They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and they’re right. This year’s R&T Performance Car Of The Year marks the fifth anniversary of a feature that still has a that new-car smell to it as far as we’re concerned. Here’s something else to make that same point: the movie Happy Gilmore was released more than twenty-one years ago.
At the time that Happy Gilmore was filmed, Lamborghini was still building the Diablo, most notably in VT Roadster form. The Diablo VT Roadster was more or less unsurpassed at being outrageous, which is probably why Donald Trump bought one in 1997, but like Happy Gilmore at the beginning of that movie it was far from possessing any sort of well-rounded excellence. In the years that followed, Lamborghini was acquired by VW Group, which promised to improve the everyday usability of the product. In other words, they were going to teach Happy Gilmore to putt.
The Gallardo, Murcielago, and Aventador that followed were much better ownership propositions, but they lacked some of the essential outrageousness that had defined the Lambo brand in previous years. They were also fairly lackluster around a racetrack. That wasn’t important during the Countach and Diablo eras but for modern buyers who expected their supercars to post impressive results both at their local lead-follow trackday and around the Nurburgring it was a major drawback.
You know how I’m going to sum this up: Happy learned to putt. It’s true. The Huracan Performante is the first all-purpose superstar in Lamborghini’s history, equally and absolutely comfortable in situations ranging from the valet-parking spots outside the Tower Bar to a late-afternoon grocery-store run to a young man’s dorm-room poster to the suspension-killing grade change at the bottom of the Fuchsrohre.
It’s going to put some blood in the water at your local exotic-car showroom, trust me. There’s just one question left: Was it good enough to best all challengers and win this year’s PCOTY? Stick around to find out–and we will do what we can to make the time fly.