the refreshed Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 was released – all V10 engines used in the Lamborghini line-up have been based on the 5.2L architecture. This has carried over to the Gallardo’s successor – the Lamborghini Huracán – with each and every one of its models having been fitted with the aforementioned power plant, up to this point. In the current stage of its evolution, the 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 is mechanically identical to Audi’s version of the engine (which uses ‘Fuel Stratified Injection) and is seen in Audi’s own R8 supercar; however, power outputs vary depending on the trim levels of the respective models.

Audi 5.0L V10 Biturbo

Audi 5.0L V10 Biturbo Engine

The sharing of tech (and a healthily-stocked pantry of engine parts) between Lamborghini and Audi spans back more than a decade now, and the engine used in the C6-generation Audi RS 6 has to go down as one of the best collaborations to date. Derived from the outgoing 5.0L naturally-aspirated V10 unit from the Lamborghini Gallardo, the motor in the RS 6 was repurposed with a pair of turbochargers. This allowed the super-wagon to produce 571 hp and 478 lb-ft of torque, on its way to becoming Audi’s most powerful car ever, in 2010. While it was handily more powerful than its competition – the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 – it also cost quite a bit more (almost double, after conversion) which is likely the reason why it didn’t reach US shores.

Audi 5.2L V10 FSI 40V

Audi 5.2L V10 FSI 40V Engine

Unlike the C6-generation Audi RS 6, the 5.0L unit used in the third-generation Audi S6 is less related to a Lamborghini equivalent and has more in common with an Audi 4.2L V8. For starters, it has a longer stroke and wider bore than the Lamborghini 5.0L V10 seen in the Gallardo, making for the better low-end power which is more befitting of the larger sedan. When considering the internals, the 5.2L motor in the S6 more closely resembles the aforementioned 4.2L V8 which was once used in the B6-generation Audi S4. Thanks to the tweaks mentioned above, this engine was good for 444 hp in the four-ringed luxury sports sedan.

Lamborghini Huracán Performanté 5.2L V10

Lamborghini Huracán Performanté 5.2L V10 Engine

The 5.2L naturally-aspirated V10 power plant we’ve been speaking so much about in this list is at the peak of its evolution via the current Lamborghini Huracán Performanté. In this configuration, the engine produces 640 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque @ 6,500 rpm; this makes the supercar good for 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and a blistering top speed of 325 km/h, all without the assistance of any type of forced induction. Augmented with the greatest technologies available today, the motor produces its power more efficiently than ever before as well, with more than 70% of its torque already available as early as 1,000 rpm.

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10

Dodge Viper ACR 8.4L V10 Engine

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of a naturally-aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of “awesome”. With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it wasn’t just so damn fast. Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car that participates in Viper racing leagues around the world.

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE)

Lexus LFA 4.8L V10 (1LR-GUE) Engine

Many regard the Lexus LFA as one of the best supercars ever made. Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that Lexus hasn’t produced the LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA supercars for sale in the US, according to Carscoops. With all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V10 engines ever produced by a Japanese automaker. The 4.8L naturally-aspirated V10 – dubbed 1LR-GUE – made 552 hp and 352 lb-ft of torque. Developed in collaboration with Yamaha, it was a free-revving engine with an exhaust note that is truly unlike any other on the planet. As the sole representative from Japan, the 1LR-GUE is certainly one for the ages.

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01)

Porsche Carrera GT 5.7L V10 (980/01) Engine

What makes the Porsche Carrera GT engine so special is that it is technically a race car engine. Not in that loosely-based sense – as is often used as a gimmick by salespeople – but in the true sense of the word. In the late 1990s, Porsche engineers in Zuffenhausen were assigned the task of developing a naturally-aspirated V10 concept engine, which was to later be used in a race car for the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Sadly, the completion of that race car never came to fruition, but the efforts of the engine builders would not go to waste.

Porsche decided to adapt the engine for use in the Carrera GT and took the necessary steps to not only refine it in order to satisfy production car protocols but also managed to make it a more powerful version than the original unit. The result is a 5.7L naturally-aspirated V10 engine, which produces 612 hp @ 8,000 rpm and 435 lb-ft of torque @ 5,750 rpm. This allowed the Carrera GT to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 205 mph.

