2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder First Drive: Target Practice
A car this fantabulous, you don’t just call it a midcycle facelift. This car, like a beautiful movie star entering a room full of less-splendid entities … we cut it a lot of slack. It gets to park wherever it wants to, slice through traffic in a fashion that is suddenly allowed because of its beauty and power, and in it we can overlook any flaws (flaws???) because of its overwhelming magnificence.
Yes, the mighty aluminum alloy DOHC 40-valve V10 still makes 631 SAE hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, and, yes, the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode still cracks off gear changes like a line of Carabinieri at their monthly 200-meter target practice. All that magnificence is still present and accounted for in all its usual glorious volume.
But since we’re just talking between friends here, I still can’t fit into the darn thing. I’m only 6 feet 1, but my freakishly long bluefin-like torso means the windshield header sits directly in my eyeballs’ line of vision, so I have to slouch forward to see out the front. Likewise, I can’t get the seat to adjust to my bizarre aquatic proportions — trying to recline the seatback enough just scrunches it into the rear wall of the cockpit, where it scrapes and squeaks against the carbon-fiber tub all day unless I move it forward enough to avoid contact (shorter guys, this car is perfectemente for you, enjoy!).
But who cares about flaws? The Huracan is still one of the most outrageous driving experiences you will ever have in this life and possibly in other lives. The new Huracan Evo Spyder sports the same next-generation suspension control and aero package as the coupe, the latter introduced a few months ago to similar slobbering enthusiasm. The latest Lamborghini Piattaforma Inerziale (LPI) version 2.0, uses accelerometers and gyroscopes in the middle of the car to stiffen or soften the magnetorheological shocks, trim the braking as appropriate and adjust the rear wheel steering as necessary.
Yes, the 2020 model has rear-wheel steering, the position of which you can (but really shouldn’t) watch on the new center armrest-mounted screen, as well as torque-vectoring (that you can also monitor on the screen but, again, don’t). It’s all controlled by a new CPU known in Italian as the Lamborghini Dinamica Viecolo Integrata, or LDVI. Order some of that next time you’re in your favorite Italian restaurant. LDVI not only takes inputs from how you are driving but uses those inputs to anticipate what hare-brained move you might try next and gets the car ready for it. Likewise, the traction control, torque vectoring and Lamborghini Dynamic Steering are set up to react more instantly to driver inputs.
You can still set the overall driving mode to Strada, Sport or Corsa, but the system can adapt from there to handle whatever you or the road may throw at it.
Aerodynamic improvements include a new front splitter and larger air intakes in the front and an integrated, slotted spoiler that combine to give the 2020 model more than five times the downforce of the original Huracan Spyder.
“That car over there, the green one, we want you to drive it. It’s the Pebble Beach show car, and we don’t want anything to happen to it.”
Oh, great. I have now apparently achieved the status of trusted ancient car writer dude. While this is better than “bad-driving knucklehead dope,” or whatever my status had been, it came with more rights and responsibilities than I might have wanted. As if there isn’t already enough pressure to NOT screw things up with these nearly $300,000 supercars already. So I did what any scheming, conniving super villain would do: I had my driving partner take the first leg. Ha! I’ve been around the block a few times. I know how to avoid infamy.
Sure enough, right out of the parking spot, before I could get the words, “Hey watch out for the…” out of my gullet, we both heard the sickening grind of terraced, decorative curbing on aerodynamically efficient carbon fiber rocker panel.
This was less than two feet into the drive. I had just assumed he knew about the curbing.
Immediately the trained Lamborghini personnel sprang into action, saying it “wasn’t a problem,” that the guy “shouldn’t worry about it,” that it’d “buff right out.” All I recall saying at the time was something completely self-serving like, “Remember, it wasn’t me who was driving…”
After that, the next two days were splendid. Six Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyders roared and babbled over the Southern California mountains, each media participant scribbling down the words “staccato braps of the exhaust echoing across the canyon walls” in his or her Lamborghini note pad. And indeed, they were staccato braps, and they did echo.
In fact, the new Huracan Evo Spyder is every bit as much amazing fun as it has been, it’s just a little better now. Once you start driving it, you forget about its minor shortcoming and revel in the power-to-weight ratio. Whatever that ratio might be. Lamborghini lists only the car’s dry weight, which is like telling your Weight Watchers group how much you weigh after removing the fat. Dry weight is 3400 pounds, which is a completely useless figure. What’s this car’s wet weight, with oil, coolant and gas? Who knows? Maybe 3750? I couldn’t find a truck scale during my drive so let’s go with 3750. That gives it a weight-to-power ratio of 5.9:1, which is among the best in the world for street cars.
Noise with the top down isn’t bad at all, and you might find yourself dropping the top – in 17 seconds – for every drive you take. If it rains, just drive faster and the water will flow elegantly over the car.
It took a while to find some empty, curving roads in Southern California, but we did manage to find a few, and once we opened it up, found the Huracan Evo Spyder to be every bit as quick as its sculptured exterior promised it would be. Of the three driving modes I decided I liked Sport the best for its balance of performance and livability, though even in Corsa you would be more or less comfortable. Sport increases the volume and overall brappiness of the exhaust, as well as slightly stiffening up the shocks and overall response of the car to your inputs. In sport mode you can even drift it, Lambo promises, though with the narrow roads and my newfound sense of responsibility I didn’t try that particular trick. Corsa, or track mode, cranks the shifts into back-whapping bangs, makes the steering feel more like a go kart, and makes the dampers hunker down for better control.
Acceleration was instantly pleasing: Lambo lists 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds, which I will translate in my head to 0-60 mph in 2.8 or 2.9, assuming Lamborghini is not being conservative in its figure. It could go even quicker.
How does it compare to others in the class? Well, when I first drove the new Huracan several years ago at Ascari Race Resort in Spain, I was amazed at how much better it was than the Gallardo, or any Lamborghini before it. Unlike any previous Lambo, the new Huracan could suddenly handle, you could go into turns with confidence, receiving feedback from the tires and from the seat of your pantalones all the time. It was a huge step forward. This Huracan is even better than that, with better feedback and more confidence-inspiring grip and feedback than even the original Huracan. And it’s all wrapped in a beautiful body.
How does it compare to a McLaren or Ferrari? I would have to say the cars like the McLaren 570S and Ferrari 488GTB offer even better feedback, better balance and surer grip at the limit. The discerning driver, the one who’s keister is calibrated for road feel, might prefer one of those other cars. But it is amazing how much farther the Huracan continues to come. Those drawn in by its incredible exterior, a shape I have loved since first viewing the Cala show car about 20-something years ago, will not be disappointed with this newest version.
You could even argue that with AWD pulling as well as rear drive pushing the Huracan out of corners, and with four-wheel steering adding stability in high-speed curves, that the Huracan would return faster lap times than the two competitors mentioned. This could very well be true and I would be happy to do a three-car comparo to find out. Argue it out with your friends. But this drive was just the Lambos, and that was more than enough.
Buy two and hang one on a wallThe Takeaway
You get a lot for your $293,195. In this rarified strata of performance cars, you should just buy the one that you like, after a test drive or two. The Huracan Evo Spyder will turn you into a celebrity wherever you go, and for many buyers that’s enough. But for those who can appreciate its improved handling, ridiculous acceleration and impressive electronics, it will offer much more.