Why put kms on your 640bhp roadster, when you can buy another Lambo to tow it instead?
Good for my fellow TG-ists, having such a load of fun with their on-track Top Trumping. But I’d actually have won by roughly 100bhp, enough to bruise their egos so brutally that I’d have felt bad. So I’m off to do something more real with the Lamborghinis.
A racing dinghy is technically a mode of transport, but no one uses it for that. A glider or a hot air balloon similarly. They’re about the recreation, not the transportation. Between the sailing and the flying, people tow them behind SUVs. A Lamborghini Huracán Performante Spyder isn’t any different. On paper it fulfils the technical definition of an automobile, but really as a form of transport it’s hilariously deficient in too many ways to list. But on the right road it will be recreation in excelsis.
That right road, the best in England for our purposes, is a loop around the North Pennines, through and above Teesdale and Weardale. Its width, the variety and frequency of its corners, their sightlines, the sparseness of other traffic, and the sheer jaw-dropping vistas when you can tear your eyes away from the next entrance to apex, those things are, to my mind, unmatched.
Five hours, most of it motorway, separates that road from the Top Gear office. Have you seen the Performante Spyder’s seats? Literally buckets. Arse-bruising, shoulder-cramping, fixed-back solid carbon-fibre buckets. The Urus’s, OTOH, are adjustable in a dozen-plus directions, and have massage. With radar cruise engaged at around the trailer speed limit, its engine is to all intents and purposes silent, some 90 per cent of its potential held in reserve (it has a dial that tells me this). The stereo, satnav and driver aids are all top-end Audi spec. Urus or Performante on the M1: really, what would you do?
Lamborghini’s people were reluctant to have us towing an open trailer. They thought it’d make the Huracán look like it was broken down. Well, I’d say if your breakdown service starts using Lamborghini SUVs as towcars, you might start asking questions about your annual subscription. Plus, we didn’t want to get ourselves scooped by going socially viral. Yet only one shot of our outlandish rig ever hit Instagram. It seems supercar bloggers spend their time in Monte Carlo and Knightsbridge, rather than Trowell Services on the M1.
Brian James’s T6 trailer is an awesome thing. For loading, its hydraulically tilting bed, and the Huracán’s nose lift, help us avoid splitter-scraping horrors. Its underslung wheels mean it’s no wider than the (already ridiculously wide) Urus, so I can be confident that when I’ve threaded the Urus through a gap, the trailer will follow without catastrophe. The masses involved are stomach-churning: we’ve got 1.6 tonnes of fuelled-up Huracán and 0.9 tonne of trailer to haul, plus the Urus’s own 2.2 tonnes. But it refuses to break sweat. Honestly, on the M1 we run an out-of-the-roadworks 65–100km/h rolling-start drag race, and the 641bhp twin-turbo V8 still manages to outrun the photo team’s Jaguar F-Pace.
It makes quite the bellow doing that, but the rest of the time the engine falls to a murmur, and surprisingly the tyres don’t roar, either, so it’s an easy job for the B&O stereo to dominate. I could easily forget I’ve got the trailer at all. Except the sight of a supercar’s chuff filling my rear-view mirror never ceases to surprise me. (We loaded it that way round to keep the V10’s mass close to the trailer axles.) Picture too the double-takes of the folk who come across a yellow Lamborghini reversing at speed up the middle lane of the M1.
On the pretext of “What do SUV owners do with their SUVs?”, Top Gear briefed me to get in among the caravanning fraternity. I stop at the CAMC’s Teesdale site, where people are ridiculously magnanimous in view of the old enmity between us and their homes on wheels. They shriek in wonder at the yellow Huracán, but don’t notice that, as per the old bumper sticker, my other car is a Lamborghini. Once told, it too kinda bowls them over. I’d planned to erect my pathetic little ridge tent and stay the night here. But I also want to be up early to get the Huracán doing its thing on the moor above. A cold-start in either of these Lambos results in what we motoring writers are contractually obliged to call ‘an invigorating barrage of exhaust noise overlaid with a fusillade of pops and bangs’. At 5am this would be the rudest possible thing to do to a field full of people in thin-walled sleeping quarters trying to have a holiday. So we slink off the evening before and find a hotel.
It seems supercar bloggers spend their time in Monte Carlo, rather than Trowell Services
Early next morning, a layby on the B6282 is the gateway to the Performante. It rolls off the trailer, warms itself through, and sets off to do what it came for. There’s been a lot written about the fixed-roof Performante’s blistering track efforts, including a time around the Nordschleife that many people just didn’t believe. Its active aero obviously contributed. But at road speeds, other aspects of its make-up will add much more to the joy of living.
STORY Paul Horrell