Minimalist top retracted, Lamborghini’s Huracán Spyder defines hedonism, a complement to life’s many pleasures.

ABOVE: Our lead photo is from the Spyder’s media launch, in South Beach. Could any other car pull off Lamborghini’s psychedelic color palette?

ABOVE: Our lead photo is from the Spyder’s media launch, in South Beach. Could any other car pull off Lamborghini’s psychedelic color palette?

A week with Huracán Spyder began at the Music Center for Puccini’s La Bohème, taking in debuts of two beautiful and gifted young women, Speranza Scappucci as conductor and Olga Busuioc in the lead female role, Mimi.

Battle-tested briefcase squeezed into the slim front trunk and top tucked under rear bodywork, my attorney and I had our own operatic performance as we shook the glass canyon of downtown Los Angeles before a moonlight drive on 110 North.

ABOVE: Los Angeles Music Center has Founders parking, an advantage over Lincoln Center. Founders parking is a few quick turns away from the freeway.

ABOVE: Los Angeles Music Center has Founders parking, an advantage over Lincoln Center. Founders parking is a few quick turns away from the freeway.

Through the tunnels north of Dodger Stadium, calibration set to Sport, shifting gears under heavy throttle proved irresistible, engine screams reverberating. The soaring frivolities of Puccini were an ideal prelude to this Germano-Italian V10’s performance. Huracán as musical instrument. Huracán as ferocious top tenor.

ABOVE: Our test car was finished in rich, subtle colors that some might call German. But they are also very much inspired by the Lancias and other aristocratic Italian cars of the 1930s through ‘50s.

ABOVE: Our test car was finished in rich, subtle colors that some might call German. But they are also inspired by Lancias and other aristocratic Italian cars of the 1930s through ‘50s.

Ticking and pinging after shutdown, parked near our orange and avocado trees, Huracán’s bold forms are bathed in the light of a near-full moon. Sculpted by Filippo Perini’s team at Lamborghini Centro Stile, Huracán is always a surprise on first sighting: tiny, stubby, only three inches longer than a Porsche Boxster yet there’s that 610-horsepower engine standing tall just behind your shoulder. The original Lamborghini Miura of 50 years ago and its successor, the early ‘70s Countach, defined “supercar” and are thus a tough act to follow, but Huracán is a brilliant extension of Lamborghini‘s Origami/geometric design. An extra-ordinary art object.

ABOVE: Flying buttresses cover the stowed top, but they also obscure cars to the rear three-quarters. It is the car’s only functional flaw. Otherwise, drive it like the world’s fastest Audi TT, pound the engine very chance you get.

ABOVE: Flying buttresses cover the stowed top, but also obscure cars to the rear three-quarters.

Huracán Spyder stands apart from pre-VW Group Lamborghinis because it’s functional, a good service weapon. Pound it full-throttle repeatedly, all day long, and it will not overheat, hiccup, or deliver a balky shift. Electronics, switches, and the Virtual Cockpit, shared with Audi, sourced from Germany, all work flawlessly.

ABOVE: Digital flatscreen. The appearance is tailored to Lamborghini, but this is the Audi Virtual Cockpit. Invest an hour or two learning the complex layers of menus of Audi’s multimedia control.

Huracán Spyder demands a few compromises. The only point where design trumps practical ergonomics is the blind spot to the passenger-side rear three-quarters, so large that full-size German sedans can hide. The answer is fluently Italian: whenever changing lanes, stand down hard on the gas, and have your co-pilot give a quick head check. If you’re less than six-foot-one or so, there’s room enough in the snug cockpit. At six foot three, I had limited wiggle room and would have requested the dealer mount the seat flat on the floor to gain head and leg room.

ABOVE: Top follows the same sequence of a Boxster or any other German convertible. It’s flawless, raising or lowering with time to spare at a red light.

ABOVE: Top follows the same sequence of a Boxster or any other German convertible. It’s flawless, raising or lowering with time to spare at a red light.

ABOVE: Top up. Mountain climb at dusk.

ABOVE: Top up. Mountain climb at dusk.

Neatly tailored as it is, the top adds 265 pounds, enough to slow Huracán two-tenths of a second to 60 mph compared with the coupe. Not that anyone other than the most seasoned exotic car owner will notice. Al fresco, the car feels faster than the coupe, sound and air enveloping. Is 3.3 seconds to 60 mph really so slow? More than anything it’s Huracán’s instantaneous response that thrills.

Comments

comments