2020 Lamborghini Huracán Evo Spyder first drive review: Worth every sunburn

We too frequently get wrapped up in details. Discussions of Lamborghinis are often bullet pointed with acceleration data, lap times and hyperbolic top speeds. But at the end of the day, these performance metrics -- however impressive they might be -- aren't what sells a new Huracán Evo Spyder. Rather, it's the car's ability to make you look and feel like a million bucks, even when you're just toddling along in traffic.

After all, you don't even have to mention its substantial power; the 2020 Huracán Evo Spyder causes a stir at a standstill. All done up with angles and points and aggression, the Huracán is a textbook definition of what a supercar should be: It's borderline overwrought, yet beautifully cohesive at the same time. I can't say I prefer the Evo's new look to that of its predecessor -- I know the slightly revised bodywork improves aerodynamic flow, but it almost feels like styling for styling's sake. Still, kudos to Lamborghini for keeping the Evo's design so close to that of its progenitor. Five years on, the Huracán's shape is as stunning now as it's ever been.

The Spyder is of course best viewed with its top down, the electronically folding roof completing its disappearing act in a scant 17 seconds. The angle of the Huracán's windscreen and arc of its rear buttresses carry your eye from one to the other, so even with that gap between its pillars, the Spyder's profile cuts a totally seamless shape.

If there's a downside to the droptop's design, it's that the roof's stowage compartment means there's no large glass panel through which to view the 5.2-liter V10 engine. Instead, the Spyder's boot lifts up to reveal an unflattering glimpse of the engine's backside, though I do love that the Evo incorporates the higher-mounted exhaust outlets first seen on the Huracán Performante.

Nevertheless, the engine is an absolute sweetheart, revving to high heaven with naturally aspirated ferocity. Strada, Sport and Corsa drive modes all have distinct volumes and pitches at which to sing, and the latter of those three sounds devilishly delightful, whether you're flooring it past 5,000 rpm or just giving the throttle a few playful blips as requested by wide-eyed kids at busy intersections.

All Evos use the V10 tune from the outgoing Huracán Performante, meaning there's 631 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque on offer. Even with its 256-pound weight penalty over the Evo Coupe, the Huracán Spyder rockets away from stoplights with immediacy -- an unrelenting crescendo of linear power delivery. Digging into the numbers for just a moment, Lamborghini says the Evo Spyder will accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds, which is two-tenths of a second slower than the Coupe. But unless you're drag racing another Huracán owner, this brief time delay won't actually make a difference. The Huracán Evo Spyder is every bit as thrilling to launch as its fixed-roof counterpart, the seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox upshifting with well-timed urgency, no matter if I'm leaving the transmission to its own devices or using the Spyder's big, metal paddle shifters. Besides, I'll happily trade two meaningless tenths of a second for the warm breeze against my skin and that symphonic V10 turned up to full volume.

Five years on, the Huracán looks sharp as ever.

Drew Phillips/Lamborghini

For its Evo incarnation, the Huracán has a few extra performance tricks up its sleeve. The reworked traction control and rear-axle steering systems are borrowed from the larger Aventador S, and new torque-vectoring technology better shuffles power between all four wheels. The car's revised aerodynamics are said to produce five times the downforce of the outgoing Huracán Spyder, and all of this works together to create a car that's much sharper than before.

The Spyder turns in with such immediacy that it honestly feels a little twitchy at first. But the longer I drive the Evo, the more I adapt to its lightning-quick reflexes. This car is so precise in its actions and so eager to rotate while turning that it almost makes up for the decidedly numb steering feel.

What really seals the deal is the Evo's new Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI) tech, which uses data from a whole bunch of sensors to predict how much electronic driving intervention is required before it's even needed. Rather than reacting to moments of understeer or oversteer, LVDI factors in the car's speed, the driver's inputs and the amount of available grip to mitigate sloppiness ahead of time. It's not really anything you can tangibly feel from behind the wheel, and that's a good thing. The LVDI system feels like a natural part of the Evo's on-road manners, and allows me to more confidently push harder and harder with each new corner.

That said, arguably more important to the Spyder's boulevardier mission statement is how amicable the Huracán Evo is to driving at legal speeds around town -- say, on a sunny July morning along California's Pacific Coast Highway. Even in its most balls-out Corsa setting, the magnetorheological dampers smooth out pavement imperfections for a ride quality that's graceful and, dare I say, supple. Honestly, the toughest part of commuting in a Huracán Evo Spyder is finding the restraint to not bury the throttle at every gap in traffic. Well, that and not getting a sunburn (ask me how I know).

An 8.4-inch touchscreen now resides in the center console, housing Lamborghini's hit-or-miss infotainment interface.

Drew Phillips/Lamborghini

Beyond the amplification of that glorious V10, with no roof above you, headroom is hardly an issue. That's a good thing, as even shorter drivers like me have a hard time seeing out of the Huracán Spyder. The top of the windscreen cuts right through my sightline when I'm trying to see if the stoplight has changed from red to green. Taking off the roof improves side and rearward visibility, as well, though both are still quite pitiful. Thank goodness for that federally mandated backup camera.

Speaking of onboard technology, a new, 8.4-inch touchscreen takes up space on the center console, housing Lamborghini's latest infotainment software. No longer a bastardized version of Audi's old MMI tech, the Huracán's setup isn't the easiest or cleanest to work through. At least it includes some genuinely useful gesture controls, like the ability to two-finger swipe up or down the screen at any time to increase or lower audio volume. Apple CarPlay is included, but Android Auto is nowhere to be found. And while I'm sure Android users will slowly but surely get used to Lamborghini's take on infotainment, if you're an iPhone guy or gal, CarPlay is definitely the way to go.

Are there other problems? I suppose. It's not as easy to talk to passengers in the Spyder, what with all that added wind noise. And I guess the Huracán isn't exactly practical, its frunk only able to hold a pair of backpacks. At $287,400, the Spyder costs some $26,000 more than the Huracán Evo Coupe, though if you're spending more than $250,000 on what is essentially a lifestyle accessory, you can almost assuredly spare the extra coin.

The bottom line is that the Evo is the best version of the Lamborghini Huracán, and the Spyder only heightens the experience. It's as visually arresting and fantastic to drive as its Coupe counterpart, and with the top folded back on a beautiful summer day, you won't even care that it's ever so slightly slower.

What could be better than a Huracán Evo Spyder on a warm summer evening?

Drew Phillips/Lamborghini

Editors' note: Travel costs related to this feature were covered by the manufacturer. This is common in the auto industry, as it's far more economical to ship journalists to cars than to ship cars to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multi-day vehicle loans from manufacturers in order to provide scored editorial reviews, all scored vehicle reviews are completed on our turf and on our terms.

The judgments and opinions of Roadshow's editorial team are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.

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