BMW M5 V10 (S85)

BMW M5 V10 (S85) Engine

Released in mid-2005, the E60 M5 sedan featured a high-revving and ultra-powerful V10 engine, which was the only one of its kind in a series-production car at that moment in time (while also being the marque’s most powerful production car engine ever made). The 5.0L naturally-aspirated unit shared more than just the same number of cylinders as the Formula 1 engine that powered the BMW Williams F1 team. Technology forged in the heat of motorsport had enhanced the processes and components used in creating this new powerhouse. As you would expect from BMW M, this high-performance motor generates enormous pulling force over its entire speed range.

VW Touareg V10 TDI

VW Touareg V10 TDI Engine

What makes this particular automobile so remarkable is not that it’s a Volkswagen, or an SUV, or diesel-powered, but that it’s all of those things with a twin-turbocharged 10-cylinder engine thrown into the mix. This Frankenstein-ish power plant would only feature for a couple of years before the whole Dieselgate fiasco, and had it not been for the calamity which ensued, it surely would have garnered more recognition than it has mustered to this day. All of its characteristics exude a bias towards low-end power, and the stats certainly reflect this – 309 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm. Oh, and don’t forget, a very utilitarian tow rating of 7,700 lbs.

Dodge Ram SRT-10 8.3L V10

Dodge Ram SRT-10 8.3L V10 Engine

Imagine a Viper engine swapped into, then modified for use in a Dodge Ram pick-up truck, and voila. So what exactly does this magic trick entail? Well for starters, in July 2004, a Dodge Ram SRT-10 driven by NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan, set the Guinness World Record (and the SCCA record) for the world’s fastest production truck when it achieved an average top speed of 154.587 mph. This was all possible with the help of the 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque that the naturally-aspirated motor produced, with 90% of its torque available at 1,500 rpm. It could even tow up to 7,500 lbs; though we would bet that most owners would forgo any procedures that might keep them from optimizing their 1/4 mile times.

2020 Lamborghini Huracan Spyder getting Performante looks

The Lamborghini Huracán has been around since the 2015 model year, and has been pretty much unchanged with the exception of a slightly restyled rear-drive variant. Lamborghini seems to think it’s about time the Huracán was updated, since one of our spy photographers caught a new version in light camouflage out testing. It appears the new model borrows heavily from the Huracán Performante.

Up front, the main grille has pretty much the same set of fins and gills as the ultra-fast Huracán. There does appear to be an extra pair of horizontal slats on either side of the middle trapezoidal shape in the grille. Along the side, things are pretty much the same as on any current Huracán, but the lower intakes now have little winglets in the middle of the air inlets.

The rear of the car is the most noticeably changed. It features two large exhaust tips in the middle of the rear fascia à la the Performante. They’re also housed in another trapezoidal structure, again like on the top-dog Huracán. The rear diffuser is more aggressive than the current model, but not as much as the Performante. There aren’t any openings behind the rear tires, either, and the air outlets on either side of the exhaust area are new. There’s also a more pronounced duck tail spoiler than on previous models.

We aren’t expecting any earth-shattering changes for this updated Huracán. For one thing, the visual changes show that this is mostly the same car underneath. We could see it taking advantage of the stiffer suspension and some the light, molded carbon fiber parts of the Performante to help improve the performance a bit more. The Performante’s active aerodynamics will probably stay exclusive to that high-performance model, though. There’s also the fact that completely new versions of the Huracán and Aventador are on the horizon, and may pack some huge changes such as hybrid powertrains. As such, Lamborghini is probably just going to try and stretch this model until it’s time for the new one.

Related Video:

2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante Second Drive | The Lambo of the moment

Down the front straight, past the pits, over the start/finish line, sixth gear at 140 mph. Suddenly, the shrieking wail of the 2018 Lamborghini Huracán Performante’s mid-mounted V-10 and hits me right between the eyes. It’s an easy shot, since I’m wearing an open-face helmet.

Speed is not a problem for the Performante. This new lighter and more powerful version of the Huracán is the best-performing Lambo of all time. It just set the new production-car record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife of 6 minutes, 52.1 seconds. That’s 35 seconds quicker than the standard Huracán. And Lambo says it can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, which is as quick as the Aventador S. Its 202-mph top speed still lags the top end of the V-12-powered Aventador by 15 mph, but does it really matter?

