The Cars: Lamborghini LP-610 Huracan Spyder VS McLaren 570S
The Location: Carmel, California
The Lamboghini LP610-4 Haracan Spyder:
Let’s start with the stats: 610 horsepower, all wheel drive, and a drop-top. From that stance the Huracan Spyder immediately grabs attention…that and the bright orange-pearl paint. From the exterior the Huracan is unmistakably Lamborghini: It looks angular and aggressive. As the baby bull in the line up, it does look a bit softer than the flagship hypercar-destroyer class Aventador. But the standard Aventador has 2 more cylinders and about 90 more horsepower. The Huracan is the entry-level supercar in the family, and the Spyder version starts at about $255,000. So it carries a heftier premium than the McLaren; the question is, is it worth an extra $60,000 over the McLaren? Let’s find out.
Inside the Huracan feels snug and approachable, and firing up the V10 gives one an instant case of excitement chills as the 610 horses under the hood growl to life. Visibility from the Huracan is great, especially with the top down, and having the open top experience with the Huracan really allows you to hear the V10 in all it’s glory. In Corsa Mode, the V10 roars, burbles and bellows as you hit the throttle and suddenly feel the world rocket by. While the Huracan has all wheel drive it’s engine is naturally aspirated, so the sound and pull from the engine are instant, pure, and primal.
The Huracan has plenty of straight-line speed, as you reach the redline and shift up, you always feel the car is pressing you to go faster. In the twisties the Hurcan feel nimble and fun. It makes playful sounds and the grip is immense. It gives you a sense of speed that is thrilling but not terrifying…everything feel accessible. The dual clutch is so smooth and immediate that shifts almost don’t register.
Overall the Huracan is so easy to drive that you could actually drive it and use it every day. It’s almost too clever and civilized. The other down sides are that the turn signals take way longer than they should to figure out and in comparison with it’s big brother, the savagely insane Aventador Roadster we drove before, the Huracan feels far more tame. But the Aventador Roadster is $200,000 more with much more power and a single clutch transmission.
The McLaren 570S:
For the McLaren, the numbers are as follows: 570 Horsepower turbocharged V8 paired with rear-wheel drive, at a starting price of $195,000. Stacking against the Huracan Spyder, it’s already looking like a bargain, though we should mention that the $198,000 Huracan LP580-2 is actually the most direct competitor. But I digress. The 570S has a very interesting insect-like design language, but it is pretty cool to see the signature “McLaren swoosh” logo shape incorporated into the design of the front and and headlamps.
On the inside the 570S feels snug and tight, like a race car. Turning it on is not as dramatic an event as the Huracan, but McLaren is more about subtly and performance. They don’t talk…they just do. Taking the 570S on the road you would think you where in a low slung Toyota Camry…it’s quite, civil, and actually comfortable. Throw the 570S into sport mode and you feel a thousand little things sharpen up to let you know the car is ready to go.
In a straight line the 570S has a bit of pull and the f1 style light cluster on top of the steering wheel lights up to let you know when to shift, and armed with a dual-clutch transmission the shifts are rapid and sooth. Put the car in the turns and the 570S shows you just what it can do as it feels like a rocket-powered go kart. It eats up turns without giving you any doubts about it’s ability to take on more. Because the car’s performance feels so accessible, the 570S actually inspires a lot of confidence in pushing it further and further to the limit.
With a drive like that, what’s not to like? Well to start, the sound of the engine is very subdued. It sounds more sterilized than vivacious and there is a noticeable amount of lag in the turbos. The braking also felt a little slower than expected, so when going fast you have to brake a little bit sooner than you’d expect to. Overall it drives great, but the drive is not emotionally exciting. If you want to get your kicks by getting the fastest and most technical lap times, then this is the car for you. But if you want something that makes you feel alive and convinces you that’s it’s alive as well, the 570S isn’t it.
Both cars are very clever in their own ways and appeal to very different drivers. The Huracan is lively, loud and makes you feel like a 10-year old on Christmas day with each press of the gas pedal. It looks aggressive and sporty and the car feels like a velociraptor wrecking havoc across the jungle when in Corsa Mode. The McLaren is more serious and technical, and the fun comes from agility and accessibility of the cars performance. It is very much the thinking man’s supercar: it appeals to the intellect, not the emotion.
If we had to choose one it’d hands down be the Huracan. The looks, speed, and power add up for a much more magical and lively experience. We could see ourselves daily driving one easily, it’s that’s fun and easy to live with. The McLaren is a great machine no doubt, and I would say if you want a Porsche with more flair get this instead. But if you want proper supercar, if you want something that inspires emotion, than Italian is the only way to go.