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A new Lord of the Ring – Lamborghini brings back the analogue supercar

Car designer, supercar expert, and regular Classic Driver contributor Chris Hrabalek believes that, four years after the launch of the LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 Spyder, the eco hybrid hypercar is already dead — long live the naturally aspirated combustion engine…

Twenty-seventeen will go down in automotive history books as the year that the mechanical automobile struck back. Following the dark times of OEM-led indoctrination, in which we were lectured about ‘efficiency’, ‘reduction’, and ‘sustainability’ and the relevance of these words in the context of the limited-production hypercar, it’s taken a group of passionate Italians to slap us in the face and bring us back to our senses.

The belief that it takes a battery-laden hypercar to set fastest lap times has been halted in its tracks, as the chronometers on our wrists prove the automotive world is no longer flat. The brave men from Sant’Agata have shown us that all you need is a mighty V10, a noisy exhaust, and a couple of gallons of ‘dirty’ petrol to make our heartbeats soar, goosebumps rise, and the lap record at the Nürburgring tumble.

Recent limited-edition purists’ cars, such as the Ferrari F12 TdF and the Porsche 911 R, have already proven that punters are more interested in the romance of yesterday than the uncertainty of tomorrow, bolstering the argument that maximum horsepower, performance statistics, and lap times are not the Top Trumps of every car game. Thanks to Lamborghini’s Huracán Performante, with its 6:52.0 Nordschleife lap, the latter is now no longer a pro-hybrid argument at all.

One of the secrets behind Lamborghini’s ‘magical six’ is an aerodynamic concept that hides behind the abbreviation ALA, standing for Aerodynamica Lamborghini Attiva — incidentally, ala also happens to be the Italian word for ​wing. The ALA system makes use of two independently operated flaps in the front splitter, as well as two clever aero channels leading through the engine cover to the inside struts of the rear spoiler, before exiting on the underside of the wing. 

Operating within two-tenths of a second, ALA also introduces a new concept called ‘Aero Vectoring’, which, once Corsa mode has been activated by way of a button on the steering wheel, ensures more rear downforce at the inside of the curve. By closing the flaps to the rear wing on one side only, a yaw moment is created, literally forcing the car into and out of each corner. Incredibile ma vero

Design-wise, the Huracán Performante shows its new, performance-derived suit without losing the sophisticated play of surface tension that characterised the original model. Its stance is tasty, with a divine three-quarter view that flaunts a prominent yet stylistically beautiful rear-end, featuring higher exhaust tips above a generous diffuser.

Julius Kruta, long-time Pebble Beach judge and Head of Tradition at Bugatti, once wrote that automotive culture starts when one’s deliberate use of a motorcar is for the sole purpose of enjoying said car on the roads travelling upon. Thus, one does not require a destination to travel to — it’s the experience that becomes the destination. Time will tell what kind of motorcar we choose to experience and express our automotive desires within, but it now seems very likely that, at least for some of us, it will be a Raging Bull — one that continues to feed on black gold.

Photos: Lamborghini

You can find a selection of Lamborghinis, including the Huracán, listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.