Completely flat, smooth as glass and just 1.8 miles around, Thermal’s South Palm Circuit isn’t exactly the Nordschleife, but the bathrooms are much fancier. Built in 2014, the luxurious Thermal Motorsports Club outside of Palm Springs, Calif., is an ideal facility for us to taste the 2018 Huracán Performante. If owners of the $274,390 supercar want a safe and controlled environment to wring out their new toy, chances are it will be at private amusement parks such as this.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

In the age of twin-turbos, the Huracán’s naturally aspirated V10 is a (glorious) anachronism. In the Performante, it has been cranked up to 640 hp at 8,000 rpm and 442 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm, a 30-hp and 40-lb-ft increase over the standard all-wheel-drive model, and it’s all above 6,000 rpm.
Displacement remains 5.2 liters, but Lambo’s engineers added lighter titanium intake valves, more aggressive camshafts, a less-restrictive air intake and a lighter freer-flowing exhaust system. The engine’s compression ratio remains a stratospheric 12.7:1, and it runs into a very aggressive rev limiter at 8,500 rpm.

The Performante is 88 pounds lighter than the standard Huracán Coupe thanks to liberal use of the company’s patented Forged Composite, which it calls the lightest, strongest and most innovative material ever used by Lamborghini. Chopped fibers embedded in a matrix of resins, it’s sort of like carbon fiber 2.0, although its finish looks like high-tech camo with golden flecks. It’s all over the Performante, including its massive rear spoiler, rear bumper and diffuser, front spoiler and its engine cover, which weights 21 percent less than the piece it replaced. Inside you see more Forged Composite on the dash, doors and console.

Lambo also stiffened up the Performante’s suspension by 10 percent, the sway bars are 15 percent more aggressive and the A-arm bushings are 50 percent stiffer. But the coolest piece of the Performante, and what’s really going to wow the crowd at local Cars and Coffee, is the new active aerodynamics system.
Officially called Aerodynamica Lamborghini Attive (ALA), the patented system opens and closes a flap in the front spoiler depending on conditions. When closed, the spoiler creates downforce for high-speed cornering and full brake conditions. When the small electric motor opens the flaps, which takes 0.2 second, it redirects the airflow through an internal channel and the underside of the car. This reduces drag, increasing acceleration and top speed.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

The fully automatic system also controls two internal ducts connected to inner channels of the rear wing. When the flaps are closed, the fixed rear wing works in a traditional manner, creating downforce and aiding cornering and braking. Lambo says it generates 750 percent more vertical downforce than the wingless standard Huracán Coupe.

In high-throttle conditions, ALA opens the flaps, which routes the air through the rear wing’s inner channels and through ridges underneath the wing, reducing drag. But here’s the cool part: The air channel is split left and right and the flaps work independently, allowing aero vectoring for high-speed cornering. The ALA system can increase downforce and traction on the inside wheel, counteracting the natural cornering forces.

After 10 laps, it’s hard not to be madly in love with this ridiculously antisocial supercar. Lambo says it weighs 3,047 pounds dry, and out on the track it feels small and light. Not exactly Miata miniature, but it’s tossable and it likes to turn on the brakes. It also understeers a bit on power out just to keep you alive, but it will drift if you chuck it in and get back on the power quickly. Do it, it’s also easy to catch with a small amount of counter steer.

Our codriver agrees. Sinya Sean Michemi races a Huracán in Lamborghini’s Blancpain Super Trofeo North America. “Compared to the original Huracán, it feels quite a bit less understeery,” he yells over the Performante’s screaming V-10, which is mounted just inches behind our heads.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Most of the corners on this circuit are handled in second gear, although there are two good, long straights where we touch sixth gear and get to enjoy the upper-rpm pull and full song of the big V-10. The straights also reveal the silky and rapid gear changes from the Lambo’s dual-clutch 7-speed, which Lambo geared perfectly to keep that goddess of an engine above 6,000 rpm.

There’s also a three-apex right-hander with a fast third-gear entry at the end of the backstraight. It’s the most challenging section of the track, and the Performante’s stability is impressive as we enter hard on the brakes and drop it down to second to finish the corner hard on the power. It’s massive 20-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa’s are incredibly forgiving, and the compliance of the suspension over the track’s tall curbing is a nice surprise.

It’s almost stupid how easy it is to drive this car fast. The Huracán’s gargantuan cross-drilled carbon-ceramic brakes are foolproof, with telepathic pedal feel and awesome heat resistance even after constant lapping on a 100-degree day. There was a time not too many years ago that Lamborghini brakes would have caught fire and failed under such conditions.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Lamborghini’s ANIMA system offers three modes: Strada, Sport and Corsa. In Strada, Lambo says traction and stability are prioritized, and it’s easy to find the point at which its electronic watchdogs step in on the track. In Sport, the all-wheel-drive system offers a more rear-wheel-drive bias, and the stability control system loosens up enough for some light rotation. Also, the transmission will upshift for you, even in manual mode. In Corsa, the transmission is completely manual, and the stability control allows for plenty of oversteer.

