Supercars. Not exactly the kind of automobile whose efficacy affects a majority of us. Yet they are largely the reason many of us fell in love with cars in the first place. Unrelenting pace, bleeding-edge engineering and retina-smacking design, the past year saw some rather special supercars emerge.
However, all of this year’s finalists represent a decidedly different take on the same formula. The McLaren 675LT Spider is a raw, hard-edged supercar that just drips menace. It’s a harsh, single-minded machine whose only aim in life is to decimate corners and hasten your progress to a bonkers level. It’s devoid of any fripperies and, while that is admirable, it’s not a car that suffers fools lightly. From the steering wheel to the chassis, every part of the 675LT is constantly talking to you. It’s information overload, to be honest. It is way too much for a mere mortal to take in. On the road it’s noisy (and it’s not a nice noise either), shuddery and has such an immense turning circle that you will be doing three-point turns at a tight U-turn. While it is undeniably impressive on a track, its little quirks almost make it a chore on a daily basis. On public roads, which is where it will spend most its life, it fails. And quite badly.
That is not a problem for the new Porsche 911 Turbo. It has to be the quintessential everyday supercar. No real-world situation ever flummoxes this car. It’s rabidly quick, hitting 100kph from a standstill in 3.0 seconds dead! But despite its many talents, the 911 Turbo is a sterile driving experience. It doesn’t look or sound particularly evocative in this company either. It has to be out.
The Lamborghini Huracán Spyder, however, strikes a superb balance between everyday usability and supercar shenanigans. Stylistically it’s neither as OTT as the McLaren nor as po-faced as the 911 — it’s aggressive yet beautiful. And when that 600-horsepower V10 sings its spine-tingling song, you forgive the fact that it isn’t as quick as the other two. That’s not to say it’s limp-wristed. Dynamically it is a properly well sorted car.
It’ll do 100kph in 3.4 seconds and top out at 324kph. Numbers, you will notice, that aren’t exactly wanting. It’s remarkably poised and the all-wheel drive system gives you the confidence to despatch corners at alarming pace. It looks, sounds and feels amazing to drive; it tantalises and engages all your senses in a joyful, toe-curling kind of way. Make no mistake, this is a Lambo that will duke it out with the best of them. In fact it just did, and won.