Ferrari and Lamborghini have both picked the Frankfurt motor show, which opened its doors to the press on Tuesday, as the venue for the global unveiling of their latest drop-top supercars. So how do they measure up to their hardtop equivalents and, more importantly, to each other?
Taking an already phenomenally fast and stylish car and removing its roof, if done right, can take everything -- from driver involvement to emotional connection -- to another level. Something Lamborghini's president and CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, was very quick to highlight when he pulled the covers off the new Huracán LP 610-4 Spyder. "The Huracán Spyder combines the innovation, performance and appeal of the Huracán coupé, with new technologies and an added emotional dimension," he said.
To keep the weight down and the performance on a par with that of the coupé, Lamborghini has opted for a motorized cloth soft top for the new car which takes 17 seconds to go up or down. In terms of new technology, the engine boasts a cylinder-on-demand system so that all 10 can be fired up at once for ultimate performance or just four can kick in when progression isn't possible, for instance in a traffic jam or when rolling through a picturesque town on the banks of Lake Como.
Ferrari, on the other hand, has gone for a metal folding hardtop that can be raised or lowered in just 14 seconds, but the results are the same for both super carmakers. A convertible that is just a fraction of a second off the pace set by its hardtop counterpart.
The new Ferrari 488 Spider can go from 0-100km/h in 3 seconds just like the hard top but it is 0.3 seconds slower to 200kph. The Lamborghini drop top's 0-100kmh sprint is over in 3.4 seconds, that's only 0.2 seconds slower than its coupé brethren and 0.4 seconds off the Ferrari's pace. Still both are members of the 200mph club and they get there in very different yet equally entertaining ways.
Ferrari uses a turbocharged 660bhp V8 in a nod to greater environmental responsibility, while Lamborghini is proud to persist with a naturally aspirated 602bhp V10 engine which unleashes its power more evenly, smoothly and predictably to all four wheels rather than just to the back two.
Yet the two cars have more in common than their makers would care to admit. They both offer up their ferocious performance credentials with extra comfort. Ferrari has tweaked the suspension to make cruising as straightforward as rapidity and for the first time has integrated an adjustable glass wind deflector that can stop hair from being blown about. A similar feature is also making its debut on the new Lamborghini.