Road test: 2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 Spyder

We lift the lid on the latest Lambo to offer drop-top thrills.

The Lamborghini Huracán Spyder’s 5.2L V10 engine develops the same power and torque as its coupé version. Courtesy Lamborghini
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Make a list of the world’s greatest driving roads, and the top 10 might include Italy’s Stelvio Pass, Australia’s Great Ocean Road and our own Jebel Jais. What the line-up won’t include, even if you extended it to a top 1,000, is any stretch of tarmac that happens to be in Miami.

The Floridian city might conjure up glamorous images of sun-soaked beaches and high-speed pursuits seen in 1980s TV crime drama Miami Vice, in which the suited yet sockless Tubbs and Crockett apprehended villainous types in their (fake) Ferrari Daytona Spyder. The reality, however, is that the roads are ruler-straight and heavily speed-restricted to boot.

It’s hardly fitting terrain to stretch a supercar’s legs or explore its dynamic potential, but Lamborghini’s minders say the objective of the drive programme for the Huracán LP610-4 Spyder is to savour its “lifestyle” appeal. The idea is to cruise and pose in the Dh1,032,847 rag-top, rather than to rag it at ten-tenths.

For what it’s worth, the convertible’s stats bode well. Its chassis is 40 per cent stiffer – making for tauter handling – than its Gallardo Spyder predecessor, while downforce is boosted by 50 per cent for greater high-speed stability.

The rev-happy, naturally aspirated, 5.2L V10 is essentially as per the coupé, with identical outputs of 610hp and 560Nm, but in its latest guise, the motor gains fuel-saving measures such as a “cylinder-on-demand” system and stop-start function. There’s also an upgraded, electronically controlled all-wheel-drive set-up to further optimises traction and handling balance.

Because of the roof-folding mechanism and added chassis reinforcement to compensate for the loss of the lid, the drop-top Huracán incurs a 120-­kilogram weight penalty over its coupé sibling, yet it scorches to 100kph in 3.4 seconds (just two-tenths behind its hardtop brother), while 200kph is dispatched in 10.2 seconds (0.3 seconds adrift of the coupé). Top whack is (a largely academic) 324kph.

The Spyder’s fabric roof is well integrated with the Huracán’s lines, with the result that it doesn’t sacrifice anything in the looks department vis-à-vis the coupé – even though its profile is decidedly different. Aiding its visual purity are hidden rollover hoops that pop up in milliseconds if on-board sensors detect the Spyder is about to end up shiny side down.

Lowering or raising the roof is achieved via a button on the central tunnel, with the whole operation taking 17 seconds (Lambo claims this is the quickest in its category). You don’t need to come to a standstill either – all that’s required is dropping your speed to 50kph.

An interesting touch is the fact that the rear windscreen can be kept open or closed, regardless of whether the roof is raised or lowered – depending on how much audio input you want from the V10. Also novel are two movable fins that deploy just behind the seat backs when the roof is lowered, to visually enhance the profile of the topless car. In addition, there are lateral wind guards to help ­minimise buffeting around the driver and passenger’s heads at cruising speeds with the top down.

The biggest pay-off with the ­Spyder is that you get to bask in the aural glory of the V10 to a degree that’s not possible in the coupé. You get to savour every single nuance of the free-­spinning 10-pot as you go up and down through the revs and gears.

And that V10 is an absolute peach. Peak torque might not surface until 6,500rpm, but there’s still ample urge down low, and throttle response is electrifying – so much so that your right foot feels hard-wired to the motor. The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox delivers fast, seamless shifts in Sport mode, but in the hard-core ­Corsa setting, each upshift is accompanied by a firm kick up the backside.

The only glaring criticism of the Spyder relates to the soft-top when raised, as it noticeably compromises forward vision (this will apply even more to ­taller drivers) because of the fact it tapers down markedly at the front. Also earning a big thumbs-down are the optional fixed-back sports bucket seats, which offer as much comfort as a wooden park bench. Our advice? Stick with the standard pews – they’re far kinder to your spine.

The overall impression is that the drop-top doesn’t feel that different to its coupé sibling – apart from the fact that you will be sporting a tanned face and windblown coiffure by the time you step out after a day’s driving. Your ears will also be resonating to the tune of the more audible V10, but that’s certainly no hardship.

The Huracán Spyder is undoubtedly in the top bracket among convertibles capable of elevating your pulse rate to high triple figures, as long as you’re not in Miami. Jebel Jais would be a much more fitting playground.

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