Car reviews - Lamborghini - Huracan - Spyder
Astonishing looks, unaffected chassis dynamics, better access to that glorious engine note
Room for improvement
Reduced headroom, price premium
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14 Jul 2016
Price and equipment OWNING your own piece of Huracan history in the form of an LP610-4 coupe will cost you $428,000 before on-road costs, or if you are on a really tight budget you could slum it and go for the rear-drive $378,900 LP580-2 (shhh – it's our favourite).
So let’s put the cost of the new Spyder into perspective. If you are thumbing the coupe catalogue, you could either upgrade to the convertible version or put a brand new Skoda Octavia 135TDI RS wagon on your driveway.
Some wind in your hair or the flagship of the Octavia range? That's how much more it costs.
For your investment you get a colour screen where conventional instruments used to go, digital instrument and climate display, a machine that plays music at you, doors, windows and somewhere to sit, but you don't care do you? And nor should you because this is a convertible Lamborghini.
Our car had a few goodies thrown at it from the extras list, which for any desirable European brand is rarely an inexpensive process, but when it is a Lambo brochure that you are perusing the cost is in a different league.
Some paint tones in the range can add up to a whopping $20,000 to the bottom line but for our car a little more restraint had been shown. Surprisingly, the fabulous Verde Mantis pearlescent green paint that our car had been decorated in was a relative bargain, adding just $6500 to the price.
Cruise control is not standard and costs an extra $1400, same goes for an essential reversing camera which adds a hefty $5700 and comes with parking sensors all round. Posh floor mats bumped the price by another grand.
With a few other aesthetic bits and pieces including a titanium finish for the 20-inch wheels and interior stitching to match the vivid paint, the price had grown by $35,530 taking the grand total to $506,530.
That’s the cost of a Ford Falcon on top which may sound steep but it’s actually nowhere near as bad as the Lambo options cost can get, and if you are making the significant investment for a raging bull, spending more to personalise it is an option many customers take.
Inside, nothing has changed over the coupe equivalent with the exception of an extra button in the centre console for controlling the electro-mechanical fabric roof. Operation takes 17 seconds and can be lowered or raised when moving at speeds of up to 50km/h.
From the outside, the black roof adds an attractive classic convertible look even when closed, but then hides away under a cleverly designed cover when letting the rays in. Engineering the panels to fold on top of the already crowded engine bay must have caused a few headaches for the Lamborghini designers but the result is functional and stunning.
With the back end full of engine and roof, there is little space remaining for people and things and only the tiny compartment under the bonnet provides any storage space.
The interior can feel a little confined too, but while we quite enjoy the snug feeling of slotting into the cosy cabin, 188cm is probably the height limit for drivers when the roof is closed.
But if your height is a problem then may we recommend hitting the roof open button and getting the very most out of the Huracan Spyder, because for a few glorious days, Melbourne uncharacteristically gave us some clear blue skies.
With the roof down, the Huracan takes on a new level of conspicuousness, a new level of cool and a new level of want. It’s not called being green with envy for nothing you know?Cruising at lower speed with the occupants on display attracted an almost absurd amount of attention and in static traffic it was not uncommon for pedestrians to approach the Lambo, stare down into the cabin and ask for a ride.
While some other brands can attract some, albeit restrained hostility, a brand new green Lamborghini with its top off seems to make people lose their minds.
At speed, the cabin becomes blustery with the full windows-open experience but we think the Spyder looks best with as much glass tucked out of sight, however, with all the windows up and the heated seats cranking, it was possible to spend all day with the roof open enjoying the rare glimpse of Victorian sun.
In our car the interior was predominantly black Alcantara ($3100) with cool flashes of green stitching throughout ($1000) but if it were our choice you can’t go past the matching green leather or Alcantara, which adds a selection of vivid panels to the seats and dash.
Engine and transmission
Over the hard-topped Coupe there is not much to talk about in terms of the bits that make the Huracan Spyder go. It shares the same 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 that splits 449kW and 560Nm between all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Acceleration from zero to 100km/h is said to be 0.2 seconds slower than the tin-top at 3.4s, but when you are dealing with that kind of ferocity, two tenths of a second are imperceptible. The Spyder is fast – very fast.
