Test Drive: 2017 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 Spyder

photos by Phillip Lei 

Some cars are just meant to shock and awe. This shockingly green 2017 Lamborghini Huracán Spyder is certainly one of them. Built to exhilarate drivers and onlookers alike, it did both very, very well.

Ironically for a car with such a mighty V10 engine, this is not a car for anyone in a rush.

Children squealed at its sight, marvelling how it was so low they could see over its entire waist-high roof. Crowds of folks seemed to magnetically gather around the Verde Mantis-coloured exotic Italian droptop, especially when the top made it down over a few sunny but chilly days of driving.

Phones and cameras were whipped out as if by digital gunslingers, and even one wedding photographer taking engagement photos who’d have loved a few shots with the happy couple. Questions abounded, mostly about price and power, sometimes about what it costs to fuel and insure (lots, all around).

Ironically for a car with such a mighty V10 engine, this is not a car for anyone in a rush.

Personal as well as public sex appeal

But even with nobody else around, there’s a brazen if lustful visual appeal to the Huracán Spyder that just speaks to one’s inner enthusiast. Just a glance at its sharply defined mid-engine body harkens back to the days when wildly straked and winged Lamborghinis wallpapered millions of bedroom walls around the world. The look is modernized by the seeming non-existence of any functional front bumper, its air-gobbling diagonal splitters that make it scowl like an android catfish.

There’s a front windshield that’s so steeply raked it closely follows the angle of the front hood (and tiny “trunk”), looking so horizontal that you almost wonder how it manages not to fall the rest of the way back down to earth. That long and low windshield yields a super long dashtop behind the steering wheel – if any car yells out for a dash-mounted front licence plate holder, it’s this one, if that’s even legal.

Should be a crime to bolt a provincial licence plate to the front of something this menacingly pretty.

Its aggressive looks don’t merely demand attention, but come with a court order for it, which may be too aggressive for some. Even in this rarefied world of $300,000-plus two-seat sports cars, the Huracán makes competing models from Ferrari and McLaren somehow seem just a bit more… reserved in comparison.

Sure, that $5,000 candy colour paint job and matching laser green interior pump up this particular car’s visual outlandishness. But even in more demure colour combinations, everything about the Huracán Spyder yells that driving thrills lay ahead.

Tight interior also screams “Performance ahead!”

Clambering down and inside the Huracán is done through normally swinging doors instead of the trademark Lambo upswinging doors that come on its Aventador big brother. Then the normalcy largely ends. A bright red fighter-pilot style missile-launch door must be flipped up to uncover the centre-column-mounted engine Start button, while other buttons for Park and manual transmission mode are nestled under a hexagonal lever for reverse.

There’s not an overabundance of headroom inside for my 5'11" frame, and notably less legroom for the passenger than driver, but the snugness is a good motivator to drop the top whenever or wherever possible. It races down in a Lambo-worthy 15 seconds, and can do so at up to 50 km/h, so there’s no red light this top can’t beat – or at least it won’t hold up traffic behind while it does its thing (attract attention) at the same time it disappears.

The flat-bottom steering wheel is a confirmation that this is a tool to create serious driving thrills, not some luxury-frilled-out place to hang your heated hands. Nothing but large shift paddles that control the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission adorn the steering column, so wipers and headlight controls have migrated to buttons on the front of the steering wheel, where phone and stereo controls usually reside, taking a page out of the Ferrari 488 GTB’s book.

Enough teasing, what’s this Huracán Spyder like to drive?

Flip up that missile launch cover, hit the starter button, and the 602 hp 5.2L V10 roars to life with a mechanical bark that announces adrenaline – and attention – ahead. Disengage the auto-enabled parking brake, pull the right paddle, and you’re now in a strange twilight zone of the Lamborghini driver, where every fibre of your being wants to mash the throttle to hear that V10 wail, but pot-holed city streets and waving fellow motorists weaving in for a closer look means a measure of discretion and willpower is called for here.

But as soon as the road clears, and that empty onramp finally welcomes you with its sweet asphalt embrace, a couple quick left paddle pulls have the naturally aspirated V10 wailing for its 8,300 rpm redline, where its full 602 horses peak. The lack of turbo or superchargers is a point of engineering pride for Lamborghini, and means power is linear at every point in the rev range. But it also means that torque peaks way up there at 6,500 rpm, its 413 lb-ft well below some of its turbocharged rivals.

So this Huracán 610-4 is exciting top up or down, but it’s amazing how much faster and more exciting it feels with the top down. The engine sounds louder and more authoritative, the revs seem to co-mingle with the onrushing air to create a trippier buzz even with the windows up, and you wish Waze or Google Maps would offer a route option to maximize the number of tunnels.

Tunnels are aural catnip to Lamborghini drivers, making quick downshifts almost mandatory to hear that incredible sound emanating from right behind your shoulder blades.

Other tunnel occupants may not share your enthusiasm.

The Huracán’s 610-4 designation refers to its brake horsepower output as well as how many wheels are driven. In this case, the all-wheel drive system can power the Huracán Spyder from rest to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, a mere 0.2 seconds slower than the coupe, due to extra weight from structural reinforcements. Top track speed is a plenty-serious 324 km/h.

Yes, there are some foibles to this Huracán. This car’s cloth top appears a touch bargain-basement when compared to the folding hardtop of the Ferrari 488 convertible. Plus Ferrari manages to still allow a peekaboo at the engine with the top up and down – you’ll have to get in good with your Lamborghini technician to see this V10, as the only items visible when the small rear panel is raised up are two large non-descript plastic air filter (we think) covers. It’s laughably thirsty, not shockingly, averaging 18.7 L/100km in my time with it, closer to 15.0 officially overall.

And perhaps most devastatingly, much of its impressive drivetrain hardware can be found in a fully loaded 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus, and at much less cost.

But that would be an Audi, and this is a Lamborghini. That’s still worth something. One can argue whether Ferrari or Lamborghini has the more appealing mechanical soundtrack, visual appeal or performance formula.

But the 2017 Lamborghini Huracán, and this one in particular, was an undisputed master in both shocking and aweing, no doubt.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 Spyder AWD
Engine Displacement: 5.2L
Engine Cylinders: V10
Peak Horsepower: 602 hp @ 8,250 rpm
Peak Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
Fuel Economy: 16.8/11.8/14.7 L/100km city/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space: (barely) 100 L
articles_PricingType 2017 Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4 Spyder AWD
Base Price $289,400
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee Included
Price as Tested $344,400
Optional Equipment $54,900 – Verde Mantis Premium Paint $5,000; Rims 20” Mimas Forged Shiny Black $8,100; Park Assist $4,300; Cruise Control $1,100; Sport Exhaust and Style Package $4,800; Sensonum stereo with Active Speakers $4,500; Branding Package $1,100; Navigation $3,500; Roof lining and A-pillars in Leather $1,500; Bi-Colour Sportivo interior $3,900; Q-citura Stitching $3,200; Inverted Stitching $800; Travel Package $700; Floor Mats with leather piping $800; Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (LDS) $2,600; Lifting System with Magneto-Rheologic Suspension $7,600; Carbon Ceramic Brakes with Green Calipers $1,400
Optional Equipment
10 0
Scoring breakdowns 6.9
10 Styling
10 Powertrain
8 Quality
6 Comfort
5 Practicality
8 Drivability
7 Usability/Ergonomics
2 Fuel Economy
7 Features
6 Value