Did Lamborghini Fake Their Porsche-Beating Nurburgring Lap Time Video?
This video seems to prove the conspiracy theory, but does it really matter?
In case you've been asleep all week, or your wifi has been inoperable for the last 72 hours, Lamborghini laid claim to the world's fastest lap time for a production automobile at the Nurburgring Nordschleife with their Huracan Performante setting a lap time of six minutes fifty-two seconds point-oh-one. That is a mighty impressive time, especially considering Porsche's hybrid hypercar 918 Spyder produced a lap time some five seconds slower. There are a number of ways for a Porsche apologist like myself to explain it away, including the fact that the Performante is fitted with special Pirelli Trofeo R variants and the fact that the newly-repaved Flugplatz section of the track is much faster than it was when Porsche set their lap.
Before we go any further into this mess, here is Lamborghini's lap video.
And here's Porsche's 918 Spyder lap video.
First, we saw the unofficial Nurburgring aficionados at "Bridge To Gantry" waving the BS flag, comparing the Huracan video to an earlier Lamborghini Aventador lap time video. There were multiple instances of the Huracan Performante video showing lower speeds than the Aventador's video over the same stretch of the track and yet posting a better time through that sector. You can see the analysis of their allegations in this post here. It requires a bit of tin-foil-hat style thinking, but the maths seem to check out.
In case that wasn't enough, this video by Misha Charoudin found a few discrepancies in Lamborghini's posted video, including some possible video splicing. Check out his argument here. He's done a bit of math as well, which you can see in this excel spreadsheet.
And then YouTube genius SouthCoastKate had the best response to all of this nonsense. Check this out, Lamborghini set another new record!
Now, don't get us wrong, we're not bitter about Lamborghini supposedly breaking Porsche's lap record, we're just curious why the video doesn't seem to back up their claims. More than anything, this just brings to light the fact that these alleged Nurburgring lap times are nothing more than the manufacturer beating their chest and they don't really mean anything at all to anyone. There is no regulating body to determine the validity of the claims that each manufacturer makes (Porsche included!), and nobody on hand at the track to determine that the cars are indeed production specification. It's possible that Lamborghini could have been running non-standard stickier tires, or perhaps they had the software engineers on hand to pump up the engine mapping for more power than the car will actually have in dealerships. We're not making claims that Lamborghini, or anyone else for that matter, actually commit these quasi-fraudulent acts, but we're not saying that they don't. Remember, race fuel can't melt steel beams!
When are we, as an automotive culture, going to agree that these lap times don't really mean anything, that they don't affect how a car drives on the street?