The cheapest Lamborghini convertible also just happens to be the best.
It’s hard to justify spending close to an extra $50,000 for a convertible version of a Lamborghini Huracan over the coupe. But if you absolutely and utterly must have a Raging Bull without a roof, the 2017 Lamborghini Huracan Spyder LP580-2 is the one to opt for.
We previously reviewed the all-wheel drive Huracan LP610-4 Spyder and found it to be a cracking convertible, but somewhat compromised right at the top of its limit in terms of understeer and dynamics. In the case of the LP580-2, it’s like being in an entirely different model altogether.
To start with, our Giallo Tenerife coloured Huracan with its Nero Ade interior comes in at $429,000, with our particular car having an additional $19,010 worth of options (listed at the end of this article) to finalise the price at $448,010 plus on-roads. Without options, it's $42,000 cheaper than the AWD Spyder model and we are here to tell you why it’s not only better value, but also much, much, better in general.
Let’s make something clear, if both these high-performance supercars were the same price, we would recommend you buy the rear-wheel drive model (but push for the carbon ceramic brakes on the AWD). Why? Because it possesses all the same Lamborghini traits of being a head turner and standout but with the dynamic competency that it has always deserved. It’s finally, a proper driver’s car.
Now you may be thinking, how can an AWD model be less dynamically competent than a RWD, particularly given just how excellent the new Audi R8 is with the same AWD system. That’s a question you may have to ask Lamborghini, which since the Huracan’s introduction, has built in a certain level of understeer at the limit to keep the AWD models ‘safe’.
This may be good for those that buy a Lamborghini for show, but frankly, given we know how amazing it could be in Audi colours, it’s also a damn shame to self-compromise for the rest of us. To make amends, the LP580-2 is the answer for the true driver’s in both coupe and convertible format.
Here we have a genuine supercar that utilises the same 5.2-litre V10 engine mounted in the back as the AWD, with 426kW and 540Nm. That’s down 23kW on power compared to the LP610-4 (hence the 580 horsepower designation), but unless you’ve got a dyno to prove it, it’s hard to tell the two apart on the move.
The might of the naturally-aspirated V10 goes to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and sees it rev all the way to 8500rpm, almost just to spite the new-age turbocharged supercars that have caved in to environmentalist’s demands and tried to wrap it in the false marketing of ‘efficient power’.
The Spyder will go from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds, making it the slowest Lamborghini money can buy (you can save yourself the 50k and 0.2 seconds if you pick the RWD coupe). But realistically, to label this thing slow, is akin to labelling Silvio Berlusconi a gentleman. It might not have the traction required off the line but once it gets going, whatever minuscule time you lost, you make up for with a far better driving experience.
We brought our bright yellow Lamborghini to Mounts Glorious and Nebo in Brisbane’s outskirts, the exact same roads we shot the LP610-4, giving us a very good comparison of the two most affordable Lamborghini convertibles.
Around town and just for general driving, the two cars are all but identical. You will need to lift the front nose up almost everywhere you go for fear of scratching the underbody plastic. It looks kind of silly sitting so high, but that’s the price you pay for having a true supercar.
The annoying bit is it automatically disengages the lift system at 70km/h+ and refuses to go back up if you slow below that speed again. We would love to see Lamborghini implement an option whereby if the car comes down to 15km/h the nose begins to automatically lift again. Just to stop you from pressing that lift button more often than you really want to.
The constant button pushing also highlighted the Huracan’s switchgear. Which is, well, a little ordinary. The seats are beautiful (though lack the same horizontal adjustment movement of the coupe, which may annoy drivers that measure north of 190cm) and the actual fighter pilot cockpit is very much encapsulating of the brand, if you’re into that.
Nevertheless, the buttons and the build quality of the interior can definitely be better for a half-a-million-dollar investment. There is a lot of plain feeling plastics all around and in that regard, it lacks the finesse and tactile sensation and attention to detail of a Ferrari (it does also cost a fair bit less, though).
Something as simple as the red cover for the start button feels so fragile and weightless. We get that it's meant to save weight, we really do, but we would urge Lambo to put an extra 100g into it and we will go on a diet to compromise.
There are other annoying aspects of the interior also, such as the virtual cockpit which debuted with the Huracan in the Volkswagen family of brands all the way back in 2014, but has now been surpassed by the same technology in a Volkswagen Golf in terms of resolution, speed and clarity.
It would be nice for Lamborghini to get the same virtual cockpit screen as the significantly cheaper cars in the family. In saying all that, the interior is exactly how a Lamborghini should be, attention-grabbing and designed to make you feel like a pilot each time you jump in. The novelty may wear off on the owner after a while, but we applaud the Italians for having the balls to make something unique and different, rather than just slabs of high-quality boredom found in some rivals.
We all but forgot about the interior as we listened to its glorious and unmuted V10 scream while being pushed up the mountain with a level of confidence that we had never experienced from any Huracan before.
It’s somewhat strange this is a RWD model, for it felt far safer and more stable at the limit than its AWD sibling. In the dry at least. Not only that though, but it felt as balanced if not more composed than a new Audi R8 and shamed the terrifying Ferrari 488, which loves to scare you to death at all times (a fact we do love about the Prancing Horse).
Corner to corner, the rear-wheel drive Huracan showed its true supercar colours by not only providing endless levels of grip, but also the typical character of a true driver’s car, allowing for limited rear slip (in Corsa mode) without losing the plot. Freeing up the front wheels to just deal with steering has also basically eliminated understeer, allowing for much later braking into corners and the ability to carry more speed through as a result.
In direct comparison, the AWD unravelled at high-speed entry into corners, understeering forward instead of turning when push came to shove. For the average driver pushing eight-tenths of the car’s limit, there is not much of a difference between the two, but push it close to the edge and the ‘dash two’ shines much brighter. It will eventually lack the consistency of braking power due to lack of carbon ceramics, but you’ll only notice that if you’re abusing it on a race track.
It also doesn’t have the same acceleration ability out of a corner as the AWD, but if you change your driving style to suit its rear bias nature, we actually think it’s likely to be quicker around the twisty stuff anyway. On the downside, it does struggle for grip in the back and certainly in the wet, it feels half as quick as it should, but who the hell drives a Spyder in the rain anyway?
On the more boring stuff, this is not a practical car. You can fit a few things under the bonnet and pretend that there is some storage space inside the cabin, but ultimately, this is a Saturday night car best suited for the streets of Fortitude Valley in Brisbane or Chapel Street in Melbourne. We can’t think of anywhere it would work in Sydney as it would look silly with its nose lifted up permanently trying to avoid the poorly surfaced roads.
This is the cheapest Lamborghini convertible you can buy, and it’s also the best in our opinion. Its price aside, the rear-wheel drive Huracan is actually the best driver’s car in the Lamborghini range, until the Huracan Performante arrives at least. We would highly recommend just getting the coupe, spending the 42k saving over the Spyder on options and living happily ever after. That last bit is all but guaranteed.
2017 Lamborghini Huracan Spyder LP580-2 – Options fitted