When I was a kid, I picked up a copy of Car and Driver with a Lamborghini Countach on the cover. It was red in all of its iconic 80s glory and before I knew it I was hooked. I had the posters, the calendars and wore out my VCR watching the 60 Minutes episode when Morley Safer visited the Lambo factory. And even though I’m nearing my 20th year of critiquing cars, until now I’ve never had one of these to test drive. And the new Huracan Spyder has made it worth the wait.

When you’ve been admiring something or someone from afar for 3 decades and then finally procure an introduction, it can either be everything you had wished for or achingly disappointing. But even if I hadn’t ever flipped the gatekeeper to the push button of a lifetime, I think I would have still been glowing about my Lamborghini experience. I mean, just to enjoy it visually is pure satisfaction! It’s the new open top version of the brand’s gateway car, the 2016 Huracan Spyder. Using the term entry-level seems asinine, but in fact the Huracan is the V10-powered Lambo starter car, where this LP 610-4 Spyder carries a starting MSRP of $267,545 including destination and a gas guzzler tax. It’s the very definition of wedge-shaped and with just about enough ground clearance to slip your foot under the front clip, it’s ultra-low and wide-bodied. In an automotive landscape dulled by copycat styling, the Huracan looks only like the fantasy car of your dreams. And any concerns you may have had about the convertible’s styling infringing upon the awesomeness can be immediately put to rest. The cloth top is fully electronic and can be activated at speeds up to about 30mph, where is rests perfectly hidden atop the engine bay.

13521990_10207826994047371_6058000211427865803_nI’m accustomed to getting into any new car and instantly feeling comfortable with the controls. But a Lambo is a different animal.

It’s easy enough to manage the Italian without a translator but the stalk-less steering wheel and unique switches took some getting used to. After firing it up in its default ‘Strada’ setting suited for stealthy neighborhood driving, I most often toggled over to ‘Sport” once I got out on the open road. That’s’ where the 7-speed dual clutch transmission, and more importantly, the mind blowing exhaust sounds truly come to life. Don’t look for the D. To engage automatic drive, simply pull the right paddle shifter. Pressing M leaves the gear changes up to you via these fixed, metallic paddles but the transmission mapping is so absolutely spot on for the selected mode I swear it’ll win over even the most ardent manual maniacs. The Huracan’s unique voice can be heard from miles away and simply lifting off the throttle will invoke all kinds of intoxicating super car sounds that clearly distinguish it as an exotic. Sadly, you can’t see much of the 5.2-liter V10 beyond the air boxes and oil sump but you’ll never forget its presence and when it screams above 8,000 RPM neighboring zip codes are put on alert. No scissor doors here, but lowering yourself inside becomes exponentially more difficult with each year of age. From the driver’s seat, the nose of the car is invisible and without the backup cam you have little visibility out the rear. But the dimensions quickly become engrained in your memory. That just leaves you and the expertness of the controls where the Huracan feels like you’re riding on Space Mountain but with a steering wheel. With all-wheel drive and some fantastic Pirelli rubber, this car is as roller coaster-like as anything I’ve ever driven. You’d swear Lambo was interrogating your thoughts by how incredibly hooked-up this car truly is, with electric assist steering to die for. It weighs only 3,400 pounds thanks in part to its hybrid aluminum/carbon fiber fame and 57% of that resides out back but the Huracan never exhibited any unwanted oversteer nor fun sapping understeer…just neutrality. Switch over to the Corsa track setting with ESC off if you want to get it a little sideways. This is also the setting for what Lambo calls Thrust Mode, an engineered 0-to-60mph launch that barely takes 3.0-seconds. And 610 horsepower will take you all the way to a top speed of 201 mph if you dare. And the once aspect of the Huracan that surprises more than perhaps even the breathtaking speed is the ride quality. Magnetic shocks do a beautiful job of keeping the suspension amazingly compliant. And with a new cylinder deactivation feature killing one complete bank when it’s not needed, this Lambo’s 16mpg rating in combined driving is relatively impressive. For me though, it’s the carbon ceramic brakes – I’ve never tested anything that stops are resolutely as this.

Everyone’s been asking me; is it everything you had hoped? And frankly, the answer is no. I had a preconceived notion that it would be a handful to drive and perhaps a bit brutish. But lo and behold the Huracan Spyder is as refined and easy to drive as any luxury roadster on the market. Confidence builds almost instantly and with the top down it’s a peaceful place to be. But of course when you’re ready for theatrics the Huracan does that too with you as the conductor, your right foot the baton and a 10 cylinder Italian symphony playing from behind.

Owing its infotainment system and some other bits to parent company VW Group, if you understand Audi’s MMI system than you’ll have no problem getting around here. The display is integrated into driver center with a number of configurable views. You won’t find any cupholders and stuff it space is almost non-existent but the fit, finish and quality is superb. It looks just as awesome from the inside as it does from out. And yes, this car shares much in common with the Audi R8 V10 Spyder but now I’ve driven both and can wholeheartedly say the Lambo delivers a much richer flavor through and through.

You would not want to soil your hands in the unfortunate case of a flat tire.

Though you could seriously be comfortable here for a lengthy road trip, there’s minimal luggage space. My car adds about $20,000 in options, the priciest of which is the Lifting System that adds a switch to raise that front end alleviating potential repairs.  And yes, automatic car washes are allowed.  All told, this car stickers for $287,225.  About 60 lucky Americans take delivery of a new Lamborghini every month.  Here’s to hoping you’re next!

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