Rolls-Royce’s iconic flying lady bonnet ornament is depicted in an original Arabic artwork
The sharply honed Lambo brings the best of the track to the road
Eduan R. Maggo
Humans are stupid, and drivers might be the most stupid of the lot. Don’t believe me? Watch a couple of YouTube videos of dashcam compilations.
What you see isn’t pretty: we’re impulsive, entitled and arrogant — not qualities you want in someone operating a deadly machine. On the other hand, these videos also showcase how fragile cars really are, susceptible to the slightest bit of force. You needn’t have aced high school physics to know what happens when one body meets another, although Sir Isaac Newton formulated the science behind it. One idiotic action can have dire consequences.
Which doesn’t make the prospect of getting behind the wheel of the new Lamborghini Huracán Performante any easier. It is a gloriously beautiful car, with that outrageous styling that can’t but turn heads. No, this isn’t a car for introverts — people next to you at traffic lights will roll down their windows and engage you, most often to ask that you rev the engine to release that deep growl that strikes fear into many a supercar.
Also, because humans are stupid, others will rev their own (usually muscle car) engines to entice you into impromptu drag races. As if they could compete with what was proven to be — until very recently — the fastest roadcar in the world. The special edition Performante features a 5.2-litre V10 aspirated engine that comes with higher torque than the base Huracán model, and power output of 640hp. This translates to this super sportscar doing 0-100km/h in a mere 2.9 seconds, and racing on to a top speed of more than 325km/h.
And yes, the force of putting your foot down does push you back into your seat in the most exhilarating way possible. Bucket seats that, incidentally, aren’t the most comfortable, seeing that they’re made of carbon fibre with very little padding. But this combination speaks to the Huracán Performante’s raison d’être: it’s a track car that’s road legal. And on the track you want things as light as possible; on the road, the vehicle’s carbon fibre construction is palpable with every manoeuvre. It handles exactly like you expect a racecar to — like a go-kart on steroids.
Lamborghini is very proud of this car’s technical attributes, which includes one of the most advanced active aerodynamics systems on a road car. They’ve upgraded the wing meant to stabilise the car in an intuitive manner. See, instead of that big rear wing angling up for more downforce and flattening out to reduce drag, Lamborghini developed what it calls the ALA system, or Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva. It works through ducts that open and close on the hollow wing, to either reduce drag or increase downforce. There’s a similar valve ducting system on the front splitter, which maximises grip in the corners and reduces drag in the straights. Furthermore, the car channels air differently from left to right, so there’s more grip on the inside in a corner for turns at speed that shouldn’t be possible.
While there are obvious benefits to driving a track car on the road, the downside is you’re not as insulated from road noise as you might want to be. But you’re also more connected to the road through Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires developed specifically for the Huracán Performante’s dual purpose — expect to feel every speed bump and every speed breaker on cornering intersections. The interior is much more luxurious than track cars are allowed to be, all dark Alcantara and forged composite. The AC is more than adequate for the UAE heat, and the rudimentary entertainment system is more than sufficient. Sure, it doesn’t have the most leg-or headroom, but that’s not what this car is built for.
It’s about bringing Monaco to Dubai, making every trip to the supermarket like starting from pole position. This is a driver’s car. And flipping those fighter-jet buttons will fill you with juvenile excitement that is almost guaranteed to add to your stupidity.
Which might earn you a spot in one of those compilations. But if all this talk of the horrors of driving as captured by dashcams has you too scared or angry to get behind the wheel, there is a remedy: Watch “instant karma” dashcam compilations, where idiotic drivers get their comeuppance. Because nothing makes us feel better than seeing others suffer. Schadenfreude. Like I said, humans are stupid. Flip the switch.
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