by Karl Furlong
Even though the Huracan sits below the Aventador in Lamborghini's supercar hierarchy, make no mistake: this is still a devilishly quick and massively capable performance machine. The track-oriented Huracan Performante Spyder combines a 631-horsepower V10 with the option to lower the roof, emphasizing the engine's howl. Floor it, and the Performante Spyder will hit 62 mph in just 3.1 seconds and reach a top speed of over 200 mph. The use of forged carbon fiber technology has seen the Performante Spyder shed 77 pounds compared with the regular Huracan Spyder, making it even lighter on its feet and ensuring sensational cornering capabilities. Plus, it sports advanced active aero technology. At over $300,000, the Huracan Performante Spyder answers the call of well-heeled enthusiasts wanting a track tool, a convertible, and a visually arresting supercar wrapped into one formidable package.
Lighter and more powerful than the regular Huracan Spyder, the Performante's 5.2-liter naturally-aspirated V10 engine produces 631 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque - these represent improvements of 29 hp and 31 lb-ft. Along with a weight reduction of 77 pounds, the 0-62 mph sprint has dropped by three-tenths to just 3.1 seconds. Forged composite material has been used in the front/rear spoilers and on the hood. Underneath the skin, the improved suspension system features a recalibrated electronic stability control system and what is said to be even more responsive steering. The lightweight roof doesn't affect the car's stiffness and can be opened in just 17 seconds.
|LP640-4 Performante Spyder||
5.2-liter V10 Gas
Trading curves for an array of sharp edges, the Huracan looks as if it is slicing through the air. Like the Performante coupe, the Spyder features visible forged composite material on the front and rear spoilers, the rear bumper, and the aerodynamic diffuser. The electrohydraulic roof can be opened in 17 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph at the touch of a button, and the rear window can be electrically lowered, too. Two rising fins further add to the drop-top's dramatic looks, and at the back, it's impossible to miss the giant wing. Dual exhaust outlets are sure to cause chaos in quiet suburban streets. Forged 20-inch wheels and LED headlights round out the exterior features of this angry bull.
At 177.4 inches in length, the Performante Spyder is nearly two inches longer than the regular Huracan Spyder. Width (excluding the side mirrors) works out to 75.7 inches, the wheelbase is 103.1 inches, and the height is a typically supercar-low 46.5 inches. With extensive use of carbon fiber in its body, the Performante Spyder sheds 77 pounds compared with the standard Huracan Spyder. Its dry weight works out to just 3,322 pounds, with a curb weight of around 3,550 lbs.
A high-revving, naturally-aspirated V10 engine isn't a recipe to be tampered with in a supercar like the Performante Spyder, so the brawny powerplant remains. In this application, the 5.2-liter engine generates a massive 631 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, improvements of 29 hp/31 lb-ft over the Huracan Spyder LP610-4. Like that car, the Performante sends power to all four wheels, ensuring a shattering blast to 62 mph in just 3.1 seconds. Even at higher speeds, the Lamborghini is unrelenting, hitting 124 mph in just 9.3 seconds. A top speed of 201 mph is possible, aided by the Performante's active aerodynamics. The higher outputs are partially due to the use of lighter titanium valves. A seven-speed dual-clutch LDF (Lamborghini Doppia Frizione) has been tuned to handle the extra grunt. Although the numbers say that the Performante Coupe is even quicker, it's the Spyder that feels even more immersive with the roof down, when all sensations are further amplified. It is a violently quick car, and very little will keep up with it when you stomp your foot on the loud pedal. Whether the transmission is left to its own devices or if the driver chooses to use the shift paddles, its brilliantly quick shifts are a fine partner to the V10's incredible thrust.
Long gone are the days when Lamborghinis felt unwieldy through the corners. With permanent all-wheel-drive and special suspension tuning to compensate for the removal of a fixed roof, it's not easy to tell the Spyder apart from the coupe, besides the increase in wind noise, of course. Lamborghini offers three driving modes selectable via the Anima controller - Strada, Sport, and Corsa - and each provides a markedly different experience. Strada is for everyday use, and here, the Performante Spyder is surprisingly compliant, without the harshness you'd expect in a supercar. Switch to Sport and Corsa, though, and the Performante Spyder is an animal that will not be tamed. Here, the V10 unleashes the full extent of its intoxicating wail, and everyone within a one-mile radius gets to experience it. The steering is light enough to diminish the effect of the car's width, and when pressing on, it proves quick and accurate in communicating information from the front tires. Grip, as expected, is never in short supply. Available optionally is the electronically controlled magneto-rheologic suspension, along with Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (with a variable steering ratio) - the upgrades do make a difference, but even on its standard suspension, the Huracan is a joy to drive.
According to the EPA, the Performante Spyder returns figures of 13/19/15 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. With a 21.9-gallon gas tank, a combined cruising range of about 328 miles is possible, although expect this figure to drop if the Huracan is driven the way it was intended to.
