Lamborghini Huracan Performant: the celebration of one of the last engines V10

The 10-cylinder engine is unique.

Car engines have been made with one, two, three, four, five, six, eight, 12 and 16 cylinders, and Volkswagen even once ran a W18, but the V10 is just, because only the one that has been used to make cars more exciting. Many V12s were built for the luxury cars, and three 16-cylinder engines to be installed in road cars to date, only Bugatti has been used for the pure performance. But the V10? Whatever it was, it was there to raise the hairs on the neck – and not for any other reason.

I heard my first almost 30 years ago and it was love at first sound. Interestingly, it was in an Alfa Romeo 164. Or something that looked like a 164. In fact, it was the Alfa Procar, a machine produced in anticipation of a silhouette of the formula proposed by Bernie Ecclestone as a support series to Formula 1. It came with a mid-mounted 3.5-liter V10 that produces 630bhp at 13,500 rpm and sounded wonderful and terrifying in equal parts.

And now, three decades later, I’m listening to what could be the last. No one has officially called time on the V10 engine but its days seem numbered. During the last twelve years, BMW has stopped using them, and the Lexus came and went, as did Porsche. Audi V10 was removed from his warm rooms and farms, and the largest of the V10 unconditional of them all, the Dodge Viper, has ceased production. In fact, there is only one to the left and you will see it under the engine cover of the Audi R8, or, in set form, this Lamborghini Hurricane Performant. Is the motor equivalent of the horse of Przewalski.

Lamborghini R&D chief: why does the V10 and V12 are here to stay

I understand why it should be, at least, most of the time. I understand that, in comparison with a smaller twin-turbo V8, V10 normally aspirated is larger and therefore more difficult to package. It produces less torque and needs more revs to do so. I understand very well that it is less easy to coerce a V10 breathing air at atmospheric pressure in the provision of socially acceptable economy and emissions data of a forced-induction V8. And I also understand that it is not a V12, never to be seen fairly to the top. This material is important, such as Bentley and Mercedes-Benz will tell you: some people will pay stupid sums of money just to know that there are 12 pistons oscillate up and down under their hats, regardless of the cheapest, usually the best alternatives.

But then there are those occasional moments when, frankly, I don’t understand at all. This is one of them. I am typing this with the sound of the Lamborghini V10 still ringing in my ears. Now I know that this is the kind of thing you writer types say without great thought, but I’m not one of them. Right now, I have residual tinnitus that was not there before I drove the car. And I don’t care at all, whether it’s keeping the experience of the motor to live just a little more time before it starts to convert to a simple memory. And, yes, I’ve heard a lot of powerful engines before, a lot of that beautiful sound and much more melodic than this. But I’ve not heard a lot more interesting.

There is something about the V10 that is different. I won’t bore you with the science, but on any engine with a cylinder number that is a multiple of five is unbalanced. In terms of technology, is subject to the first-and second-order vibrations, so that should not really work, and in fact does not really work without a careful application of anti-balance measures. The result is a grungy, off-beat voice, a million miles from mainstream, popular approach. I think Janis Joplin in front of Celine Dion and wonder that he had prefers to listen.

But that is not the only reason why V10s came on the road cars more than 70 years after she made the V12. Another problem that feeds itself: because five is an odd number, there were only two ways to ensure the equal amount of fuel reaches all the cylinders in a bank of five – either through the use of a single carburetor, which was terribly inefficient, or five, which led to the nightmare of optimization problems. It was only when the fuel injection started to become common that these problems went away; and once he had a success of five-cylinder petrol engine, as was presented in the Audi 100 in 1976, then simply doubling the number of cylinders are easily installed.

The next Lamborghini Huracan due in 2022 will be plug-in hybrid

Even so, it took me a while, because the question of why anyone would want a V10 remained. Took two other manufacturers who never put a 10 cylinder engine in a road car to provide the answer. This time, it was Honda and Renault, and the motivation of the F1. When turbos were banned at the start of the season of 1989, both of them agreed with the Alfa Romeo that the best number of cylinders of the new 3.5-litre formula was 10. It turned out to be a good idea because V10-powered cars won all but one of the F1 constructors ‘ championship until it was banned in the year 2006. So in reality, the reason all those V10 road cars began to appear, beginning in 1992, the Viper on, has marketing. Like paddle-shift gearboxes, something that gave him something that only an F1 driver who until then had enjoyed was always going to be a powerful sales tool. And now these engines are a distant memory, the motivation to buy one seems to be dying with them.

It makes Me sad because it is said that the real draw of a motor is not what is done by the driver, but what you think that says about him or her.

