Lamborghini is doubling-down on the legitimacy of the Huracan Performante's production-car record at the Nürburgring.
"Why would we [cheat]? We have all the data, all the GPS data. It's verified. It's already verified." – Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali
The Italian supercar maker should have been on a high when it launched its Huracan Performante at the Geneva Motor Show, but it was instead forced to defend the 6:52.01 lap time on the Nürburgring's Nordschleife circuit in the wake of criticism.
Skeptics suggested the footage had been sped up from a rate of 24 frames per second to 25, arguing the 'authentic' lap time would have been closer to 7:08. James Glickenhaus, the owner of ultra-low volume supercar maker Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, even called for the circuit to hold a special day to verify production car lap times.
"Why would we [cheat]?" Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali asked incredulously. "We have all the data, all the GPS data. It's verified. It's already verified.
"The simulation we did before we did the lap was already better than the previous time [set by Porsche's hybrid supercar, the 918 Spyder].
"What we saw was the great potential of active aerodynamics. The Nürburgring is a lot of partial throttle and long corners. The SV [ Aventador] was for sure faster on the straight, but the lap [by the Performante] was all recorded."
A Lamborghini spokesman suggested the entire controversy was rooted in "one blogger's business model [of] paying for clicks."
Audi Sport development head, Stephan Reil, also weighed in during last week's Audi RS3 launch, insisting Lamborghini would have had no reason to cheat at anything and that its active aerodynamics would have more than made up for any power shortfalls. Audi is a sister brand of Lamborghini under the ownership of Volkswagen Group.
"We also know that architecture well [the Huracan shares its architecture with Reil's R8]. We know what it's capable of," Reil said. "The Performante 'Ring time is absolutely credible. Active aero makes a huge difference.
"We did a TT production racer for the 'Ring with about 380 horsepower and gave it maximum wing. It was so slow down the straight that everybody passed it, but the overall lap time was very, very fast. Much faster than without the aero downforce. So I know how much real aero downforce gives you, and Lamborghini worked out how to get it without paying for it down the straights."