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2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder performance review

By Dan Prosser, 26 Sep 2018 Reviews

2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder performance feature

Drop-top Performante virtually matches coupe’s brilliance

There are signs, here and there. If you rattle the Huracan Performante Spyder over a rough patch of tarmac at speed, you’ll be aware of the structure shuddering slightly around you.

In the third gear with the throttle wide open it doesn’t feel as effortlessly accelerative as it might – although by the time 6000rpm has come and gone you won’t believe there could be another car that’s as fast.

You might be faintly aware of the chassis getting a touch flustered when you ask it to do several things at once, too; such as turn into a corner while you’re hard on the brakes just at the moment the road drops away, for instance.

If you really go looking for them you can identify the handful of ways in which the Performante Spyder is compromised over the coupe. Its decapitated structure is less rigid and is saddled with 125kg of additional weight, but those things only make themselves known right out there in the margins. Most of the time the drop-top model is every bit as deserving of your money as the fixed-roof car.

The Performante treatment is the same for both versions. The 5.2-litre V10 has been wrung out to 470kW/600Nm and the Spyder remains all-wheel drive. The weight saving is 35kg and is mostly down to a lightweight exhaust system and what Lamborghini calls Forged Composites (carbon fibre). The chassis is reworked for sharper dynamics and the tyres are grippy Pirelli P Zero Corsas.

The signature innovation is Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA), a neat system of electronically controlled flaps that can divert air one way or the other to increase downforce one moment and reduce drag the next.

MOTOR in-depth: Huracan Performante secrets revealed

Now, it does need to be said this car is fundamentally at odds with itself. On circuit the Performante Spyder will inevitably give away a few tenths. Out on the road, however, the topless model is no less thrilling and no less rewarding. It is a masterstroke.

That titan of an engine – more vocal now thanks to the trick exhaust and even better appreciated with the canvas hood stowed away – is arguably the most exhilarating combustion engine you can buy right now.

The ride and damping are exquisite (on optional adaptive dampers, which includes a front axle lift), body control is absolute, grip levels beggar belief and the twin-clutch transmission is impossibly fast.

Headroom with the roof in place is tight, but it’s the fixed-back bucket seats that really let the side down. After 90 minutes or so at the wheel you’ll want to stop and go for a short walk, just to straighten your spine out. Still, what an epic bit of kit.

Putting those claims to the test on MOTOR reviews

2018 LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN PERFORMANTE SPYDER SPECS:
Engine:
 5204cc V10, DOHC, 40v
Power: 470kW @ 8000rpm
Torque: 600Nm @ 6500rpm
Weight: 1507kg
0-100km/h:  3.1sec (claimed)
Price: $532,635

Like: Few downsides to cutting off the roof; glorious V10 soundtrack; epic performance
Dislike: Headroom with the fabric roof down; fixed-back bucket seats; confused persona

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars