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Future models - Lamborghini - Gallardo

First look: Lambo's 300km/h little brother

Streamlined: The sleek styling of the Gallardo hides a massively powerful 5.0-litre engine.

Look out Ferrari, Lambo's Gallardo is coming at you!

11 Mar 2003

LAMBORGHINI has taken the wraps off its latest supercar at the Geneva motor show, the mid-engined V10 Gallardo.

The little brother to the Murcielago is named after a breed of Spanish fighting bull - as is the Lambo way - and is intended to boost the company's annual sales from 400 to at least 1000.

A direct rival for the Ferrari 360 Modena, we can expect to get our first look at Gallardo here in Australia at the Sydney motor show, before going on sale soon after priced in the low to mid-$400,000 bracket.

The local importer expects to sell 40 Gallardos here in 2004, with 21 deposits already taken.

Lamborghini claims the car is designed to be user-friendly enough to be driven every day, unlike the Murcielago.

These days Lamborghini is owned by Audi and the technology in the car shows that up.

For a start Gallardo has an aluminium spaceframe chassis clad in aluminium body panels, an area Audi is expert in.

The 4.3m long shape of Gallardo has been styled by a team overseen by Dutchman Luc Donkerwolke from an initial concept supplied by Italdesign. The car has conventionally hinged doors, unlike big brother, and at 1430kg is also 200kg lighter.

The block of the 5.0-litre V10 engine is also Audi sourced - and will probably be used in Audi's own forthcoming supercar based on the Gallardo's spaceframe - although Lamborghini did the rest of the powerplant development at its Sant'Agata headquarters with the help of Cosworth.

With variable length inlet manifolds and variable valve timing helping it along, the 90-degree V10 develops 368kW at 7800 and 510Nm at 4500rpm, with 80 per cent of the torque available at only 1500rpm. All that equates to a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds and a 309km/h top speed.

Other technical features include four-wheel drive, the choice of six-speed manual gearbox or a new paddle shift semi-manual called "e.gear" and a sophisticated set of electrics.

Suspension is by double wishbones all-round, braking is via eight-piston Brembo callipers up front and four-piston units at the rear. The Gallardo rides on 19-inch wheels.

Inside there's dual front and side airbags and more evidence of Audi's involvement, the parent supplying the radio and sat-nav units.

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