Lamborghini says demand for the Performante is high. However, buyers should know that there’s a Spyder version coming and it’s sure to steal thunder from this hardtop, especially in the States.

But the Performante’s real issue is Lamborghini’s new SUV, which will begin to overshadow the supercar the instant it is unveiled on Dec. 4. The much-anticipated Urus is the Italian automaker’s most important new product since the Countach in 1974, and according to Alessandro Farmeschi, the COO of Lamborghini North America, it’ll double the company’s production when it goes on sale next year.

When that bomb drops, the Huracán Performante will no longer be the Lambo of the moment. Its 15 minutes will be up. Hell, that game clock is already ticking. But until then, let’s enjoy the Performante for what it is: Lamborghini’s best sports car ever. It’s a masterpiece—a masterpiece with unfortunate timing.

Related Video:

2017 Pebble Beach Concept Car Lawn: A unique chance to see concepts in one place

A Kia Stinger GT is not a concept car. Neither is the Fux Fuschia McLaren 720S or Lamborghini Huracan Performante. The Maserati Gran Turismo is certainly not – it’s almost a classic at this point. Yet, look beyond some of the questionable inclusions for the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Concept Car Lawn, and you’ll see a diverse selection of concept cars from carmakers ranging from Infiniti and Genesis to Pagani and Aston Martin. Volkswagen even made an appearance with its I.D. Buzz.

It’s always cool to see concept cars outside studio and auto show lights, and Pebble Beach is one of the few opportunities to do so. The cars featured include these notable models:

Enjoy the gallery, and stay tuned for more coverage from Monterey car week.

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Viper fans are at the Nurburgring to reclaim production-car speed record

With the outgoing generation of the Viper, Dodge missed a fabulous opportunity to set another Nürburgring lap record. The company did it, twice, with the previous-generation Viper ACR, but never went back with the latest ACR, and it definitely won’t now that the car is being discontinued. This is why a group of Viper fans began fundraising back in January to take ACRs to the ‘Ring for one more shot at glory. And, right now, that group is in Germany preparing for the attempt.

The team made it thanks to support from GoFundMe donors, and sponsorship from Kumho Tires and Prefix, a design and prototype company based in Michigan. They’re using two Viper ACR GTS-R commemorative-edition cars, which are appropriate for competing track cars since they have the same white-with-blue-stripes color scheme as Dodge’s old Viper GTS-R racecars. The cars are supplied from ViperExchange and BJ Motors and equipped with Kumho Ecsta V720 tires.

According to the group’s Facebook page, the team has been practicing since Wednesday, July 19. A video posted today highlighted that the only mechanical issue so far has been an overheating problem that was solved with a new thermostat. Each car is running a different suspension setup for practice – one soft, the other hard – and they’ll adjust them as needed. The plan is that both cars will use the same setup on the record attempt. To claim the record without any argument will require beating the 6:45.9 time set by the Nio EP9 electric car. Right behind it is the Radical SR8LM, which is technically street-legal, but not really a street car. It set a time of 6:48. As for true street cars with gasoline engines, the target the Viper team will really want to beat is the Lamborghini Huracan Performante, which pulled off a time of 6:52. You can track the team’s progress at its Facebook page.

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2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante First Drive | The Banshee of Sant’Agata

Lamborghini didn’t need to build the Huracán Performante. The folks in Sant’Agata could have just rolled out another special-edition Huracán – Superleggera, Tricolore, probably even Mostacholi – and sold every one. Instead, they gave the junior Lamborghini a trick active aerodynamics system and updated everything enabled by new levels of downforce and more grip from the latest-generation of tires. And then just to prove it’s not messing around, Lamborghini went out and set at new production-car Nürburgring Lap Record.

The Huracán Performante is a statement. This is Lamborghini’s way of saying that its future will not just be high-tech, but the kind that brings world-class performance. And it will be loud. Very loud.

Sound is the most defining characteristic of this car. In the era of turbocharging, everything else is too quiet. Quiet is not a problem in the Performante. In track-ready Corsa mode (one of three settings), the exhaust drowns out everything, even your internal monologue. And it’s not just loud, it sounds like an honest-to-god racecar. Making a V10 sound not just decent, but back-of-the-neck-hair thrilling, would have been enough.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

But as we’ve hinted, there’s more to the Huracán Performante. So how did we get here? Lamborghini rolled out the Performante title to define all-encompassing performance. So the all-wheel-drive system stays, the engine gets tweaked, some weight goes out, and Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA, or Lamborghini Active Aerodynamics) comes in. Fun fact: Ala means “wing” in Italian.

