First drive: the new Lamborghini Huracán Spyder Reviews 2023 | Top Gear
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First Drive

First drive: the new Lamborghini Huracán Spyder

Published: 01 Feb 2016

What's that?

The new Lamborghini Huracán Spyder. And if you could choose one last noise to ever hear, at least until tinnitus subsides, you’d probably choose an al fresco 5.2-litre, naturally aspirated V10, wouldn’t you? 

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Agreed. So is noise the best thing about the new roofless Huracan?

In a word, yes. That’s not to say this is a one-trick bull/pony, but if there’s any supercar that’d tempt you to shell out the thick end of two hundred grand just to hear it sing that bit more intimately, it’d be one of the last hi-revving, non-turbo exotics around, now sans-roof.

Tell me more about The Noise.

The great thing about having a V10 on board is that it sounds interesting all of the time. Unlike a flat-plane V8, it doesn’t blare or drone at low speeds. It’s always chattering away to itself and generally being musical. Deep-bodied and flatulent at low revs or on the overrun, baleful in the mid-range and bloody frenetic at the 8,250rpm power peak. And unlike some of the turbo set, you don’t actually need to ping it off the redline to feel a bit special.

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Oh yes I do.

Fine, if you say so. In which case you’ll go very, very quickly indeed. This might be the softy’s poseur Lambo – and a chunky 120kg chunkier than its hard-top sister – but performance is still more than adequate for land-based transport.

This is the part where you tell me the numbers.

Launch control at the ready, the Spyder will do 0-62mph in a claimed 3.4 seconds (two tenths slower than the coupe), and 0-124mph in 10.2sec. And as prescribed in the supercar commandments, it will do over 200mph. 201mph, in fact.

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Bear in mind that like most VW Group cars this side of Bugatti’s output, it’s a fair shout that the Huracan’s acceleration stats hold a tad in reserve. The coupes beat the stopwatch to three seconds…

I’m still getting over that weight figure. Where has that come from, and do you feel it?

The roof itself, weirdly, but the Huracán’s mostly got away with it. Lambo’s engineers say a soft-top was preferred as the car looks like the roof comes off, even when it’s up. Do you follow? As in, the folding hard-top McLaren and Ferraris don’t look special enough when the roof isn’t stowed; they try to ape the coupe. Lambo is very keen its drop-top is proud of being a soft top, but the mechanism for the roof, extending buttresses and rollover supports has added 105kg of the 120kg weight gain. Ouch.

But it doesn’t flop about like an eel, right?

Indeed, the Huracán is, according to Sant’Agata’s maths, 40 per cent stiffer than the old Gallardo Spyder. Not sure how they test that – maybe they tie two cars to a tow rope, start them off in opposite directions, and see which bananas first. 

The upshot is that you can thwack it into a pothole, the windscreen stays attached, and the rear-view mirror doesn’t shudder. Acceleration does feel over-so-slightly blunted though – it doesn’t quite have that up-on-tiptoes slingshot getaway the coupe masters.

Understeers though, doesn’t it?

Frankly, if you’re getting the bobsleigh nose-push the Huracán’s name has been tarred with, you deserve the trial, newspaper story and unfriendly cellmate that’s coming your way. 

I’m not sure if the Spyder does. To be honest with you, it’s difficult to tell you much at all about what it’s like to drive fast.

Why’s that?

Lamborghini presented the car to us to drive in Miami, Florida. This is a visually stunning city, but blessed with good roads it is most certainly not. If you like red lights, traffic and right-angled turns, I’d start your visa application immediately, but whether you tiptoe around South Beach or make a desperate attempt to reach some rural Everglade expanses, there’s very little scope to let a Lambo off the lease for, ooh, at least 500 square miles. We’ll have to wait until there’s a car in the UK to actually tell you some more. Sorry about that.

It’s okay, I’ll wait.

While you do, get this. In the press conference Lambo’s likely outgoing CEO Stephan Winklemann presented a highly interesting Venn diagram of the Huracán range. The regular LP610-4 coupe sat at the apex of a point marked ‘performance’; the rear-drive LP580-2 at the point marked ‘fun to drive’. The LP610-4 Spyder was at the polar opposite of the diagram, next to a subheading titled ‘lifestyle’. So perhaps Miami Beach is the perfect place to test a new drop-top Lambo. But it’s a real shame Lambo didn’t think the car was worth a bit more in the way of actual driving.

And yes, I agree that a soft-top Lambo’s customer base might not contain the highest concentration of handy potential owners. More Justin Bieber than Justin Bell, if you catch my drift. It’ll easily gather as many sales for making a sexy noise at 3mph on Ocean Drive as it will for marrying together one of the best engine-gearbox partnerships on Earth.

Is it a good convertible?

Yes. Ducting around the rear buttresses slips airflow away from the cabin and vents it over the bespoke rear deck, so it’s very much wind in your hair, not hurricane on your face.

You can drop the rear window (as per the current supercar set) independently of the roof for engine appreciation sessions during a deluge, and the cloth mechanism whirrs away in 17 seconds at up to 31mph. Funny how Lambo didn’t copy Ferrari and McLaren’s folding hard-tops – it claims the cloth gives a lower centre of gravity for better handling. Apparently.

So it’s a good first impression rather than a complete home run?

Pretty much. Cutting the roof off the Huracán hasn’t turned it into a wobbling nervous wreck, and it’s taken the car’s best asset – a stage for one of today’s truly great engines to shine on – and turned up the volume. If you’ve driven one around any great corners, let us know what it’s like, would you?

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