Video: Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 Spyder Review

By: Andy Enright, Photography by: Nathan Jacobs

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Andy Enright braves Melbourne's gloomy weather for a drive in a Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 Spyder

 

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 Spyder

If you read any of the early reviews of Lamborghini’s Huracan, you might have come away with the impression that it was an understeering dud with too much Audi in its double helixes and not enough Sant’Agata fairy dust in the mix. It’s an easy conclusion to come to if you’re put onto a race track with Lamborghini’s minders forbidding you to switch out the electronic nannies, so Lambo somewhat shot themselves in the foot there.

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But what’s a Huracan really like when you have one at your disposal to do with as you please? We landed a Huracan Spyder, perfectly timed with some of Melbourne’s more hideous weather, and set out to discover the rationale behind the successor to the big-selling Gallardo. A key point to consider first. The open-top versions of coupes are usually poor relations as driver’s cars. The Huracan is different, as the carbon fibre and aluminium chassis was designed from the outset to cater for a convertible version, so there’s no appreciable difference in body rigidity between the convertible. That drop top just plugs you closer to the aural fireworks from the naturally-aspirated V10 engine. Even with the hood up, you can drop the tiny rear window if you’re heading into a tunnel at speed and want to turn the volume up to eleven.

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That V10 engine develops 610hp and drives all four wheels in this version, hence the 610-4 badging. Translate that to metric and that’s 449kW and 560Nm of torque. That’s enough to be going on with. Lamborghini’s quoted 0-100km/h time of 3.4 seconds is a couple of tenths down on the coupe, thanks to the Spyder adding around 100kg to the kerb weight. To be honest, the car feels faster.

The two most significant improvements over the Gallardo are the carbon brakes and the gearbox. Lamborghini never used to be able to get the brake feel right with their early carbon brakes, and you’d often get that heart in mouth feeling that you had no brakes over the first couple of centimetres of pedal travel. The brakes on this Huracan are just about perfect. This car also gets a slick seven-speed dual-clutch transmission where the Gallardo had a truculent single-clutch unit. It’s a big plus. Or a big minus if you preferred the old gated manual box. You can’t get one of those any more but to be honest, this car is too fast and too urgent to really make much sense of a manual box. You’d forever be driving it with one hand on the wheel.

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What strikes you most about the car is that Lamborghini has matured as a company. Not that it has become old or that the car is any less exciting to drive, merely that it better understands the subtleties of how to calibrate systems, balance compromises and create a really well-judged fast road car. The Huracan hits barely any bum notes. Complaints? The electrically-adjustable driver’s seat is set too high which will limit the car’s appeal for taller drivers, there’s not much oddment space in the cabin, some of the sightlines are tricky and the front boot is a bit of a joke for a car with the Huracan’s grand touring potential. Oh, and I don’t know if there’s a way to stop the Lambo’s theatrical flare of revs at startup. Your neighbours will hate that if you’re trying to make an early morning getaway and it’s quite unnecessary. The idle-stop system proves that the Huracan can start in a civilised fashion.

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Yes, the Huracan does tip into understeer at the limit, but that’s perfectly right and correct for a road car. Switch to Corsa mode and you can balance the car on the throttle, the stability control letting you hold a half-hand of oversteer. Switch it off and you’re on your own. Just remember that this is a wide, short-wheelbase car with a pin-sharp throttle. In other words, practice somewhere where a spin will have little or no consequence.

The ANIMA switch on the steering wheel completely changes the nature of the car. The magnetorheological dampers are a must-have and I’m in the minority in liking the optional dynamic steering system. Try it before you buy it. One item from the options list that’s really non-negotiable is the parking pack. The front and rear sensors and camera are a chunky $5,700 but take the sweat out of inching the Huracan’s invisible extremities into a space.

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You’ll love the hugely configurable TFT virtual display and the way that Lamborghini has made a stalkless cabin work a lot better than Ferrari. And the sound. The V10 is feral in the upper reaches, utterly knocking the spots off the aural signature of a Ferrari 488 GTB. Ultimately, it seems as if it’s the last of a line. Lamborghini, beholden as they are like every other car manufacturer to emissions legislation, will doubtless move to either turbocharging or hybrid technology and these angry atmo engines will be but a memory, so perhaps this is a high water mark that’ll never be repeated. For a car that received a muted reception, the Huracan is really coming good. It’s quite comfortably the best car ever to roll from the gates at Sant’Agata. A big claim? Spend a bit of time with one and it’s really not.

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SPECIFICATIONS

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 Spyder

Engine 5204cc V10 (90°), dohc, 40v
Max power 449kW @ 8250rpm
Max torque 560Nm @ 6500rpm
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch
Kerb weight 1524kg
0-100km/h 3.4sec (claimed)
Economy 12.3L/100km (EU)
Price $471,000
On sale November 2016

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