The drama doesn't let up when you get inside the Performante Spyder for the first time. Both the driver and passenger are confronted by a racy cabin with acres of exposed carbon fiber and Lamborghini's obsession with hexagon shapes on full display (the steering wheel center and air vents are hexagonal-shaped, for example). Although the driving position is great and makes you feel at one with the Huracan, it's not the most spacious cabin; of course, the ability to lower the Spyder's roof does make for limitless headroom. The fixed-back bucket seats hold you firmly in place, but actual comfort is clearly a second priority. Getting in and out of the Huracan isn't an especially graceful task, although it's easier with the roof lowered.
Pop the rear lid open, and you'll find enough space in there to accommodate a 5.2-liter V10 engine. Of course, that's exactly what has been crammed into the available space, so all cargo-carrying duties must go to the tiny frunk in front, which only measures around four cubic feet. One or two soft bags, and it'll be full. In the cabin, storage space is minimal, with slim door pockets and even less space in the center console.
The Huracan is no Mercedes-Benz, so don't expect the same amount of luxuries in its cabin. It does get a few essentials, though, such as dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button ignition, a digital driver information display, LED headlights, and both front and side airbags. The seats have basic power-adjustment, and for the driver's convenience, the Huracan has front/rear parking sensors to go with the rearview camera. Of course, the electrically-operated roof comes as standard, too. Tire pressure monitoring and electronic stability control are expected safety features that are inclusive, but the likes of lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control aren't offered at all.
The Huracan doesn't have the usual central infotainment screen fitted to most vehicles. Instead, all information is displayed via the digital driver's display ahead of the driver, which changes its look depending on which driving mode you've selected. A basic audio system doesn't come close to what you can get in a high-end German sports car, but at the same time, few cars render a sound system more pointless than this V10-engined Lambo. You get a basic AM/FM radio, and navigation is available as well, as is Apple CarPlay. Bluetooth is another expensive optional extra.
No recalls have been issued for the low-volume Huracan Performante Spyder, but as a complex machine, following a strict preventative maintenance schedule is highly recommended. Lamborghini sells the Huracan with a three-year/unlimited-miles basic warranty that covers the drivetrain as well.
Official safety ratings for the Huracan aren't available, as both the NHTSA and the IIHS haven't put the supercar through its paces. Fortunately, all essential safety features are fitted, such as six airbags, tire pressure monitoring, electronic stability control, ABS brakes, and traction control. Driver-assist gear includes the obligatory rearview camera and front/rear parking sensors.
Everything that makes the standard Huracan Spyder so good is enhanced in the Performante Spyder. Not only is it even quicker thanks to the more powerfully tuned V10, but the extensive aerodynamic tweaks and use of carbon fiber transform this into one of the most hardcore drop-tops on the market. From the styling (both inside and out) to the engine, the suspension, the gearbox, the active aerodynamics system, and even the use of materials, the Performante Spyder is a feast for the senses. Compared to the Performante Coupe, the Huracan's inherently stiff architecture means that very little dynamic ability has been lost, while adding the exhilaration of driving at high speed with the roof down. There are less expensive cars like the Porsche 911 Cabriolet that are more comfortable, more practical, and offer more modern creature comforts, but few of them can compete with the Lamborghini's attitude, both visually and in the way it tears down the road. If it isn't evident yet, we love it.
Carrying an MSRP of $308,859, the Performante Spyder is the most expensive Huracan offered by Lamborghini. That price excludes taxes, licensing, and registration. It also excludes a destination charge of $3,695 and gas-guzzler tax of $2,100.
The Huracan Performante Spyder is only offered in a single trim, so there are no choices to be made beyond adding on a couple of pricey options. Among these is the magneto-rheological suspension, an upgrade that will cost in the region of $3,000. A sport exhaust system is similarly priced, and Lamborghini offers a range of exterior upgrades, such as a matte paint finish - although this costs in excess of $10,000.
Like the Huracan Performante Spyder, Ferrari's 488 Pista Spider is a road-legal track tool that just happens to be a drop-top, too. Both convertibles come fitted with weight-saving materials and aerodynamic enhancements that make them as rapid and dynamic as possible. They go about achieving performance in different ways, though, with the 488 using a 710-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which out-muscles the Lambo's naturally aspirated V10. As a result, the Ferrari is a few tenths quicker to 62 mph and boasts a faster claimed top speed. And, as accomplished as the Huracan is, when the road starts to turn the 488 is even more direct and buttoned-down. The Ferrari sends power to the rear wheels exclusively, while the Lamborghini gets permanent all-wheel-drive. Both cars are the epitome of drop-top driving nirvana, but the Lamborghini's cheaper price (by nearly $50,000) and more evocative engine steals the win.
The Spyder is the drop-top version of the Performante coupe. Both cars are blessed with the same engine, but the coupe is lighter so gets to 62 mph in under three seconds. It was also this coupe that blitzed the Nurburgring in way under seven minutes when it was launched, so if you want the faster car, you know which one to get. But here's the thing: on the road, and even on the track, it's the Spyder that feels quicker and more intoxicating. With the roof down, the sensation of speed and noise is only enhanced, and it looks absolutely fantastic, too. Thanks to Lamborghini's clever suspension tuning, this is as rigid as a convertible gets, and few drivers would be able to discern the differences between the two. We'll happily take the theatrical Spyder.