I find myself wanting to scream ‘just listen to the bloody thing” rarely more than when recently recovered from the inside of a hard Hurricane. The V10 adds a completely different dimension to this Lamborghini: in my book, the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S are both better cars, but they can make you want to drop the windows, to hold on to lower gears and having to squint your eyes more OS maps for any tunnels they might reveal? They can’t. They don’t make my ears ring, at least not like this.

And I admire the Lamborghini and, in fact, Audi for sticking with it, in the same way that I admire McLaren for their refusal to renounce hydraulic power steering. Both make cars that are better equipped car, and in cars like these, that should trump all other considerations. No one ever bought a Ferrari or a McLaren on the preference of a Lamborghini for your little less dire on the role of CO2 emissions.

But I am concerned about. We know that turbo engines are coming to the R8, and we know that the Volkswagen Group is still looking for ways to save money on expensive programs some of their clients lose. A V10 of the production line seem as likely a place to wield the axe as any. And that would be it: a stroke of a bean of sale of the pen on a piece of paper in Wolfsburg and the V10 could be dead, and I don’t doubt, killed her to stay. Sitting here, Hurricane is still howling and screaming away in my head, I guess I should be glad that I knew that the V10.

Tuned super cars: experiencing a Audi R8 V10 with 906bhp

The best street V10s

1992 DODGE VIPER – An engine originally intended for a pick-up truck, but recast in aluminium by Lamborghini. Is displaced 8.0 liters and, when we turn to him in the Viper, provides the best performance of any road car we’d driven. As the first V10 road car to go on sale, the Viper was a milestone that was to last 25 years.

2002 VOLKSWAGEN TOUAREG 5.0 TDI – Which remains the only one in the world V10 SUV, and although the 313bhp engine was technologically humble (which shares its bore and stroke, with a 68bhp four-cylinder diesel), there was no doubt of their effectiveness. Would tow a house without realizing it.

2004 PORSCHE CARRERA GT – As blue-blooded a V10 as you’ll find: a 5.5-liter 603bhp engine designed to win at Le Mans. Then the rules changed and Porsche pulled out and wondered what to do with the project. This car was the answer and the V10 one of the most rare but the best Porsche engines of all time.

2005 BMW M5 (E60) – BMW was in Formula 1 at the time and wanted to take advantage of. Do not fluff the opportunity. The 5.0-liter V10 engine used in the M5 was a burning, screaming monster of an engine that was able to reach out to 8200rpm and pull 500bhp at the rear wheels.

2010 LEXUS LFA – Not only the largest V10 never to reach production, but a good candidate for the greatest supercar engine of all time, and without a doubt the best sound. It would rev past 9000rpm. There were 4.8-liter, 552bhp and the type of soundtrack that you would like played at your funeral.

Used V10s that we have found for sale

The BMW M5 (E60) – 2006, 54,000 miles, £ 18,500: a heck of a lot of supercar saloon for the price of a Vauxhall Astra, but be careful when buying. The propulsion system has known problems to do your research and buy a well maintained example with a impeccable history.

View all used BMW M5s for sale in the Pistonheads Classified

AUDI S6 AVANT – 2007, 74,000 miles, £ 10,500: a full-size estate with an engine connected with a Lamborghini — and all for the price of a small modern tin box. S6s are not great in the corners and in the fuel bills will make you cry, but the engine is world class.

View all the used Audi A6 for sale with Pistonheads Classified

VOLKSWAGEN PHAETON – 2006, 87,000 miles, £ 6790: V10 bargain of the century? A huge limousine with a huge V10 diesel for less money than all but the cheapest new Dacia Sandero. The engine is so understressed that it is likely to be less than half way through its useful life, also.

See all the used Volkswagen Phaeton for sale with Pistonheads Classified

LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO LP560-4 – 2009, 30,000 miles, £ 92,000: the early Gallardos can be purchased for less than £70k but the 2009-model – year facelift transformed the car for the better. Avoid two-pedal E-gear versions. Carbon, brakes feel horrible.

View all used Lamborghini Gallardo for sale with Pistonheads Classified

AUDI R8 V10 QUATTRO – 2009 27,000 miles, £ 56,000: an early V10 with a manual gearbox is probably the most charming, easily available version of the R8. The V8 has a little more sweet handling, but it lacks the V10 of the knockout punch. Supply abundant, and at reasonable prices.

View all used Audi R8 for sale with Pistonheads Classified

Read more

Lamborghini R&D chief: why does the V10 and V12 are here to stay

The next Lamborghini Huracan due in 2022 will be plug-in hybrid

Tuned super cars: experiencing a Audi R8 V10 with 906bhp

Audi R8 review

Porsche Carrera GT review

Lamborghini Huracan Performante review