by Karl Furlong
The glorious Lamborghini Huracan Spyder may have been discontinued to make way for the even more focused Huracan Evo Spyder, but it remains one of the best drop-tops in the world if you can get your hands on one with low miles. Available with rear-wheel-drive in the case of the LP580-2 or all-wheel-drive for the LP610-4, the Huracan Spyder will hit 62 mph in as fast as 3.4 seconds thanks to the LP610-4's 602 horsepower output. In just 17 seconds, you can lower the soft-top and hear the sound of the V10 engine as it hurtles you past just about every other car on the road. The angular and dramatic cabin is on the cramped side but is otherwise cloaked in appealing materials and can be extensively customized to suit your taste. Most of all, the Huracan Spyder sacrifices none of the coupe's sharp driving dynamics and, with the top down, is a spectacular way to make an entrance.
The Huracan range was introduced to replace the Gallardo, positioned below the flagship Aventador. It introduced a new electrohydraulic soft-top that can open in just 17 seconds up to a speed of 31 mph. For the LP610-4, the chassis boasts improved torsional stiffness by 40 percent over the Gallardo drop-top. Downforce has also been enhanced by 50 percent. The Huracan Spyder also boasts an improved interior with better quality, while the aluminum space frame and carbon-fiber structures have cut down the overall weight. While some have criticized the Huracan's styling, the drop-top is still one of the most striking cars on the road.
Improving on the Gallardo's alluring design couldn't have been easy for Lamborghini, and when first introduced, not everyone thought it was as mean as the Gallardo. It's still got dramatic supercar proportions, though, and the drop-top simply adds to the theatre. The exterior is highlighted by alloy wheels up to 20-inches in size (the LP580-2 has 19-inch wheels), massive air intakes in front, LED lighting, and the customary quad exhaust outlets at the back which let other road users know that you're at the helm of something truly special.
The Huracan Spyder is wide and low, with key dimensions being a length of 175.6 inches, a height of 46.5 inches, and a width of 75.8 inches. With the side mirrors included, the Lambo is over 88 inches wide. The Spyder rides on a 103.2-inch wheelbase. The RWD model weighs in at 3,327 pounds, increasing to 3,400 lbs for the AWD LP610-4, although it must be noted that these are dry weight figures.
Both the LP580-2 and the LP610-4 use the same 5.2-liter V10 engine that, without a turbo, does its best work at extremely high revs. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sends power to the rear wheels in the case of the LP580-2, while the LP610-4 is all-wheel-drive. The 580-2 has the slightly lower outputs of 572 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, with the AWD version upping these numbers to 602 hp and 412 lb-ft. In either model, the combination of engine noise and forward thrust is phenomenal. The LP580-2 will reach 62 mph in 3.6 seconds and 124 mph in 10.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 198 mph. The more powerful version drops these numbers to 3.4 seconds, 10.2 seconds, and 201 mph, respectively. This is one ballistic car in just about every condition and even more so once you've hooked up the Sport or Corsa modes, the Spyder's overtaking acceleration is addictive and the transmission's shift times become even more effective - the shift paddles are also not just there for show and provide great entertainment when driving the Lamborghini with purpose.
The pair of Huracan Spyder models each provide a distinct driving experience. In the RWD model, weight distribution is split 40:60 front/rear, contrasting with the AWD's 43:57. Lamborghini has done more than just send power to the rear axle only, with tweaks to the front springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. The result is that the lighter RWD model isn't afraid to induce oversteer and can be great fun on the track where the AWD is more businesslike and focused on carving through tight sweeps as efficiently as possible. The steering system has also been tuned uniquely for each model, but both are instantly responsive and super accurate. Each has three driving modes: Strada for a calmer (if you can call it that) everyday driving experience, Sport (which tightens the controls and increases engine noise), and Corsa which is primarily for track use. While the LP610-4 is undoubtedly the grippier and faster driving tool, there's something deliciously old-school about the LP580-2's willingness to throw out the back end. Both are engrossing driving machines and if there is one negative, it's that all the electronics have resulted in steering feel that feels too programmed and unnatural.
Despite the RWD model's lighter weight and lower power output, its EPA-rated fuel economy estimates are the same as the AWD version's at 13/18/15 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. Of course, nobody expected the Huracan Spyder to be light on gas and the heavy consumption is the price to pay for the magnificent V10. With a 21.1-gallon gas tank, expect a combined cruising range in the region of 316 miles.
Even though no rear seats are fitted, Lamborghini hasn't been able to free up much space for the driver and passenger. With the roof down, headroom is, of course, limitless - more of a problem is legroom for people over six-feet tall. Despite fiddling with the steering wheel's adjustment, it always feels a bit too close to the driver, who will also be trying to slide the seat further back than it can go. Sitting close to the ground, the Spyder is also tricky to get into and out of, but that's normal for this kind of car. The interior is widely customizable with well over ten different colors and your choice of leather and Alcantara. Whichever seat you choose, they're super supportive when you're driving the Huracan as it was intended to be driven.
While most cars carry grocery bags and weekend baggage in the back, the Spyder's mid-mounted V10 means that you only have access to a tiny frunk under the hood - with 3.5 cubic feet of space, it'll only really fit a few soft bags and not much else.
