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Despite sharing its underpinnings with the R8, the Huracán totally justifies the higher price tag
To accurately convey what it's like driving the Huracán Spyder this entire review would have to be written in onomatopoeia. Because really, the defining characteristic of this car is that whopping great 5.2-litre V10 engine. While all its rivals have whimpered down the turbocharging route, the Huracán defiantly sticks to its naturally aspirated guns. And that is an appropriate metaphor because gosh this thing is loud. And fast. Like really fast!
The V10 comes from the Gallardo but it has been poked and prodded to rouse more go. It gets a new fuel injection system that uses direct as well as port injection to increase power and reduce fuel consumption. More importantly, unlike a flat-plane crank Ferrari V8, this engine doesn't sound droney at low revs. Keep your foot flat and the acoustic character of the Huracán changes noticeably. It goes from an angry burble to a plaintive yowl as that V10 spools all the way to an ear-splitting 8,750rpm. Lift off the throttle and you're greeted with all manner of quasi racecar pops and crackles as the engine turns fuel into delicious noise on the overrun. And without a roof you can savour every last drip of that glorious sound.
To be honest, the aural histrionics and the theatre is all a bit unnecessary. But then you're in a baby blue convertible Lamborghini and it's not exactly a need based purchase is it? You buy a Volvo because you're a sensible family man and need to safely ferry your family in comfort. You buy a convertible Lamborghini, because you're a terrible show-off. Probably.
Then there is the response. Ferrari's 488 Spider is a marvel of engineering and is quite possibly one of the quickest responding turbocharged cars on the market, but the Huracán is on a different plane. Flex your right toe and there is an instantaneous forward shove; the rpms and the gear you're inmerely seem to be incidental in the equation. That's the power of an atmo V10 spinning to nearly 9,000rpm.
In almost every possible way the Huracán isamassive improvement over its Gallardo predecessor. According to Lambo it is a very specific 40 per cent stiffer than the old Gallardo convertible and it's a lot cleverer, too, with the new cringemakingly titled ANIMA (soul in Italian or Adaptive Network Intelligent Management to give it its technical name) system. It controls the magnetorheological suspension, engine, gearbox and the all-wheel drive system, and alters their characteristics depending on the chosen driving mode.
Then there is the Lamborghini Piattaforma Inerziale (LPI), which integrates with ANIMA, and uses three accelerometers and three gyroscopes to measure the movements of the car in real time. It basically goes to work when you're being an idiot being behind the wheel. The single biggest improvement is to the drivetrain, though, more specifically the gearbox. Sant'Agata calls it Lamborghini Doppia Frizione, but really it is the Audi seven-speed double clutch transmission that's also found in the new R8. And unlike the horrid robotised manual in the Gallardo, which threatened to inflict minor whiplash every time you changed gears, this one is super rapid and delivers just the right amount of aggression on upshifts.
You could realistically drive this car every day if you wanted. It's not large but it's not dainty either and in the tamest Strada (street) mode it's quiet and reasonably comfortable. Even with the roof down you can have a civilised conversation as it never gets gale-force windy in the cabin. In its softest setting it feels like a big Audi TT roadster, which is a good thing.
Switch to the most extreme Corsa (track) setting and the skies part, the ground crumbles and there is a baleful howl from the V10. The stability control goes half to sleep and the Huracán bares its substantial fangs. It's feral in maximum attack mode and even around corners, apart from the big missing piece of metal above your head, it doesn't feel blunted compared to the coupé. Well, not by a discernible margin anyway — at 3.4sec to 100kph it's just two-tenths slower in a straight line.
The steering is not finger-tippy, but it's not, ahem, tractor-spec like the old Gallardo's either. The Huracán's tiller is well balanced and conveys a fair amount of information to your palms; it's not as quick as the Ferrari 488 Spider however. This again, is a good thing in my opinion. Because recent Ferraris like the said 488 and the F12 are way too darty, and there is no concrete evidence yet that driving talents are directly proportionate to the size of your bank balance. Make no mistake, this is still a work of precision engineering. Throw a challenging piece of road at it and the Huracán Spyder just shrugs its shoulders and then proceeds to make mince meat of it. In most driving conditions its abilities are higher than yours.
The lack of a fixed roof has obviously made the Spyder heavier than the Coupé, 120kg heavier to be precise. And surprisingly, despite it being a fabric top, the mechanism alone accounts for 105kg of the added bulk. Lambo whitecoats claim the soft-top, which can open and close in just 17 seconds, allows for a lower centre of gravity unlike the folding tip-top in rivals from Ferrari and McLaren.
But in my scientific observation it just makes the Huracán way cooler than the aforementioned. It's a stunner this thing. It may not be immediately apparent, but take in the intricacies of that beautiful wedge design. It's brimming with detail without being fussy. I don't know how they've managed it but it looks striking without being ostentatious. Visually, and my soul is prepared for the hate mail this may encourage, the 488 and the 650S come across as try-hards in comparison.
To all intents and purposes, the Huracán Spyder isn't as nice to drive as the Coupé, even if marginally so. But you don't buy a convertible Lamborghini in a retinasearing hue for dynamic purity. Driving this car is an event, an occasion, it brightens up a sullen day. It looks and feels unlike anything in its class. And that makes it near well unbeatable.
Specs & Rating
|Model||Huracán LP 610-4 Spyder|
|Transmission||Seven-speed auto, AWD|
|Max Power||602bhp @ 8,250rpm|
|Max Torque||560Nm @ 6,500rpm|
|Highs||Epic engine, superb dynamics, looks|
|Lows||Not as sharp as the Coupé, but that's a given|
Check out the Mercedes-AMG GT R ride - Beastie Boy
That snarling and barking V10 is perhaps one of the greatest sounds known to man and best enjoyed with the roof down