We’ve covered most of the details in earlier posts, but to quickly review: ALA uses internal flaps at the front splitter and on the rear wing to alter airflow, either running for maximum downforce or creating a stall effect that lowers drag. At the rear, the system channels air through the wing struts, and using each side independently aids the handling. The increased downforce, plus sticky new Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, necessitated a retuning of the suspension. Through new springs and anti-roll bars, vertical stiffness is up 10 percent, and roll stiffness increases 15 points.

The engine gets a new intake and exhaust, plus titanium intake valves that allow more lift. The improved breathing is good for 630 horsepower, 28 more than before, with 443 pound-feet of torque. And to tie it all together, the integrated chassis control system (Lamborghini calls it ANIMA) was recalibrated.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

The revised aerodynamics also come with new front and rear bodywork. It’s most prominent at the rear, where the high-mounted exhaust underlines the FIA GT3 vibe of this car. Inside, it’s the now familiar hexagon-and-jet-fighter theme of the Huracán, only now with overt callouts to the Forged Composite (Lambo’s take on compression-molded carbon fiber) HVAC vents. It’s a bit conspicuous, but if you get to a seated position in a Huracán without realizing that already, you’re missing the point.

So we have a lineup of day-glo Performantes, sporting wings reminiscent of the Countach, lined up in pit row at the Autodromo Enzo i Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy. Imola is one of motorsport’s most sacred temples, and not just because of the tragedy that took Aryton Senna’s life. It’s an old-school track, the kind where every second of a fast lap is on the edge and the walls seem far too close.

The Huracán, prior to the Performante, was not an ideal modern supercar. At least not to this writer. It does all the right things but with less character than you’d expect from an Italian wedge-car. And it always has understeer at the ready. The Performante, however, is an entirely different Huracán.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

First off, ALA works. You can feel it in the way the car jukes right and left until you realize you can put in less steering. But also because the understeer is gone in the Huracán. It’s tenacious with its grip, but also balanced. Much of this is also due, no doubt, to the tires. But the higher limits of the Performante also come with more engagement at every speed. They took the Huracán and added back the character it needed all along.

Which brings us back to the noise, and the magic that is a naturally aspirated engine. Throttle response is instant in the Performante, and the car reaches the 8,500-rpm redline so fast that cracking off the next gear with the paddle shifter makes the seven-speed dual clutch buck with displeasure. Time the shift better, and things go smoother. The same cannot be said for the suspension, which feels racecar-stiff when clipping curbs through Imola’s numerous chicanes. On the street in the softer Strada and Sport modes (which disable ALA, by the way, lest you juke into a median divider), the ride is softer, even downright livable.

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante

Set the Nürburgring numbers aside. The outright speed of a seasoned pro does not necessarily correlate to how a car feels. But the Performante feel special. It communicates its speed to the driver, and moves in predictable ways that can take you from, “Oh my god Imola is terrifying,” to, “Oh my god I just grabbed sixth gear through the sweeping left at the start/finish line and kept the throttle pegged,” in a handful of laps.

After that, things got pretty emotional. Imola is, after all, a special place. But the Huracán Performante is a special car. It’s easily the best car Lamborghini has ever made, and it also happens to be the fastest. Plenty of cars are fast. The Huracán Performante is faster, and has more character.

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Lamborghini: We did not cheat on Nurburgring record

“Why would we [cheat]? We have all the data, all the GPS data. It’s verified. It’s already verified.” – Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali

Lamborghini is doubling-down on the legitimacy of the Huracan Performante’s production-car record at the Nürburgring.

The Italian supercar maker should have been on a high when it launched its Huracan Performante at the Geneva Motor Show, but it was instead forced to defend the 6:52.01 lap time on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit in the wake of criticism.

Skeptics suggested the footage had been sped up from a rate of 24 frames per second to 25, arguing the ‘authentic’ lap time would have been closer to 7:08. James Glickenhaus, the owner of ultra-low volume supercar maker Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, even called for the circuit to hold a special day to verify production car lap times.

“Why would we [cheat]?” Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali asked incredulously. “We have all the data, all the GPS data. It’s verified. It’s already verified.

