► Drop-top Huracan EVO driven
► 631bhp and all-wheel drive
► Better than the coupe?
First the coupe, now the drop-top.
We’ve gotten our hands on the new Lamborghini Huracan EVO Spyder to see if much has changed since its 2019 facelift.
What’s different about the EVO?
More than you think. There’s definitely more aggression to its looks, especially in the rather high-vis Arancio Xanto orange paintwork (a Lamborghini Ad Personam finish that’ll set you back £9,540) on this one. It still looks familiarly like a Huracan has done since its inception, but the front and rear have been redesigned with high-mounted, vented exhausts straight off the pre-EVO Performante model.
In fact, the Huracan EVO’s engine is lifted wholesale from the “old” Performante: a 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 making 631bhp. For reference, that makes it more powerful than an R8 Performance Spyder that shares some DNA with the Huracan EVO Spyder, and quicker to 62mph by a tenth of a second.
In terms of handling, the EVO-lution has meant that rear-wheel steering is now standard, as is a near-telepathic adaptive dynamics system: ‘Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata.’ LDVA is Sant’Agata speak for the car’s brain predicting your every pedal press, gearshift and steering input to pre-empt what’s coming next down the road.
Inside, the build quality is impressive. High grade leather trimmings on the dashboard, Alcantara as far as the arm can reach and solid switchgear betray the usual Italian stereotypes. Naturally, there are quirks, like the window switches operating the opposite way around to literally every other window switch I’ve tried.
Still, what is a definite improvement is the introduction of a central, portrait-orientated touchscreen for managing media and navigation. The screen is responsive to prods, looks slick (navigation mapping less so) and didn’t take long to get used to.
The capolavoro of the cockpit, though, are the pair of shift paddles – arguably up there with the best, like Alfa’s Giulia/Stelvio machined aluminium ones or McLaren’s rocker paddles. Cold and metallic to the touch, with a traditional Lamborghini geometric pattern woven into them and a soft but immensely satisfying click on every pull. Given that Lamborghini has removed all other stalks (meaning the indicators and wipers are buttons/rocker switches on the steering wheel), the paddles are free from intrusion.
Are there any practical touches?
You’re reading the wrong car review if you care about interior space, ease of ingress and egress, boot volume and if the seats fold down. Go away and read something more normal.
If you’re still with us and didn’t get the gist of the answer from the above, our response is ‘No.’ Granted, there is an (optional) nose lift system for saving the car’s pointy front valance from the perils of a light speed bump, but the front boot area is smaller than that in an R8, there’s nowhere to put anything other than a shallow centre cubby for your phone and, if you’re taller than average, there’s a high chance you won’t quite fit.
If you’re 6’3” like me, for example, you’ll end up feeling more comfortable with the roof folded away than with it fixed in place. The small cabin area means loftier folk have to get imaginative to dream up a somewhat agreeable driving position. Rear visibility is rather poor, too.
It does, however, have some road manners. Strada mode basically kills about 90 per cent of the engine noise, while softening and lightening everything to the point of genuine civility. There’s start-stop, cruise control and two-zone climate control and the rear-wheel steering helps with parking, even if the reversing camera has the resolution of a YouTube video from 2007.
And when you’re out for fun?
Let’s start with the truly epic engine, as flicking from Strada to Sport quite literally wakes the devil inside. Acceleration is brutal. A lack of forced induction makes you push that rev needle higher and higher, the power surge building with it. Your eyes widen and your jaw drops the harder the throttle is pressed, with such a crisp throttle response that’s hard to find in cars that rely on turbos or supercharging.
Even low-rev driving is an event, though. It’s so freaking loud that the hairs on your neck stand up, and literally any throttle lift-off gives the exhaust a blank cheque to dump as much fuel as it likes, making for limitless pops and bangs. Even the varying degree of those exhaust blasts is exciting; spray ‘n’ pray rumbles or one single, deafening bang are just as likely (and entertaining) as each other. Plus, even if the weather doesn’t want to play ball, the small vertical window that’s crucial to providing at least some rear visibility can be lowered, so you can hear the howls during the stormy season.
The EVO Spyder’s standard rear-wheel steering injects alertness to the steering unlike a lot of its rivals, not least the R8. While the Audi’s steering has improved over the years, it’s the Huracan’s that has taken the far bigger leap. Some might not quite like it’s darty front end if you’re just getting from A to B, especially as there is a touch of artificiality to it, but you can’t ignore the benefits compared to the pre-update Huracan. As explained in our Huracan EVO coupe review, the benefits on track are clear to experience.
Lamborghini Huracan EVO Spyder: verdict
What a thing Lambo’s baby drop-top is. The raw engine, snappy-shifting dual-clutch, alert steering and just the right amount of slack on the traction control system in Sport is plenty fun enough for any road. It also has some road manners, so you can actually potter about in one easily.
It’s not practical and, while the cockpit has improved there are quirks you’ll have to get used to. Still: Lambo’s Huracan EVO is now truly a driver’s car just as much as it is a huge posemobile, and the Spyder only adds to the theatre. Molto bene.
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