The proliferation of electric vehicles with phenomenal acceleration numbers has caused a shift in thinking amongst the world’s makers of super- and hypercars in how to measure the performance of their high-performance vehicles.
With the Tesla Model S Plaid completing the dash to 100km/h from a standstill in just 2.1 seconds and even the cumbersome-looking Tesla Model X Plaid able to set a time of 2.6 seconds, acceleration is rapidly diminishing as a way to measure a car’s performance.
That’s according to Lamborghini’s newly-appointed Asia Pacific boss, Francesco Scardaoni, who told media at the launch of the brand’s latest super sports car creation, the Lamborghini Huracan STO, that the Italian brand now considers handling and dynamics the key indicator.
“If you go back to 10 years ago, probably when we were asked the parameters to measure a car with we would say top speed, acceleration and [then] handling,” said Scardaoni. “Then top speed became a secondary measure, acceleration the first one.
“Now basically [with electrification] acceleration is no more that important. Because it’s quite easy for those kind of power units to have amazing results in acceleration.”
Electric cars don’t have the same limitations as their combustion-engined counterparts, with maximum torque available instantly at all times from their electric motors. That helps them achieve mind-bending 0-100km/h times, establishing new and seemingly impossible benchmarks.
However, according to Scardaoni, a car that can accelerate so quickly is only one part of the equation in gauging performance.
“What is really now making the difference is the drivability of the car, the handling,” he said. “Because when you have good acceleration but the car is heavy to steer, heavy to handle, you cannot have that pleasure of driving in a really fast way.
“For sure now, handling in our opinion, is one of the top priorities for a manufacturer, especially a manufacturer like Lamborghini.
“And for Lamborghini handling is crucial, a key parameter – handling is top number one priority.”