I review over 52 cars per year, all delivered direct from the manufacturers so keen are they to be featured within the pages of this august publication. Obviously, as a dedicated petrol head, l am quite keen when the supercars arrive, and Lamborghini rarely fail me. Mother Nature on the other hand can be a horror. As was the case when the new Huracan EVO RWD Spyder arrived as the clue is in the name – RWD – Rear Wheel Drive.
In this hardcore model they have done away with the Audi inspired Quattro system – designed to keep the car on the road and the driver alive. The barnstorming 610bhp engine is direct drive through to the rear wheels only. Mother Nature threw a curveball by ushering in a major storm with permanent driving rain and 70mph winds forcing me to spend much of the week looking through the side window on every corner. Blimey, it was fun.
I reviewed the Quattro Huracan last year and it is a great car – totally barking but great fun. Much of this delight is supplied by the 4x4 system that allows you to pretend to be a mad expert racer but actually, your gran could drive it. Take away the 4x4 system and all hell breaks loose and you need to really drive the car – just like the old days.
I liked the old days.
The 610bhp engine with 413lb ft of torque drives the rear wheels via a seven-speed duel-clutch transmission, and the little blips through the box are an engineering joy. The lack of 4x4 does slightly dampen the 0-62 timing but 3.3 seconds is hardly sluggish, and it will still hit 201mph, if you have the cojones to do that. You also lose the four-wheel steering and the torque vectoring but you also lose weight and, as weight is the enemy of performance, all good news.
You still get the three driving modes – Strada, Sport and Corsa (road, sport and track) and l tend to drive everywhere in Sport as the noise is sensational, the pick up off the line is earth shattering and you need to be a certified mental patient to drive anywhere in Track mode – except on the track.
This is the slightly deranged cousin of the Audi R8 but if the R8 is your dear old Mum, the Huracan RWD is the bonkers cousin who’s always in trouble, always up to mischief and will end up getting nicked.
"Charging horses frothing at the mouth, murderous soldiers aboard, screaming with bloodlust and waving their razor sharp sabres at all and sundry"
Inside the difference is stark, The EVO is every bit Lamborghini and offers you Italian theatre – from the windscreen stretching over the front axle, the low slung seating position and the crazy hexagonal detail everywhere you look. Then you flip the red fighter jet starter button and the earth moves before the car does. The massive V10 5.2-litre power plant sits right behind your head and you feel a permanent, and rather sexy, hum until you open the taps – then it is the Charge of the Light Brigade all over again. Charging horses frothing at the mouth, murderous soldiers aboard, screaming with bloodlust and waving their razor sharp sabres at all and sundry.
Now that would be under normal, dry conditions and not, as previously explained, that week’s horrendous conditions. In the driving rain, getting that power down is next to impossible, with the rear weaving back and forth as if waving to the car behind whilst l wrestle to keep it vaguely on a straight line. It finally bites some dry tarmac, l open up and here we go again. Open up on a slight bend and you are facing the other way in an instant – much to the shock of the driver behind you and the whiplashed face of your passenger. Then comes a challenge l feel must be conquered – the roundabout. Or to be more precise, getting round the roundabout without steering through the side window. Why oh why do they not fit windscreen wipers on the passenger window as it really would make sense as that is my field of vision.
I can attest to the fact that on the east side of the Crawley Town football stadium roundabout is a house with a rather lovely garden; on the roundabout at Pease Pottage above the M23 they have started cutting back the trees; and why oh why on the Ovingdean roundabout has St Dunstan’s Home for Blind Ex-Servicemen got the best views in Brighton?
You see, the point is you see so much more going sideways around such roundabouts and that includes the frozen petrified terror on my girlfriend’s face – err, sorry, ex-girlfriend! We will not mention the roundabout on the A27 at Worthing...
It stopped raining for an hour and this thing grips like nothing l have ever driven. As for the acceleration, it feels as though l could look back and see the tarmac rippled.
There are, of course, a few oddities. Left in Strada and the gearbox in auto the car will happily change up itself, but cruise through a roundabout and squeeze the power and you get nothing; the engine down at 1000rpm and the gearbox in seventh. Why does it not change down? This might have been designed by the chap who chose the colour combo – baby blue body, red roof and dark brown seats – really, l thought the Italians were renowned for their taste and style. Still, the choice of colours is yours and there are many.
This is a pure drivers’ car and it makes no compromise. Without the Quattro system, is shaves 33kg off the weight and nearly £34,000 off the price. The balance of the car is superb, the steering magically precise and the cornering power (in the dry) legendary.
Having said all that, if l owned a race track this would undeniably be the car for me but for all other purposes, l would pay the extra and keep the Quattro system as in the wet, it is close to undriveable. But god, did l smile, laugh and hoot.
Model tested: Huracan EVO RWD Spyder
Engine: 5.2-litre V10
Power: 602 bhp
Speed: 0-62mph 3.3 seconds
Top: 201 mph
Economy: 20.5 mpg combined
Price from: £164,400