Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the new Lamborghini Hurácan Performante – the hardcore version of Sant’Agata’s junior supercar ditches the Superleggera nameplate used on fettled versions of the previous Gallardo, because light weight is no longer the only trick in this car’s playbook.

Yes, with a dry weight of 1,382 kg, the Performante is 40 kg lighter than the standard Hurácan – this is thanks to the use of Lamborghini’s Forged Composite material, which utilises chopped carbon fibres in a resin to produce lightweight, complex geometrical shapes beyond that possible with traditional carbon fibre, without compromising rigidity. The material is used liberally on the exterior of the car, including the front and rear spoiler, the engine cover, rear bumper and diffuser.

But the real party piece of the Performante is its new active aerodynamics system, Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA). The whole ensemble, electronically actuated and therefore 80% lighter than a hydraulic setup, consists of two front flaps in the complex front spoiler and two more on the engine cover, the latter feeding air to the massive rear wing.

Lamborghini’s Piattaforma Inerziale (LPI), which governs the car’s electronic systems in real-time, can open and close the flaps in just 500 milliseconds to optimise the flow of air around the car. When the flaps are closed, the front spoiler and fixed rear wing work as designed to increase downforce under cornering and braking – up to 750% more than the standard Hurácan.

On the straights, the flaps open, reducing pressure on the front spoiler and channelling air through an inner channel and the car’s specially-shaped underside. At the rear, air is now directed through the inner channels of the rear wing and ridges on the underside of the wing. All this reduces aerodynamic drag, enabling the Performante to accelerate harder.

As the rear wing is designed to allow aero vectoring under high-speed cornering, the system can even open only the left or right rear flap depending on the direction on the corner, increasing downforce on the inner wheel to counteract load transfer under roll. This in turn optimises the chassis’ momentum, requiring a reduced steering angle and improving the car’s overall dynamic stability.

The rest of the car has been uprated to follow suit. The 5.2 litre naturally-aspirated, direct-injected V10 now produces 640 hp at 8,000 rpm and 600 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, 30 hp and 40 Nm more than before. The increased outputs come as a result of optimised intake and exhaust fluid dynamics, a more efficient air intake and new titanium valves that allow for higher valve lift.

Meanwhile, the exhaust is now lighter and has reduced back pressure; the exits are now higher and more centrally located than before. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been also optimised to match the increased performance. All in all, the Performante is able to fling itself from zero to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds (down from 3.2 seconds), before hitting 200 km/h a whole second quicker at 8.9 seconds.

Under the skin, the Performante’s suspension is 10% stiffer than the standard Hurácan, while roll stiffness has been increased by 15%. The stiffness of the radial and axial arm bushings has also been improved by 50%, significantly enhancing lateral control. Magneto rheological dampers are available as an option, and both passive and active systems have been designed to improve body and wheel control, especially on track.

The electromechanical power steering and optional Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (LDS) have been retuned to improve response and maximise driver feedback across the revised Anima system’s Strada, Sport and Corsa modes, while the all-wheel drive system has been tuned to work with ALA and the new P Zero Corsa tyres. The stability control has also been recalibrated to be smoother and less intrusive in its intervention.

As standard, the Performante sits on 20-inch Narvi forged multi-spoke alloy wheels, with centre-locking Loge items available as an option – as are Trofeo R street-legal track tyres. They hide carbon ceramic disc brakes with six-piston callipers at the front and four pistons at the rear, with a retuned ABS that offers improved performance and pedal feedback; the result is a braking distance from 100 km/h to zero of just 31 m.

All this resulted in the Performante setting the lap record for production vehicles on the Nürburgring Nordschleife – at 6 minutes 52.01 seconds, the uprated Hurácan was five seconds quicker than the Porsche 918 Spyder and nearly eight seconds ahead of its Aventador SV stablemate.

Outside, the Performante is differentiated via a more aggressive front end, designed to look like a striking snake, while the rear of the car has been inspired by naked streetfighter motorcycles with their exposed frames. The side features matt black rocker covers and the Italian tricolore, which contrast against the matte orange Arancio Anthaeus paint debuting on the Performante.

The interior offers reminders of the car’s lightweight nature, with Forged Composite appearing on the air vents, paddle shifters, door handles and the center console. The sports seats, upholstered in Alcantara, can be optioned with a contrasting lasered ‘Y’ graphic; buyers can also specify comfort seats in the same trim.

The new digital cockpit displayed can be configured depending on the drive mode, with a specific display showing the workings of the ALA system, including aero vectoring. There is also support for Apple CarPlay and its iPhone apps including the Lamborghini telemetry system, which allows the driver to record, replay and study their own performance.