Thankfully, none of the coupe’s soundtrack is muted in the Spyder and there is nothing quite like the sound of the Lambo’s engine near the dizzying 8250rpm max power mark (except the Audi R8 which has an identical engine, but you get our point).
In fact, the Spyder makes it possible to enjoy the raucous noise even more indulgently by removing the roof and letting more of that glorious din in.
Accelerating hard under bridges and tunnels while alfresco is ridiculously satisfying.
For days when the Aussie sun is just too intense or grey skies threaten to dampen occupants, the Spyder still offers an aural advantage over the coupe in the form of a small electrically operated window between the engine cover and cabin, that can be lowered if the roof is up or down.
With the roof instated, the glass hatch can let more glorious sound effects in, but when the roof is down, the window acts as a small but effective wind-break to calm the interior ambience, while enjoying topless motoring.
Ride and handling
This is really the critical element of the Spyder. All too often, a manufacturer gets all excited and tears the top off a model in the name of fun and style, but at the detriment of chassis stiffness and the negative knock-on effect to handling.
In some cases – take the Holden Cascada for example – a little bit of flex here and some extra scuttle shake there isn’t going to bother too many owners who are unlikely to push the Astra-based soft-top too hard, but this is a mid-engined Italian supercar we are talking about.
But fear not because the Lamborghini engineers have done a sterling job of maintaining the Huracan’s taut composure and unless directly compared side-by-side on the same stretch of road, we would find it near impossible to pick the open-top from the tin-top.
Like its coupe sibling, the convertible version is rock solid in fast corners and its massive lateral stability and grip is not too much for the chassis when the roof is removed.
Even on some less well maintained roads the Spyder tracks a dependable line absorbing imperfections without bump-steer, inspiring confidence to push on through the sun-drenched Victorian countryside.
Only on some very slippery surfaces where mud had washed on to the bitumen did the Spyder reveal what it might do on the limit with a gradual wash-out understeer that the clever ESC and torque-vectoring stepped in to gather up.
On public roads and in good conditions you would have to try very hard to find the limit of adhesion.
When at more sedate speeds the Huracan allows occupants to enjoy the scenery in comfort. Yes, the ride of a half-million dollar Lamborghini is never going to be exactly magic-carpet-like, but we were surprised at how easily we covered kilometers.
Safety and servicing
Along with all the usual ESC, ABS and electronic driver assistance, the Huracan has full-size dual-stage front airbags and full size lateral airbags for protecting the two occupants if its massive brakes and grippy chassis isn't enough to keep out of harms way.
For servicing prices, best to check with your nearest Lamborghini dealership.
When we spent some time in a matte black Huracan coupe last year we decided that there are very few other cars that can attract the same attention, but now we have driven a green one with no roof.
If you like being looked at a lot, then a lurid colour Huracan Spyder causes an almost ridiculous furore wherever you take it, but when there is no one around and the open road beckons on a sunny day, it is one of the finest ways to travel.
Even in the midst of Melbourne’s winter, the Huracan Spyder proved that the right convertible can be fun all year round and, whatever the weather, it is possible to be scorching hot and super cool all at the same time.
Ferrari 488 Spider from $526,888 plus on-road costs
The prancing horse also has a mid-engined Spider in its repertoire, albeit spelled differently. The 488 Spider has a smaller turbocharged V8 in place of the Lambo’s atmo V10 but despite the dramatically different approach the Ferrari manages to churn out 492kW and crack 100km/h from zero in 3.0 seconds.
It also has to get the power down through just the rear wheels.
Audi R8 coupe from $354,900 plus on-road costs
Peer under the skin of Audi’s flagship and you’ll find a majority of mechanical bits are shared with the Huracan and a corresponding similarity in performance comes with it, but if you can wait until the first half of next year the coupe will be joined by a convertible version. Choosing between an R8 convertible or Huracan Spyder will be down to a matter of looks.
Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet from $478,000 plus on-road costs
Porsche’s flagship of the iconic 911 range offers classic full soft top motoring fun coupled with the unique rear-mid-mounted 3.8-litre flat-six engine that has been boosted to produce a whopping 427kW – enough for a zero-100km/h acceleration time of just 3.0 seconds. Unlike the rivals listed here, the Porsche has the most luggage space thanks to a nose compartment and two extra rear seats, which are probably most suited for things rather than people.
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