Car of the week: Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder first drive

Cruising Miami and beach body ready

THE HURACAN LP 610-4 Spyder is arguably the first lifestyle Lamborghini the company has produced (though not the last: a Lambo SUV is due in 2017). Why else would the Italian marque decide downtown Miami, where most roads have speed limits and traffic levels that mostly consign you to using no more than two of the seven available gears, was a suitable place to put the 201mph car through its paces?

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To be fair, the logic behind the choice of location quickly became apparent: as we cruised past the bikini bodies and beach parties under a canopy of palm trees, the Huracan felt instantly at home — a poseur’s delight — though whether the magic remains in less balmy climes remains to be seen.

This is the third derivative in the Huracan line-up, joining the LP 610-4 and LP 580-2 coupés (the former is all-wheel drive, the latter rear-wheel drive, though slightly less powerful, for added fun). The Spyder has the higher-powered version of the 5.2-litre V10 and the four-wheel-drive system, though don’t bet against a rear-wheel version joining it in future.

Removing the roof of any car will affect its structural rigidity, but Lamborghini claims the aluminium and carbon-fibre chassis is more than up to the job of keeping the car stable at speed. It is apparently 40% stiffer than the convertible version of its Gallardo predecessor. Testing that claim will have to wait until the car can be driven on faster, more winding roads.

First drive review of the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

The first thing potential buyers will notice is that Lamborghini has shunned the recent trend for convertibles to be fitted with solid aluminium folding roofs. Both the Huracan’s closest rivals, the McLaren 650S Spider and the Ferrari 488 Spider, make use of this system, which essentially transforms the open-top car into a coupé lookalike at the press of a button. Some owners like the security a solid roof affords.

The Huracan makes do with a traditional fabric number — albeit three layers thick — that can be raised and lowered remotely in 17 seconds and at speeds of up to 31mph. Sophisticated rollover bars that are deployed in an instant in the event of an accident are neatly hidden behind each seat.

There was no chance of them being called into service on the arrow-straight Miami roads, but we can report that the effort that has gone into sheltering the cabin from wind noise and turbulence has paid off. The steeply raked windscreen directs airflow over the top of the driver and passenger, and two intake ducts behind the headrests suck air around the outside of the car to stop the occupants being buffeted. Even at heady speeds of 55mph on the interstate the cabin remained doldrum-calm.

First drive review of the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

Unlike its rivals, the Huracan has no turbocharging: the naturally aspirated V10 offers instant throttle response and a gloriously guttural sound. It will take the car to 62mph in 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 201mph, but the genius of the engineers means that the car is as easy to drive in town as a supermini: select automatic and leave the steering-wheel-mounted gearchangers alone and the Huracan is as challenging as a summer breeze.

There’s even a cupholder for the passenger and a button that raises the low-slung nose a few inches to help clear speed bumps.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Lamborghini without some inconveniences: the driver can see nothing over their shoulder, because of the low seats and the bulk of the engine, and the rear-view mirror is worse than useless. The carbon-fibre racing-style seats are as comfortable as they sound and the rim of the windscreen will scalp you if try to get into the car too quickly, as well as unerringly blocking out overhead traffic lights. The sunken door handles are needlessly fiddly too.

Buyers won’t care. In the Huracan Spyder, Lamborghini has made the best-looking drop-top supercar on the market. It comes with an old-fashioned, proper V10 and in a range of effervescent colours. There’s even room for your bikini and beach towel under the bonnet.

2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 Spyder specifications
  • PRICE: £205,000
  • ENGINE: 5204cc, V10
  • POWER: 602bhp @ 8250rpm
  • TORQUE: 413lb ft @ 6500rpm
  • ACCELERATION: 0-62mph: 3.4sec
  • TOP SPEED: 201mph
  • RELEASE DATE: Spring

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