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Lamborghini Gallardo


1 Oct 2003

Launching with a mid-mounted 373kW/510Nm V10 mated to an all-wheel drive chassis enabling a sprint to 100km/h in 4.0 seconds, Lamborghini's smallest model was intended as a direct rival for contemporary mid-engined Ferraris.

Early 2006 saw the drop-top Spyder variant reach Australia, its engine output boosted to 382kW and the six-speed paddle-shift sequential transmission fitted with lower ratios for better performance.

Meanwhile, steering and suspension were sharpened and recalibrated for improved roadholding.

0-100km/h came up in 4.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 314km/h.

In October 2007 the lighter yet more powerful 390kW Gallardo Superleggera arrived Down Under, with 100kg stripped out with the use of carbon-fibre for several exterior panels and polycarbonate replacing some glass surfaces.

The extra power and lighter weight quickened the 0-100km/h sprint to 3.8 seconds, while the reduced mass also helped handling, reducing lap times over the standard car.

An August 2008 facelift saw the Gallardo take the larger Murcielago's LP nomenclature with the Australian debut of the entry-level LP560-4.

The facelift comprised a subtly revised new front bumper and headlights with daytime running lights, plus a new rear fascia with LED tail-lights and revised rear air-diffuser, which contributed to a claimed 31 per cent better aerodynamic efficiency.

A new slightly larger, direct-injection 5.2-litre V10 engine from the Raging Bull's Volkswagen Group upped power to 412kW while torque rose to 540Nm, resulting in a 3.7-second 0-100km/h time and a 325km/h top speed.

Thanks in part to a lighter 1410kg kerb weight, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for the E-gear version, which was claimed to offer 40 per cent faster gearchanges, were been reduced by 18 per cent.

A rear-drive entry-level Gallardo emerged into Aussie showrooms mid-2010 in the shape of the LP550-2, with a less powerful 405kW version of the 5.2-litre V10.

Nevertheless, the lack of all-wheel-drive componentry meant weight reduced to 1380kg and 0-100km/h came up in 3.9 seconds, while v-max was 320km/h.

A revised suspension system, redeveloped rear differential and retuned electronic stability control system ironed out any potential handling gremlins associated with the reduction in mechanical grip.

Not far behind in the Australian launch schedule was the LP570-4 Superleggera, 70kg lighter than the LP560-4 and with a 7kW power boost to 419kW (although torque remained at 540Nm).

More power + lower weight resulted in rest to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds, then on to 200km/h in 10.2 seconds and a top speed of 325km/h.

The Gallardo's model history was also peppered with numerous special editions including the LP570-4 Blancpain Edition, LP650-4 Bicolore and LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale.

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