“The simulation we did before we did the lap was already better than the previous time [set by Porsche’s hybrid supercar, the 918 Spyder].

“What we saw was the great potential of active aerodynamics. The Nürburgring is a lot of partial throttle and long corners. The SV [Aventador] was for sure faster on the straight, but the lap [by the Performante] was all recorded.”

A Lamborghini spokesman suggested the entire controversy was rooted in “one blogger’s business model [of] paying for clicks.”

Audi Sport development head, Stephan Reil, also weighed in during last week’s Audi RS3 launch, insisting Lamborghini would have had no reason to cheat at anything and that its active aerodynamics would have more than made up for any power shortfalls. Audi is a sister brand of Lamborghini under the ownership of Volkswagen Group.

“We also know that architecture well [the Huracan shares its architecture with Reil’s R8]. We know what it’s capable of,” Reil said. “The Performante ‘Ring time is absolutely credible. Active aero makes a huge difference.

“We did a TT production racer for the ‘Ring with about 380 horsepower and gave it maximum wing. It was so slow down the straight that everybody passed it, but the overall lap time was very, very fast. Much faster than without the aero downforce. So I know how much real aero downforce gives you, and Lamborghini worked out how to get it without paying for it down the straights.”

Related Video:

The Huracan Performante is still a supercar steal, regardless of ‘Ring time validity

When Lamborghini released video of its new Huracán Performante lapping the Nürburgring in a stunning 6:52, not everyone was convinced the record was honest. As a result, Lamborghini’s director of research and development provided some data to Roadshow to shore up the lap time claim. He addressed the tire issue by telling Roadshow that the car used the optional Pirelli Trofeo Rs. And he noted that it was quicker than its more powerful brother, the Aventador SV, because it cornered and accelerated faster. He even provided VBox data of the lap.

The thing is, none of this really matters in the end, particularly for the Huracán. Let us explain.

For one thing, if you’re going to question the Performante’s time, you should question all of the times. All of these records are presented by the manufacturers, so there isn’t a truly impartial party measuring the results and inspecting cars. Even with a company presenting plenty of data and explanations, it’s hard to be 100 percent sure everything is on the level without an unbiased third party inspecting the cars before and after the lap, and keeping timing.

But besides the issue of impartiality, the times themselves aren’t really important. As interesting and fun as it is to compare lap times at the Nürburgring, they’re really only relevant for rich owners and car companies to brag, and for less-rich fans to bench race. That’s not a bad thing, but to look at the lap time of one single track doesn’t really give a full picture of a car’s performance. A car that’s fast at the Nürburgring could be really slow on a tight course like Streets of Willow Springs. There’s also the issue of who’s driving the car. The manufacturers put their top drivers out on the ‘Ring to set times. If you’re not a factory test driver, you’ll probably never go that fast even if you did get your car to the track. It’s all a bit like the silly “blind” or two-wheeled car records. They don’t actually provide much info on what the car is really like, or how you could drive it.

Even if you’re not on board with this explanation, and trust all the ‘Ring records except this Lamborghini, we still have a reason why it doesn’t matter. You see, even if you’re convinced that there’s no way the Huracán could best the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Aventador around the Nordschleife, it’s still a screaming supercar bargain. The Porsche is a million-dollar car, and the Aventador, just the base model, is $125,000 more than the Huracán Performante. A healthy skepticism about the validity of the Performante’s lap (or lap times in general) won’t diminish how impressive that is.

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The Lamborghini Huracan Performante lapped the Nurburgring in under 7 minutes

Lamborghini just released new footage of its Huracán Performante at the Nürburgring, and along with it some big news. The car managed to lap the ‘Ring in a stunningly quick time of 6:52. That time puts it ahead of the Porsche 918 Spyder’s record of 6:57 by a massive 5 seconds. It’s also just 4 seconds shy of the Radical SR8LM, which barely qualifies as a street-legal car.

Though the Huracán Performante isn’t the first Lamborghini to crack the seven-minute mark at the Nürburgring, it’s done it by the largest margin. The Aventador LP750-4 SV was the first Lambo under 7 minutes with a time of 6:59.73. Lamborghini hasn’t released specifications for this new Huracán, but it reportedly produces 630 horsepower from a V10 engine, which is substantially less than its slower 740-horsepower Aventador SV sibling. Odds are it was helped on the track by lighter weight, and the reported active aerodynamics on-board.

Check out the video above in its entirety. And then check back during the Geneva Show to see the full reveal of this monstrously fast Lambo.

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