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Lamborghini Huracan Spyder LP610-4: Driven

Huracan loses its top in Miami; is it all (life)style over substance though?

By Dan Trent / Sunday, February 07, 2016

Even without a fleet of brightly coloured Huracan Spyders growling around South Beach you get the impression Lamborghinis aren't exactly a rare sight in Miami. That doesn't stop whoops of approval from the sidewalks along Ocean Drive, paparazzi-style phone mobbing at every stoplight and the general sense everyone here loves a Lambo. Everyone apart from one man.

Rumbling along in his matt grey Aventador Roadster he's got his window down and elbow on the sill, hand at gangster'o'clock on the wheel. There's absolutely no way on earth he hasn't spotted - or heard - our matt yellow Huracan Spyder. From the passenger seat I give him a cheery thumbs-up on the assumption he'll be keen to share appreciation from fellow Lamborghini drivers. We're alongside and perhaps two feet apart yet he stares pointedly ahead, determinedly avoiding eye contact. My driver guns the Huracan down a couple of gears and the V10 bellows, rippling a volley of bangs and pops on lift-off. He MUST have heard that. Nope. Not playing.

I ponder what insecurity is inspiring his decision to deliberately blank us. Is it that Aventador drivers don't acknowledge drivers of lesser Lamborghinis? Or is it that ours is the newest latest, thereby embarrassing his 'older' one and somewhat diminishing his posing power?

Spyder in Miami - where else?

Spyder in Miami - where else?

Attention seeking

Delivering on the occupants' desire to be centre of attention is, of course, a core value for any Lamborghini. The more so in the case of a Spyder, especially in the context of Miami Beach. For the kind of stuff we want to get out of the car this is an utterly rubbish place to hold a Lamborghini launch. For a sense of what it will actually be used for by owners and an insight into their mindset it's perfect.

So no track. No twisting mountain roads. Seemingly none with a speed limit over 55mph even. Corners? Dream on. Maybe this is a deliberate move after all that carping on our part about the icky variable ratio Dynamic Steering. Affable R&D boss Maurizio Reggiani gives a resigned shrug when it's mentioned, giving the party line it's all about making the Huracan usable around town and sharp out of it. Before reminding us with a knowing wink that it's optional.

In this context what can really be ascertained about the Huracan Spyder then? Well, it clearly looks sensational. The noise of that naturally aspirated V10 engine remains a huge emotional draw, only the Audi R8 it shares much of its basic architecture with able to compete with its old-school supercar attributes of ultra sharp throttle response and high-rev drama.

That of course comes at a cost of outright performance compared with turbocharged rivals like the Ferrari 488 Spider and McLaren 650S Spider, both of whom make the most of the forced induction boost to low-end shove. In this day and age peak torque at 6,500rpm and power at 8,250rpm seems laughably peaky, the Lamborghini also battling a hefty weight disadvantage over its two nearest rivals. A dry kerbweight of 1,542kg is a startling 120kg over the equivalent figure for a Huracan coupe and a similar margin more than the 488 Spider. A 650S Spider is an incredible 170kg lighter.

Nope, it really doesn't have a bad angle

Nope, it really doesn't have a bad angle

Heavyweight poser

You might think this makes it a bit of a slug on the road, all things considered. Impressions will have to be put into the context of that Miami posing but at no stage does the Huracan feel underpowered, even if 0-62 is two tenths down at 3.4 seconds over the coupe and it loses a further tenth en route to 124mph. It'll just top 200mph though so honour intact on that score.

If this is the kind of thing that keeps you awake at night then by all means strike the Huracan Spyder off your list. But, frankly, this car is all about sensation and experience. And that naturally-aspirated engine's uncorrupted response and noise is well worth a couple of tenths here and there, the style counting for a lot too.

Given both rivals offer the supposed advantage of folding hardtops over the Huracan's heavier soft-top - referred to as the 'capote' in typical 'sounds cooler in Italian' style - why did Lamborghini go to the bother? Because if you're going to drive a Spyder it should look like a Spyder is the answer, Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann of the opinion an open top car is such a statement it dilutes the impact if it looks like the coupe with the roof up.

Fast, loud, beautiful - Lamborghini to a tee

Fast, loud, beautiful - Lamborghini to a tee

Spider man

Three layers thick, capable of being stowed in around 17 seconds at up to 30mph and available in a selection of colours, the 'capote' apparently preserves the integrity of the Huracan's hexagon-themed design language too. To that end, two trim panels emerge from the body with the roof down, these bearing ducts in their sides to channel turbulence away from the cabin. Additional clip-on deflectors further improve top-down refinement, it being perfectly possible to hold a normal conversation at the heady speeds attainable in downtown Miami. Over the shoulder and rearward visibility is woeful though, the Lamborghini answer to being worried about your blindspot seemingly to drop a couple of gears and nail it loudly before any lane change. Lamborghini swears there's no difference in seat travel but the compartment added to the rear bulkhead for roof gubbins seemingly restricts how far you can recline the seat back; there is a lower mounted option to increase space for taller drivers but worth bearing in mind if you are more powerfully built than your chicken-armed correspondent.

Torsional rigidity roof up or down is impressive from the 'hybrid' aluminium/carbon tub - a claimed 40 per cent better than the Gallardo Spyder and with only the very suggestion of a tremor over lumps and bumps. This with the standard - and beautifully judged - passive dampers too, magnetorheological adaptive ones configured by the three-stage Anima switch on the wheel also available.

So the proper dynamic impressions will have to wait for a bit. In terms of meeting the hopes and aspirations of its projected customers though the Huracan Spyder nails its objectives in fine style. Arguably this is more Lamborghini's comfort zone in the supercar market, the immediate rivals from Ferrari and McLaren playing the purist card in coupe form but perhaps losing a little pose factor when it comes to living it up in the sunshine. Job jobbed.

: 5,201cc V10
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto (Lamborghini Doppia Frizione), four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 610@8,250rpm
Torque (lb ft): 413@6,500rpm
0-62mph: 3.4sec
Top speed: 201mph
Weight: 1,542kg (dry)
MPG: 22.9mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2: 285g/km
Price: £205,000 OTR (before options)

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