Soft touch

With the soft-top ver­sion of the Hu­racán un­veiled, Sean Li goes to Mi­ami to see if the Spy­der changes the essence of Lam­borgh­ini’s most ac­ces­si­ble su­per­car

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life | Cars -

am­borgh­ini this year cel­e­brates the 100th an­niver­sary of the birth of Fer­ruc­cio Lam­borgh­ini, the Ital­ian in­dus­tri­al­ist and car en­thu­si­ast who founded the mar­que in 1963 be­cause he found Fer­raris want­ing. Since then, clas­sics such as the Miura (1966–73), Coun­tach (1974–90) and Di­ablo (1990–2001) have rolled off the pro­duc­tion line in Sant’agata Bolog­nese and set en­thu­si­asts’ hearts on fire.

Given a smaller out­put than ri­vals, Lam­borgh­i­nis re­mained a rel­a­tively rare sight—un­til Audi ac­quired the com­pany in 1998. The mar­que has gone from strength to strength since, par­tic­u­larly over the past decade un­der Stephan Winkel­mann. The Ger­man-born, Ital­ian-raised CEO has over­seen the tran­si­tion from the Mur­ciélago (2001–10), the Di­ablo’s im­me­di­ate suc­ces­sor, to to­day’s flag­ship, the Aven­ta­dor, and from the en­try-level Gal­lardo (2003–13) to the Hu­racán. The foun­da­tion has also been laid for a third car to join the fam­ily in 2018, the Urus, Lam­borgh­ini’s en­try into the SUV mar­ket.

I have a cer­tain fond­ness for Lam­borgh­ini be­cause it is one of the last bas­tions of nor­mally as­pi­rated en­gines. Mod­ern en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions have led to the resur­gence of the tur­bocharged en­gine in re­cent years. Tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances have made such en­gines more man­age­able and drive­able. Gone is the turbo lag of yes­ter­year, that frus­trat­ing pause be­tween press­ing the ac­cel­er­a­tor and feel­ing the re­sponse. Un­for­tu­nately, the down­side of mod­ern tur­bos is that be­cause the power kicks in ear­lier, the en­gine doesn’t need to spin as fast, which af­fects the sound it makes un­der ac­cel­er­a­tion. Lam­borgh­ini, how­ever, is well aware of the im­por­tance of the ex­haust note and is stead­fastly re­main­ing com­mit­ted to the nor­mally as­pi­rated en­gine.

There is lit­tle doubt that tur­bocharg­ing will make an ap­pear­ance in Lam­borgh­ini’s fu­ture, but the newly re­leased Hu­racán LP 610-4 Spy­der, which I re­cently tested in Mi­ami, Florida, is most def­i­nitely a nor­mally as­pi­rated sports car. And in a con­vert­ible like the Spy­der, it’s all the more im­por­tant, as hav­ing the top down brings you and your pas­sen­ger that much closer to the ex­haust note.

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