Topless Spyder ups the visual appeal

The Spyder can reach 100kmh in 3.4 seconds and attain a top speed of 324kmh.
The Spyder can reach 100kmh in 3.4 seconds and attain a top speed of 324kmh.PHOTOS: LAMBORGHINI
The Spyder can reach 100kmh in 3.4 seconds and attain a top speed of 324kmh.
The Spyder can reach 100kmh in 3.4 seconds and attain a top speed of 324kmh.PHOTOS: LAMBORGHINI

The convertible version of the new Huracan model delivers the power and speed of a supercar even with the top down

After nearly 30 hours of travel, I arrived in Miami in the middle of winter, only to be greeted by balmy 27 deg C weather and a level of humidity not unlike Singapore's.

Miami Beach in the United States has become a playground for the rich and famous, who have taken up most of the beachfront homes, replete with berths for their huge yachts and luxury boats.

It is precisely this sun-loving, laid-back glamorous lifestyle that Lamborghini wants associated with its newly launched Huracan Spyder.

Form may have followed function in the coupe, but this convertible has been blatantly styled for sex appeal.

But it is still a hardcore sports car, zipping to 100kmh in a scant 3.4 seconds and reaching a thrilling top speed of 324kmh.

Even more remarkable is the fact that you can reach that velocity with the top down, if your ears can take the beating. To put the searing performance in perspective, the Huracan coupe is only two-tenths of a second and 1kmh faster in those parameters.

  • SPECS/LAMBORGHINI HURACAN LP 610-4 SPYDER

    Price with COE: To be announced

    Engine: 5,204cc 40-valve V10

    Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch with manual select

    Power: 610bhp at 8,250rpm

    Torque: 560Nm at 6,500rpm

    0-100kmh: 3.4 seconds

    Top speed: 324kmh

    Fuel consumption: 12.3 litres/ 100km

    Agent: Lamborghini Singapore

While the race towards the horizon is impressive, the car's "race to the sky" takes a little longer - 17 seconds to drop the top and transform into an open convertible.

This transformation can be carried out on the move, at speeds below 50kmh, rectifying a common complaint about the old Gallardo Spyder, which has to be stationary to open and close its soft-top.

With the Huracan Spyder's roof stowed, the full effect of the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine is heard and felt. The rumbling of the V10 and the crackling of its exhaust system are palpable, while the ensemble of the engine at full revs is mind-blowing.

I have not waxed lyrical about the Spyder's handling because Miami does not have any curvy roads to speak of and the nearest racetrack was not available.

I was reassured by the engineers present that the Spyder has almost the same suspension set-up as the coupe, tailored for the convertible's extra 120kg in weight. Much of the weight gain is from the powered hood mechanism, with the reinforcement of the chassis also contributing to it.

The tyres are Pirelli P Zeros, sized 245/30 R20 at the front and a massive 305/30 R20 at the rear, so extremely high levels of cornering prowess can be expected.

Helping the Lambo along is an update of the Haldex centre differential (for all Huracans from this year onwards), which now delivers even smoother handling transitions from understeer to oversteer, with power transferred from back to front in a more seamless fashion.

There are just two issues with the Huracan Spyder.

One is that the rearward vision is poor for drivers shorter than 1.8m because of the raised rear deck, although the rear-view camera improves visibility during parking.

The second is that the optional carbon fibre bucket seats are too uncomfortable. They are not needed in the first place because the standard sports seats, with their multiple adjustments and generous cushions, do a fine job of accommodating all body shapes.

The Huracan Spyder has not lost any of its coupe sibling's incisive dynamics, impressive ride comfort and everyday driveability. It is a stunningly attractive supercar.

• The writer is a regular contributor to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2016, with the headline 'Topless Spyder ups the visual appeal TorqueShop'. Print Edition | Subscribe