And so to the $64,000 question: has Lamborghini finally brought the balanced, communicative, exciting handling out of the Huracán that it has so far declined to supply in both rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive forms and that it so needs to depose the car’s competitors?
It certainly started in the right place with both of the test cars that we drove: fitting the adaptive Magneride suspension to both but leaving off the frustrating LDS active steering that makes the front wheels feel so remote and unpredictable.
And on the road, the initial signs are promising. There’s greater weight and natural feel to the Performante’s steering than in any other Huracán we’ve tested before and, as it doesn’t take long to realise, a more agile-feeling blend of outright lateral grip, enhanced directional response and cornering balance than in the Performante’s range-mates.
The car’s ride is predictably firm, as it would need to be on any car proven capable of a faster lap of the Nordschleife than any proper production machine before it.
And yet it doesn’t feel nagging, unyielding or savage on the road; not, at least, if you choose Lamborghini’s Strada driving mode.
The Sport mode makes for a more rear-axle-biased torque distribution setting than Strada, but it doesn’t make the Huracán’s handling as adjustable or involving as a 488 GTB’s. There’s a pervading and ever-present sense of throttle-on stability to everything the Huracán does, even in this, its most highly strung form yet; and, it would be fair to observe, there is still a small but noticeable shortage of feedback and delicacy to its handling repertoire relative to its peers.
But is there ever titanic grip, purpose, stability and speed about this car when Corsa mode is selected, when the tyres and brakes have been brought up to optimum temperature, and it has been set loose on a circuit.
Such is the adhesion those optional Trofeo R tyres develop against dry tarmac that you almost feel you’ll never find its limit. It was a limit distant enough, by the way, to take 0.4sec off our MIRA Dunlop handling circuit lap record (set by the Porsche 918 Spyder in 2014) and to suggest that, right now, there may very well be no faster road-legal circuit car in the world than the Performante.
The day we took the the Performante to MIRA started with a deluge lasting two hours, after which we feared MIRA’s tarmac surfaces would simply not dry out.