Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder Blasts Through Canyon Roads

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Going top-down in a Performante Spyder looks like a great way to spend a cold winter morning.

The right car can give you a satisfying driving experience. But it takes more than just a brilliant vehicle to have an unforgettable time behind the wheel. You have to be on the right road at the perfect time of day to have one of those drives that you can’t shut up about. It looks as if The Smoking Tire‘s Matt Farah had one of those drives in the 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder.

It didn’t start out perfectly, though. It was a cold day, but for some reason, Farah had the top down. That’s because he had to. According to Farah, “The room for the soft top, which folds behind the seats here, that room has come out of the cabin. So you lose some legroom.” Even with the seats all the way back, Farah’s head would be scraping the underside of the roof, so he chose to lower it to make things easier on himself. Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder

All of that seems insignificant once Farah is out on the unpopulated roads that wind through the San Gabriel Mountains. He can hear the Spyder’s naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 at full volume and every crack and burble from the dual exhausts that exit out of the middle of the angular rear end. As he plays hide and seek with the sun on his circuitous route through the natural beauty of SoCal, Farah points out how wonderfully old-school his $360,000 test car is. “No turbos here. No hybrid systems. Just 8,500 naturally-aspirated RPM.”


ALSO SEE: Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder Review: Wild, Insane and Perfect


The further Farah goes, the more he finds to like about the Spyder. It grips and holds the cold roads well while its suspension does a great job of neutralizing the worst parts of the pavement. Farah thinks back to the E-Gear system of Lambos past and says, “The dual-clutch gearbox is really a staggeringly good evolution of this system.” In Strada mode, the seven-speed unit delivers imperceptibly smooth shifts. They remain silky in Sport mode and have just the right amount of force to them when the Spyder is set to Corsa. Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder

The real stand-out feature – as it should be – is the engine, especially when Farah zooms through a tunnel at 5,500 rpm. He marvels at the fact that Lamborghini took its V10 engine from 5.0 liters and 500 horsepower in the Gallardo to 5.2 liters and 640 horsepower in the Huracan Performante without adding forced induction. Farah’s fast driving gives him several opportunities to realize that Lamborghini has matched that ample power with carbon-ceramic brakes that are immediately easy to modulate. Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder

As Farah drives toward the sun and the next curve in driving paradise, he exclaims, “What a glorious automobile this is.” And what an unforgettable day and road to test it on.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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