2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 Spyder review
What is it?:
You can say it’s just for narcissists. Dismiss it as a boulevard cruiser while muttering about weight and torsional rigidity, if you wish. I’d even agree that there’s real merit to that age-old anti-cabriolet argument for a number of purist sports cars. But frankly, Lamborghinis suck up attention like they suck up super-unleaded, and the Huracán was made to be an open-top. I mean, with those looks? And that noise?
So here it is. Meet the Huracán LP610-4 Spyder. Of course, it has identical running gear to that of the existing coupé, so behind your ears is a throaty 5.2-litre V10, which streams its 602bhp to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The fabric hood goes up or down in 17 seconds, at the touch of a button and at speeds of up to 30mph, but the inevitable extra mechanical gubbins needed to lift the lid have increased weight to 1542kg – around 100kg more than the coupé.
What's it like?:
So, does it feel fat and wobbly on the road? Er, no. Not remotely. On the roads around Miami, which, granted are not best suited to testing the limits of this car, it feels strung taut. There’s barely a whiff of body flex, regardless of the size of pothole or undulation. Essentially, unless you’re blessed with regular track access, it’s unlikely that what small compromises in rigidity there are will even encroach on your consciousness. Not even a little bit.
Our car was on standard dampers, which are really effective. The car bucks and shimmies over really scruffy roads, but it never corrupts the tyre contact with the road or resorts to the wince-inducing, wooden-feeling bump absorption that some hardcore sports cars can suffer from.
What could well annoy you is the rear visibility, since the rear deck of the Huracán Spyder is so high that the rear-view mirror barely shows you the roofline of the car behind. Other niggles could be that taller drivers will want for a big more leg room, but let’s face it, by any supercar standards, and particularly by Lamborghini’s standards, this is a car you really could live with every day.
Even with the roof down, the clever aero work - which includes buttresses behind the trailing edge of the window to suck the air back across the deck rather than letting it recirculate into the cabin - keeps things civilised. Put the roof up and you can see from the silhouette of the car that the airflow will be fairly uninterrupted, and sure enough, wind noise is impressively subdued. You still get a fair amount of rumble from those fat tyres, and the exhaust echoes gently in the background, but you could live with this.
In fact, anyone driving a Huracán is going to wallow in the noise. It’s a vehicular amphitheatre - an acoustic bonanza of popping, burbling, crescendoing, ravening V10 engine noise. It’s not an exhaust note; it’s an overture, and opening the roof only lets you enjoy it more.
The powertrain is a delight to use in everyday stuff or in more spirited use. Twitch the appropriately large manual paddles and you feel instantly in charge of the gearbox, as it quick-fires up or down a gear, letting you make the most of the V10 with its joyous lack of inertia and free-revving nature.
Maybe there isn’t the detonation of gut-wrenching mid-range acceleration that you get with the turbocharged McLaren 650S or Nissan GT-R, but there is real, deep satisfaction in using the long, crescendoing rev range of this engine. And whatever you compare it with, give it everything in a Huracán and it feels savagely, hilariously fast.
But there is a niggling sense of something missing in this car. And that, unfortunately, is in the handling. For a start, and as we’ve already established in the coupé, the variable-ratio Dynamic Steering that was fitted to our car is definitely one to avoid.
On top of that, the four-wheel drive system delivers the same edge of disappointment that there isn’t a little more life to it. Sure, in virtually any normal road use, the Huracán Spyder feels easily edgy enough to satisfy the majority of supercar owners. Dull, it isn’t.
But when you get the opportunity to push harder, to find out what it can do, it starts to reveal its slightly nannying tendency to understeer earlier than you’d like - to not respond to throttle feathering with the sort of elegant, millimetre-perfect adjustability of a Ferrari 488 or a McLaren 650S.
Even with all that, the Huracán is fun. Just looking at it is fun, let alone driving it. But this is not a car that ever feels completely unfettered by the veil of electronic interference. It never shrugs and says: "You think you’re man enough? You go for it."
Should I buy one?:
This brings us right back to our original point about what this car is going to be used for – who’s going to drive it, and where, because, for a lot of people, the sense that it’s there to thrill but is a few notches more manageable than its rivals could be exactly what sells it.
That Lamborghini launched the car at Miami Beach says it all about the sort of person and lifestyle at which this car is aimed. And do you know what, we’re going to take a reality check and not look down our purist, enthusiast noses at that.
We will say that, if you are one of said purists, a Ferrari 488 or a McLaren 650S Spider will most likely serve up more of what you’re after, but the Huracán Spyder is a masterpiece in its own right; as much due to its design and acoustic artistry as for engineering prowess, but every moment in it is a riot.
Perhaps it isn't where our £205k would go, but it’s easy to bask in the Huracán’s entertainment value nevertheless. And in terms of what most of the paying punters actually want? Lamborghini got it spot on.