For some time now, the Audi R8 has had an Italian cousin, the Lamborghini Huracan. Both cars are built on the same chassis, use the same engine and have very similar performance figures. So we’re fans of the Huracan and how it’s able to bring some flair, some flamboyance to the relatively serious Audi R8. One of the best variants of the Lamborghini Huracan is the Spyder, which is the soft-top roadster variant. The Huracan Spyder, with its all-wheel drive, automatic gearbox and magnetic suspension, is a drop-top supercar that can be used everyday, all the time, during all four seasons. Theoretically.
But the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder isn’t the first supercar to pack all-weather, everyday versatility. No, that car is the Porsche 911 Turbo, which in its latest generation is absolutely superb. However, as Top Gear’s Matt LeBlanc is quick to point out, the 911 Turbo isn’t a proper supercar.
In episode two of Top Gear’s 24th season, LeBlanc and Chris Harris have a bit of a test to see which is the best all-weather supercar: The Huracan Spyder or 911 Turbo Cabriolet. LeBlanc chose the Huracan for his car and Harris chose the 911 Turbo. Though, LeBlanc points out that the 911 Turbo, despite being a super car, it isn’t a supercar. That’s because its engine is at the back, it has rear seats, a sizable trunk (frunk?)and is easy to drive all the time.
Harris just chalks those up to positive attributes about his supercar, rather than admitting it isn’t one. To be honest, LeBlanc has a bit of a point, as a supercar is typically something very exotic, mid-engine and ferociously loud and fast. But, to be fair to Harris, the 911 Turbo is still exotic in its engine placement and is blindingly fast, even faster than the Huracan in fact.
So which car is better? Well, they find out by doing a complete “Four Season” test. They started out in the sunny Las Vegas desert, where they put both cars on a race track. This is the “Spring” event, as the track is called Spring Mountain. However, there’s a bit of a twist to the race: both cars must start the race with their roofs down and finish with them up. So, at some point during the race, they have to fold their power roofs up, which can only be done at a max speed of around 30 mph. LeBlanc attempted to do this at the end of the race while Harris did it right at the beginning and then use launch control to fire out of the hole. Harris ended up taking this one.
Then, they had to switch cars and drive each other’s car up some twisty and beautiful Californian roads. This was the “Summer” and both Harris and LeBlanc seemed to like the other’s car but still liked their own better. Ultimately, this was the least exciting part of the test.
Next was “Fall”, to which LeBlanc and Harris argue over which term is correct, Fall or Autumn. Ultimately, the test is about falling, so Fall is correct. For this test, they both had to start at the top of a very high elevation mountain road. They then had to drive down the mountain, or rather fall down, with both cars in neutral, using nothing but gravity to propel them down the mountain. It’s actually a really fun test to watch, as the idea seems silly but gets really exciting and it throws off each driver. LeBlanc won it by a large margin, which upsets Harris.
For the final “Winter” test, both drivers had to race around the largest mountain in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, in deep snow. No sane human would ever attempt such lunacy, driving around in heavy snow drifts in two supercars. Sure, they’re both all-wheel drive but they’re both extremely low and very torquey, making snow driving treacherous. We won’t tell you who won this test, thus breaking the tie between the two, as you should watch it because it really is quite fun to watch.
The new season of Top Gear is finally starting to come into its own, I feel like. The three hosts are just starting to show some chemistry and it is refreshing to see. There’s a lot of complaining that the studio bits are too scripted and not natural feeling yet, but we must all remember that the original three Top Gear hosts were stiff and wooden at first as well. I’m a massive fan of Clarkson, May and Hammond and they’re part of the reason why I have the job I have, but even I can admit that we have to give these new guys some time. They’re really starting to get quite good.