The Car Connection Lamborghini Gallardo Overview
The Lamborghini Gallardo is offered as either a two-seat coupe or roadster with a V-10 engine and all-wheel drive. It’s the least expensive way to get into a Lamborghini, if there were such a thing. It competes with the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
For a closer look at the final Gallardo, read our review.
Still snapping heads around after almost a decade on the road, the Lamborghini Gallardo entered the scene in 2003 as a 2004 model. Built in the Sant'Agata Bolognese home of Lamborghini, the Gallardo was first offered a coupe-only body style, a 5.0-liter V-10 engine rated at 493 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, and truly exotic, futuristic looks. In 2006, a Spyder model (convertible) was introduced, along with mechanical upgrades to the engine that raised output to 513 horsepower.
In 2007, a Superleggera ("super light") model was added to the fold, shaving 220 pounds from the Gallardo's standard weight and adding another 10 horsepower. All first-generation Gallardos were offered with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed robotized semi-automatic manual known as E-gear. Top speeds were listed at 196 mph for the later first-generation models.
The second generation Gallardo arrived with an LP560-4 designation at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. In addition to a newer, fresher look inside and out, the second-generation Gallardo also brought a slightly larger 5.2-liter V-10 rated at 552 horsepower and, at the same time, slightly better gas mileage. An improved version of the E-gear system with a new Corsa mode was also added. Corsa mode for the E-gear transmission reduced shift times by 40 percent. Launch control was also added for the new Gallardo.
The Spyder was unveiled later in 2008, offering the same basic amenities and equipment as the hardtop version, with a retractable soft top.
For second generation models, top speeds were raised to 202 mph maximum, with 0-60 mph times under four seconds--some models dipping into the low-three-second range. With the Gallardo's combination of mid-engine balance, all-wheel drive, and low-slung, wide-stanced mass, it has proved to be a very quick, impressively stable car, despite its rather massive power output.
A number of special editions of the second-generation Gallardo have been offered over the past four years, including the light-weight Superleggera, the rear-wheel drive LP550-2 Balboni edition named for famed Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni, and a number of racing-inspired Super Trofeo variants.
Regardless of the model or edition chosen, the Gallardo can be extensively individualized through a variety of standard and commissioned programs offered by Lamborghini, allowing everything from paint color to wheels to interior materials and more to be modified to suit the buyer's tastes fresh off the factory floor.