Words: Peter Anderson
Co-pilot: Brendan Allen
Images: Matthew Hatton
It wasn’t just that the year of our Lord 2018 was The Redline’s first full year that made it exciting. I got to drive a lot of spectacular machinery, a few of which you’re yet to see because it all got a bit much towards the end of the year.
I loved the Huracan Performante – wild, but tameable, obnoxious to look at but devastatingly elegant on the road, it was a revelation. I’ve always loved the Huracan, but always felt a 488 would give it a right spanking. I haven’t driven a 488 Pista but wonder how it would – or could – better the Performante. That’s how good it is.
What’s different on the Huracan Performante Spyder?
You can read about all the changes on the Performante here.
Lamborghini is a bit cheeky on the website, saying the Performante Spyder weighs 35kg less than the standard Huracan Spyder. Colour me not very surprised. Obviously it weighs more than the Coupe, but that’s to be expected with all the heavy roof gear.
Apart from that, it’s all basically the same as the hardtop.
On this particular car, whoever ordered it made a very sensible decision – the car’s carbon shell seats that literally injured me and every person who sailed in them, were absent in place of some far more comfortable seats.
And that makes sense in the Spyder. While all the go-faster technology is there, you’re not seriously considering taking it on a track. Are you? So yeah, the more comfortable seats are a welcome addition.
Roof down, the car looks a bit off-balance with that massive rear wing. I guess the temptation to sort that out was tempered by the fact owners would complain it didn’t have the same gear as the Coupe.
The Performante script on this one’s wing is an option and no, I’m not a fan. Also optional are the Performante interior package, bluetooth (aw, come on!), Apple CarPlay and sat-nav (in Australia, this costs A$5800…), lift system (absolutely mandatory, don’t get one without it), magneto-rheological suspension, 20-inch forged alloys and various bits and bobs.
Huracan Performante Spyder Drivetrain
The gorgeous 5.2-litre V10 is here in all its glory. Delivering 470kW (640PS) and 600Nm, both are up a reasonable if not huge amount from the 610PS AWD coupe. The RWD Coupe and Spyder “make do” with 580PS. And, just so you know, the Huracan Evo has this same engine. I’m already quaking with excitement to drive that one.
The same seven-speed twin-clutch transmission delivers power to all four wheels and the acceleration times are unchanged. Which suggests that the Coupe’s were either made up or conservative (I’ll go with the latter).
As you can see from the pictures, it was a bit damp on the day we had the Performante, so huge-speed heroics were not on the cards.
And, in a way, I didn’t need to do that. The Coupe I drove earlier in 2018 was absolutely mind-blowing. And before that, the 580-2 Spyder, while less capable than the 610-4 Coupe, was far more engaging with that dramatic V10 sound and towering performance. I had a good idea of what the differences were going to be.
Or did I?
The Performante’s transformation to Spyder is quite different to the standard car’s. While all that power and performance is still there, with a near-imperceptible reduction in chassis rigidity. It’s so rigid it doesn’t matter, but it is different.
With the roof down and those higher-set, more prominent exhausts (now taken up in the standard Huracan Evo), that extra level of engagement is definitely there.
Where that ultimate 7:52 Ring time isn’t possible in this car – Trofeo tyres or not – you’ll have even more fun trying. That crackling exhaust sounds like nothing else on the road, the way the two banks of five harmonise with each other as the digital tachometer needle swings towards the 8500rpm cut-out, it’s truly breathtaking.
Even though the new Huracan Evo has this same engine, it’s hard to believe it’s as ferocious as the Performante. Which probably makes it – Spyder or not – the high point of the Lamborghini range for some time to come.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.