Lift off, coast for a moment, tickle the other pedal… and breathe. Much as the sustained discharge of 631bhp leaves you speechless, it’s not the only reason we’re on an autobahn. Lamborghini needed this car chaperoned back home to Sant’Agata Bolognese from the Goodwood Festival of Speed and, when asked to go long and hard in arguably the greatest driver’s Lambo to date, the only answer is ‘sì’. On arrival, we’ll visit the factory to assess how much of an upheaval the company’s entry into the world of SUVs has created, but for now it’s all about having one last blast with what, in the future, we’ll undoubtedly refer to as a proper Lamborghini.
It’s an enviable trip, but also one that raises some interesting questions. For one, how polished is too polished? Modern engineering means even trackday specials like the £215,000 Performante could, by the coating of their titanium con-rods, now have the breadth for grand touring. The ridiculous (deliberate?) absence of a solitary cupholder, doorbin or even a glovebox suggests otherwise, but so far the car’s ride quality has been exemplary given its role as a Nürburgring blade. To our surprise, the leather buckets – stitched with proud, vivid tricolore stripes to match the ones exploding along the outer sills – are also decently comfy. Close the exhaust valves that transformed our Eurotunnel carriage into the longest, wildest didgeridoo in existence and the car has manners, too.
The violence can be suppressed and then electronically drip-fed in via three driving modes – Strada, Sport and histrionic Corsa – along with your right ankle’s angle of attack, but you do have a choice. Question is, should there ever be a choice with cars as beautifully unhinged as the Huracán Performante? Everywhere we go, the reaction to its sinful LED headlights, prehistoric silhouette and rear plumage is the same. People turn, their mouths fall open and the hand then points. In Italy, that’s your cue to pull both paddles, dropping the transmission in neutral, and depress the accelerator. The visible enjoyment of everyone else tells you two things. First, unlike aristocratic Ferrari and po-faced Porsche, the cars that mad Lamborghini builds are strangely classless, like Hawaiian shirts. They’re the good guys: everybody loves them. Second, supercars will always capture the imagination and reveal something about the person who sees one go by.
Returning to the question, I think most people would rather cars like this left us tired and aching but wired and desperate for another hit, rather than frustrated by a perceived lack of grit. But if a sweet spot between does exist, our route to Italy gives ample opportunity to see whether the Performante nails it.
There is the autobahn, which we pick up at Kradenbach in the Rhineland. It’s a theatre in which the Performante actually does pretty well, with its speed, soft mid-engined-style spring rates and reasonable 25mpg cruising economy; this from a 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 that will go down as one of the greatest-ever road-car engines. Later on we’ll reach Baden-Baden, from where the evocatively named Black Forest High Road flows southeast, wide and smooth over low, densely wooded mountains. Day two sees us over the much more technical Silvretta Pass in Austria before heading to Innsbruck, then down into the wealthy, industrialist plains of northern Italy and Lamborghini’s hometown. It’s about 1200 miles all-in, further than many owners will drive these cars annually. More fool them.