The Lamborghini Huracán Performante is the king of the Nürburgring. It currently holds the track's quickest lap time of 6:52.01, and it ousted the Porsche 918 Spyder in the process from the top spot. How did it get there? We're glad you asked.
So is Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained fame. EE's latest episode explains how the Huracán Performante's active aerodynamic system helped make the record-setting lap time possible. Lamborghini calls it Aerodynamica Lamborghini Attiva, or ALA. We'll call it active aero from here on out.
To begin, the front spoiler helps to either create a lot of downforce or minimize drag with a hinge-operated system. At the rear, a hinge in the system either directs air above the wing in a clean fashion, producing downforce, or upward towards the spoiler. When the hinge opens, the air flow mixes with the low pressure from the wing alone and reduces drag and downforce. Great, so why is this all important?
The benefits occur in different scenarios. When braking, the hinges are closed, which maximizes downforce at the front and rear of the Huracán Performante. It will also help provide additional downforce for braking, slowing the car with the magic of aerodynamics. Under full throttle, the hinges open to minimize drag and downforce, effectively making the car as slippery as it can be at high speeds.
But part of the active aero system's claim to fame is the "Aero Vectoring" system, which Lamborghini says improves cornering speeds by reducing the amount of steering input required. Is it fluff, or does it have the chops? Jason says it does make sense. To a degree.
As the car goes around a corner, more downforce is applied to the inside rear tire than the outside rear tire. During braking, this can help pivot the car around the corner better. This, in turn, means less steering input and more cornering via braking. However, it doesn't necessarily mean the car will be moving at a faster speed, according to Jason. The fact Lamborghini opted to not utilize the system at the front of the car also lends to Jason's theory since the company itself did not see any advantage in cornering speeds at the front.
So, to summarize Aero Vectoring: helps with braking and cornering, yes. Makes for faster cornering speeds, not so much.
Overall, the system is downright impressive. The hinges and valves open in 0.2 seconds, much quicker than a hydraulic system, and it also saves weight over the traditional hydraulic setup, too. Grab a full dose of aerodynamic insight in the video right up above.