2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s web site
By Dustin A. Woods; photos courtesy Lamborghini
2009 Lamborghini Gallardo
Las Vegas, Nevada – It’s hard to believe that it has been six years since the unveiling of the original game-changing Gallardo. Back in 2003 at the Geneva Auto Salon, Lamborghini revealed what would become yet another iconic supercar, continuing the bold tradition the legendary automaker has enjoyed. This ‘entry-level’ Lamborghini was a bold step for the exclusive super sports car maker. By attempting to increase production and sales of a more inexpensive Murcielago alternative, they not only risked reducing the exclusivity of the brand, but they could have decreased demand for their flagship model. Another exclusive Italian automaker did just that in the 1980’s with dismal results. In order to avoid a potential defamation of character lawsuit, I won’t divulge the name of that automaker but I will give you a hint: Mondial. Five years and over 7,100 Gallardos later, Lamborghini proved that increasing production and expanding their product line-up simply resulted in them selling more cars, period.
Anticipation for the updated Gallardo was considerable: could it be significantly better than the original without outshining the LP640? Could it possibly draw on the styling of the previous Gallardo while still appearing fresh and innovative? The answers to the two previous questions happen to be a resounding and unequivocal “yes”. Having the opportunity to track-test the preceding Gallardo earlier this year, I felt I had a suitable basis of comparison to judge the new model. The moment I slid into the cockpit of the Gallardo successor, I could tell that things had changed. The new interior isn’t significantly different, but dissimilar enough to be an improvement. For me, one of the unparalleled highlights of any exotic supercar is the sound – and firing up the LP560 is no different. The fact that each Lamborghini is assembled by hand in Sant’ Agata Bolognese, Italy means that each car has a distinctive pitch while still sounding uniquely Lamborghini.
So what makes the new Gallardo, new? Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s Director of Research and Development summed up some of the improvements during a dinner discussion by saying, “Weight has been reduced, power increased and emissions lowered.” That certainly isn’t a bad start, to say the least. The figures are impressive indeed as they are either rivalled or increased over that of the previous generation Superleggera. The LP560 weighs 20 kilograms less than the preceding Gallardo while gaining 39 hp, 22 ft-lbs of torque and expelling 18 per cent less emissions.