OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The ultra-Huracan, the air-bending Performante, gains a roof-less version. The best of all worlds? By Gareth Evans
FORGET STRADA AND Sport modes. In the Performante Spyder you need only engage the full-noise, manual-shift cacophony of adrenaline that is Corsa.
It’s a configuration that perfectly matches this athletic Italian’s aggressive aesthetics.
We know from the coupe that the Performante isn’t a normal Huracan. Its unique twin exhausts, in place of the standard car’s quad ovals, poke proudly from the rear valance like cannons, trick active aero serves to raise the Lambo’s limits still higher, and the Performante gets a pokier engine and optimised chassis.
We’ve long adored Lamborghini’s V10s for their soundtrack, but in this incarnation, with the fabric roof electrically stashed away, it’s devilishly decadent.
Crawling on a light throttle you can pick out each cylinder’s individual combustion event, mixing and melding as engine speed climbs towards an 8500rpm redline and its terminal manic war cry: a frantic scream that mirrors the immediacy with which this savage supercar moves when provoked. Heading past 6000rpm on the digital rev counter requires serious concentration: this is a motor that spins with otherworldly pace.
Pull a column-mounted paddle and the gearchanges punctuate proceedings rather than dominate in the way an Aventador’s can, which lends an approachability that matches a firm-yet- fine suspension set-up.
Moving up onto stunning mountain roads, a polished pairing of refined rebound control and the Performante’s active aero affords confidence at any speed, the fifth-gen Haldex all-wheel- drive system only proving a hindrance through the sharper switchbacks, where a prod of the right pedal pushes the nose – rather than the tail – wide. You’ll need a rear-drive Huracan for power-oversteer. It’s still very much a driver’s car, though. Lamborghini’s chassis team has bestowed the Performante with a front end that offers a decent amount of feedback, ensuring the driver knows exactly what’s going on under those 20-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres. Push hard, then even harder, and still you’ll struggle to broach this car’s limits of adhesion on the road.
In fact, the more relevant limit with the Performante Spyder may simply be whether or not you fit in it. That roof robs cockpit space (that V10 and its gearbox aren’t going anywhere…), and this six-footer only just managed to coax the thin (but well bolstered) sports seats into a position conducive to piloting the Performante – and even then the steering wheel was a little close for comfort.
But you’ll put up with some mild contortions to reap the rewards offered by a drop-top that will worm its way into your deepest affections. The noise alone should cause Ferrari’s turbo-hampered 488 to lose sleep, and while the Performante’s handling isn’t Maranello- league sharp, it’s enough for the 99.9 per cent who don’t like to leave black lines over the world’s race circuits.
It’s just a shame that you need access to a pretty serious trust fund or a big-time bonus to gain access to the spectacular drop-top supercar thrills offered by the Huracan Performante Spyder.
Engine, exterior, excitement
H A T E
V E R D I C T
If you fit, do it
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
LAMBORGHINI HURACAN PERFORMANTE SPYDER
> On sale September 2018