The cabin offers little small-item storage beyond the small glovebox and slim door pockets.
This isn't a luxury car so despite the high price, you shouldn't expect too many premium features to play with. You do get push-button start, the power-operated soft-top, power-adjustable and heated side mirrors, climate control, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. Of course, you can also adjust the driving mode using the ANIMA (Adaptive Network Intelligent Management) switch sited on the steering wheel. The rear window can also be electrically opened or closed regardless of whether the soft-top is up or down. While four airbags are part of the package, modern driver aids like blind-spot monitoring (which would help greatly with the Spyder's limited rearward visibility) and collision mitigation braking aren't available at all.
The Huracan Spyder lacks a central infotainment screen - instead, this area is littered with buttons and all information is displayed on the 12.3-inch digital TFT display ahead of the driver. Using a rotary knob to control most functions, you do gradually adjust to the system. Features include an auxiliary input jack, CD/DVD drive with MP3 compatibility, a USB input, an iPod connection, and an audio system with four speakers. Unfortunately, you have to fork out extra for Bluetooth, navigation, and the Lamborghini smartphone interface.
No recalls have been issued by the NHTSA for the Huracan Spyder, and J.D. Power also hasn't rated the Lamborghini for quality and reliability, although this is typical of low-volume exotics.
If anything goes wrong, Lamborghini's warranty runs for three years with unlimited miles and the same coverage applies for the powertrain.
Like most exotics at this price, the Huracan Spyder hasn't been tested for crashworthiness by local authorities. It also isn't available with now-common driver aids such as blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. You do get four airbags (front and side), however, along with ABS/EBD braking, a rearview camera, advanced traction and stability control systems, parking distance sensors, and LED lighting.
You can't get away with charging over $200,000 for a convertible and trying to sell a mediocre car. We're pleased to report, then, that the Huracan Spyder is a mean and slightly unhinged supercar, just like the bull on its badge. The different personalities of the RWD LP580-2 and the AWD LP610-4 are also clear when you drive them back-to-back, and both impress in their own ways. The star of the show has to be that V10 engine, though - in a turbocharged, electrified future, we'll come to mourn the passing of large-capacity naturally aspirated powerplants like this one, so appreciate it while you still can. As a drop-top, the Spyder's glamorous looks are backed up by dynamics and performance that give little away to the coupe, and the feel-good factor in this thing on a sunny day is hard to match. Ferrari's Portofino and 488 Spider are just as desirable, but the Huracan Spyder's sheer drama will probably be the top pick for those who love the limelight.
The Huracan Spyder twins are around half the price of the Aventador S Roadster, but you'll still need deep pockets for the privilege of owning one. When it was available as a brand new model, the RWD LP580-2 carried an MSRP of $223,654, increasing to $266,325 for the AWD LP610-4. Both prices excluded options, tax, licensing, registration, and a destination charge of $3,695. The cheapest Spyder represents a price premium of around $20k over the base Huracan coupe.
While one is usually inclined to go for the ultimate Lamborghini within the various model lines, in this case, we're ditching convention because the LP580-2 is our pick. Yes, the rear-wheel-drive layout doesn't offer the same security as the LP610-4 at the limit, but with the more supple and lively suspension, it's even more enjoyable to drive. And we're talking about enjoyment at a stratospheric level, here. On the options list, we'd tick the boxes for the navigation system and smartphone interface at $4,100, Bluetooth preparation at $1,000, and the lifting system that raises the front of the car for $3,500. Color, seat and trim options are vast and entirely subjective, but you could easily look at spending around $10,000 to get the seats and color options that appeal to you most.
Sharing similar architecture and that epic V10 engine (although outputs differ marginally for the base models), both the Huracan Spyder and Audi R8 Spyder provide top-down thrills that'll linger in your mind hours after you've driven them. The Audi is cheaper and only available with all-wheel-drive, but both convertibles are scalpel-sharp driving tools that you can also live with every day, although the Audi has more cabin space and a larger (but still small) cargo area. The two diverge most when it comes to style and presence - the Audi is technical, precise, and clean, but the Lamborghini is more flamboyant inside and out. It's likely that deciding which one suits you most will have little to do with driving dynamics and performance, but have everything to do with which visual interpretation of a drop-top supercar you prefer.
With 591 horsepower, the Portofino's power output slots in between the two Huracan Spyder models, but the Ferrari differs by using a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The Portofino has been geared a bit more towards being a grand tourer with its 2+2 seating arrangement and a heavier folding hard-top. Make no mistake, though, the RWD Portofino still delivers crushing acceleration off the line and mighty mid-range urge. It's also achingly beautiful to look at, its softer lines contrasting with the Huracan Spyder's in-your-face scoops and edges. The other key difference between the two is the Portofino's front-mounted engine that affords it a far bigger trunk than the Huracan. If you want a more livable sports car that still has exotic looks and one of the most desired automotive badges in the world on its hood, the Portofino is for you. But if a hardcore supercar that shows the finger to trivialities like cargo space appeals, go for the more engaging Huracan Spyder.