You often can have too much of a good thing. Ice cream (stomachache), praise (overinflated self-esteem), money (not caring about your fellow human). But perfect, endless, traffic-free winding roads? There is no amount large enough. Proof comes from this seven-speed, paddle-shifted, all-wheel-drive 640-hp Lamborghini Huracan Performante convertible. No amount of hours spent behind the wheel can make this car feel pedestrian.
Whether the corner is short or long, on camber, off — no matter, this $308,859 Spyder will challenge you to take the next one faster. Even after spending hours on nothing but curvy roads. It’s almost zen-like. I’m clicking the giant, pressed carbon-fiber paddles between third and fourth gear, swapping focus between the yellow line to the left, the mountainside to my right and the road ahead, 100 percent concentration. The penalty for losing it ranges from an Italian reprimand to certain death.
That, I think, is what really excites people about these hyper-focused cars: the concentration. On a normal day, you’re watching TV, checking your email, playing with the kids. Even when you’re driving, you’re thinking about what you have to do when you get home, the next day at work, thet weekend. In the cockpit-like cabin of the Huracan Performante Spyder, there’s no time for stray thoughts. The exterior is more of the same. The mind thinks of only one thing: speed.
Gallery: 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder
I mean, look at it. Instead of making roadkill, the sharp beak would just fillet the skin off a beast and then separate it with the rear bodywork. It’s so red (Rosso Mars) that the speed limit signs catch a reflection off the sun and look pink while passing by. But the coolest part of the body is its active aerodynamics.
Lamborghini’s ALA (Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva) system can adjust downforce independently front-to-rear, and side-to-side in the rear. You may remember this from our Performante coupe drive last year.
Electrically actuated flaps open and close in the front underspoiler, for extra downforce or less drag, depending on the situation. The rear wing stays fixed, but flaps on each side can increase or decrease downforce by feeding air through a channel to help you around a corner. As the weight loads up to the left around a right-hander, for instance, it can reduce pressure on that side to balance the body. It’s less complicated than an active rear wing, with fewer moving parts, says Lamborghini. All the better to take the next corner faster, says the little devil on my left shoulder.
The 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder has a fighter jet motif inside.
The Performante Spyder weighs 77 pounds less than its standard Huracan counterpart. That, along with the 30 extra hp and 40 lb-ft of torque garned from a new intake, exhaust and tuning, makes the 5.2-liter V10 good for 640 hp and 443-lb-ft of torque. That puts its weight-to-power ratio at 5.2 pounds per horsepower, sticking it between the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (4.7:1) and Porsche 911 Turbo S (6.1:1). It’ll scoot to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, 124 mph in 9.3 seconds and has a top speed of 202 mph.
On startup it barks loudly, before settling into a metallic thrum of engine noise. That’s before I goose the right pedal to wake up the neighborhood in northern California, where I’m testing this curve-hungry monster.
The cabin is significantly wild, even for a Lamborghini. The company uses “forged” carbon fiber for the vents, center console, wing and other bits, which is basically the plywood of carbon fiber. It has sort of a weird, marble look that I thought was a design choice at first — this is a Lamborghini after all. Then I found out that it’s cheaper and easier to mold than the more common carbon weave.
All of the buttons look like jet-fighter controls, and the ignition looks like it’s made for launching missiles. Like Ferrari, Lamborghini puts all controls on the steering wheel, including turn signals and drive mode changes. The gauge cluster is customizable with navigation, radio and Apple CarPlay screens, but when it goes into Corsa mode it becomes a big digital tach with a giant gear number in the center. I think there’s a speedo on there too, but I didn’t have enough time to break my concentration to look. Left, right, left, left, downshift, upshift, left, right, left, ad nauseum.
The 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder seats are suitable supportive.
It’s not huge inside; my driving partner was a 6-plus-footer, which put his head nearly into the soft top. With it retracted (a 17-second operation), he got a nice windblown coiffure. Hairpieces, be warned. Like the Audi R8, the pedalbox is narrow, which means your left foot, with nothing to do, just sits there trying not to impede the right one.
Laying down the power is easy with the Haldex Gen. V all-wheel-drive system. Flattening the pedal, the Performante Spyder takes a split second to get going, but with 70 percent of the torque available at 1,000 rpm, it’s only a moment. After that, it belts out a V10-Lamborghini scream. It’s a mix of weed whipper, didgeridoo and jet ski and it’s a lower pitch than you might imagine — more along the lines of McLaren’s 4.0-liter than Ferrari’s 3.9 V8.
Shifts are vicious in corsa mode, perfectly aggressive in sport and seamless in strada (street). Actually, in strada the whole car calms and quiets down. You can almost drive it like a normal car. Strada noise levels also allow for conversation with the top down. In sport and corsa I have to let off the accelerator when making a point. I would say it gets a little drone-y in those upper modes, but I’m so concentrated on the next 12 corners that it’s hard to notice.
I get faster later in the morning as the corners get tighter, but the Performante never slips or slides. The rear end just sticks harder the quicker I go with the ALA system keeping everything balanced. I drove a hardtop Huracan on an autocross course a few years ago, and was stunned at how sharp it was at slow speeds. This one is equally stunning, but at three times those autocross speeds.
After three hours of driving those perfect mountain roads, I skipped lunch and got back in the cockpit for another hour. This car is hungry for curves, and it makes the driver that way too. I only returned to get my stuff out of the hotel room before checkout. Unfortunately I missed it, and it was already in turnover mode after my private jaunt. Speaking of luggage, the front trunk fits two backpacks, and that’s it. A carry-on-sized bag would need soft sides to squeeze in. If you’re taking a road trip, bring a support vehicle.
Fatigue? I never feel any. I do, however, sleep well that night with my body drained of every ounce of adrenaline that it could produce. Still, I was depressed in the morning not to be able to get four or six more hours in the mountains. I just can’t see getting sick of it, ever.
One thing that isn’t present here, as opposed to the Lamborghini Aventador and Urus, is Ego mode. That is an individual setup where suspension, transmission and throttle can be adjusted independently of each other. For example, here in Michigan I would put the suspension in street mode and the transmission and throttle mapping in race.
Even though I was hoping to see flames spitting out of the dual rear exhaust at wide open throttle, we didn’t get to drive at night. However, even during the day, the inside of the tips, when the loud flaps are open, glow bright red. Red enough to see in broad daylight in the shade. I’m surprised there wasn’t a little “don’t touch” placard on the back bumper.
My inner 12-year-old wants to say I would drive this car every day, all the time, as long as I lived near roads like this. My inner 60-year-old thinks I would get my license taken away in four seconds. The real answer is probably somewhere between the two.
The best thing about these supercars is that you need complete concentration, total focus to drive them quickly. And that is a mental workout in itself. There is no curve, corner, hairpin or chicane it doesn’t like. As for too much of a good thing? The 12-year-old me, the one who would buy this car, isn’t worried about that. More ice cream, please.
Source : https://autoweek.com