The windshield wipers slow to a crawl. "Want to put the top down?" I ask my co-driver. "It's only drizzling. Plus, if we drive fast enough, the rain won't get in." He readily agrees, and with a flick of a switch our protection from the heat, humidity, and drizzle is gone. Rainy Miami traffic might not be the best place to test the performance of Lamborghini's brand new Huracan Spyder, but it is certainly the best way to find out how the Miami glitterati that buy one will spend their time behind the wheel.
The Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 coupe is an absolute revelation and has been one of our favorite supercars of the last couple of years. Precise and devastatingly fast on the road or the track, it's a whole new level for a V10-powered Lamborghini. But does the loss of the top compromise the brilliance of the Huracan?
Convertible supercars are a conundrum. Supercars are meant to be the absolute top level in every metric, but taking the top off naturally hobbles them with added weight and reduced rigidity, both of which blunt performance. There's also the stigma that a convertible supercar is more fashion accessory than serious sports car.
Lamborghini has done everything it can to keep the convertible as close to its coupe counterpart. It weighs 3399 pounds, which is a full 264 more than the coupe, but the acceleration barely feels hampered. It still has 602 horsepower, and Lambo says it gets to 62 in 3.4 seconds (0.2 seconds slower than the coupe), and has a top speed of 201 mph (1 mph less than the coupe). The trick soft top can retract in 17 seconds and goes down at speeds up to 31 mph—perfect for those that can't sit still for even a minute.
But Lamborghini is still very aware that a convertible Huracan is more of a "lifestyle" car than an all-out, track-destroying exotic. That's why we drove it first in Miami, which is a town with essentially no corners that you can take at more than 30 mph, where stop-and-go traffic is the status of nearly every road, and where the wannabe Justin Biebers (Wannabiebers?) at every corner either gawk at your Lamborghini or wait for you to gawk at them.
But today, the gawkers would be indoors, avoiding the rain that would certainly mess up their carefully coiffed hair. We were immediately directed to take a detour when we got in the car in South Beach because the main road was "totally flooded." Lamborghinis aren't natural born submarines. It was apparent that not even a small portion of the day would be spent near the Huracan's limits or with the top down for an extended period of time.
Thankfully, the Huracan actually worked rather well as a, gasp, normal car in Miami's midweek, rain-averse, traffic. It's not jumpy off the line, the transmission is gloriously smooth, it had no cooling issues, and the suspension is as comfortable as you'll find in a $260,000 supercar. And when you hit the highway, there's no issue with getting up to speed, since, if you didn't guess, the Huracan Spyder is pretty damn fast.
While the rain and the city are adept at keeping the Huracan's speed at bay, they can't hide just how gorgeous this car is as a convertible. The flying buttresses out back that cover the top combine with a chopped windshield to make it the best looking of the topless supercars. And with the top up, it looks pretty much exactly like the coupe. That might be the highest compliment you can pay the Huracan Spyder, because the coupe is one of the best-looking cars on the road today. Somehow, removing the roof has made it look more exotic, more speedster than convertible.
And like the McLaren 650S, if the weather is bad, you can lower the rear window independent of the top. This keeps the rain out and lets that V10 music in.
Lambo worked hard to manage the air that enters the cabin. There are these little nets and vents that are next to the windows that are meant to capture the wind and keep it out of the cockpit. The small glass rear window is also meant to reduce buffeting. In the brief periods that we were able to get the top down, we found these little bits and pieces to be rather effective. If you're short, they work even better, since the wind coming over the top of the car at speeds below 60 will barely disturb your hair.
When you do have a chance to get on it, there is only one real difference between the Spyder and its closed-top brother: The sound. With the top down, you're able to fully appreciate just how incredible a naturally aspirated engine can sound in a supercar. Even though turbos sound cool, nothing can replace the smooth melody of a spinner V10 getting way up in the rev range right behind your head. It'll even make the raccoons on Key Biscayne—that, for reasons I don't understand, are creepily awake during the day—stop fighting over garbage for a brief minute to run from the sound of the engine.
If you're buying the Huracan Spyder, you're not doing it to conquer the track. You're buying one because you want an exotic car that looks amazing and sounds unreal. A car that will have everyone looking at you as you drive by. The bonus is that the Huracan Spyder will certainly be brilliant on a back road, which means it'll have the chops to back up those looks. Provided you don't get caught in an urban downpour.