he Lamborghini Gallardo (Italian pronunciation: [ɡaˈʎarðo]) is a sports car built by Lamborghini. The Gallardo is Lamborghini’s most-produced model to date, with over 5000 built in its first three years of production. Each car costs about $180,000 to $210,000. The car is named after a famous breed of fighting bull. The Spanish word gallardo translates into “gallant,” and from Italian into “striking”.
The Gallardo offers two choices of transmissions, a conventional (H-Box) six-speed manual transmission, and an advanced six-speed electro-hydraulically controlled semi-automatic robotized manual, which Lamborghini abbreviates to “E-gear”. The “E-gear” allows the driver to make shifts much faster than a manual transmission would. The driver shifts up and down via paddles behind the steering wheel, and does not and cannot manually actuate the clutch.
For the MY2006 (launched in late 2005) Lamborghini introduced many changes to the car to counter some criticisms garnered by the press and owners. These were derived from the limited edition Gallardo SE. The exhaust system was changed to a more sporty one (including a flap to make it quieter around town), the suspension was revised and a new steering rack was fitted, the engine power was increased by 20 bhp to a maximum of 512 brake horsepower (382 kW), the biggest change was an overall lowering of the gearing especially in 1st to 5th. The result was a much improved car, it handled and turned in better, sounded better under full throttle and the extra power and lower gearing turned an already fast car into a seriously quick one.
The Audi R8 sports car, launched in early 2007, is based on the Gallardo platform, and uses a 4.2 litre V8 in place of the Gallardo’s V10 to avoid competing directly with the Gallardo. In December 2008, Audi unveiled a V10 Audi R8, with a detuned version of the Gallardo’s, placed between the R8 V8 and the Gallardo.
For the 2008 model year, features added to the Gallardo included an onboard computer, iPod connectivity with USB, heated mirrors, Q-citura stitching that originally could only be found on the Nera model, and a beige soft-top on the Spyder.
Lamborghini Concept S (2005)
It is a concept vehicle based on contemporary Gallardo, but without roof. The car was designed by Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Lamborghini Design.
Gallardo SE (Special Edition) is a limited (250 unit) version introduced in late 2005. The SE is distinguished from the regular Gallardo externally by having a black-roofed two-tone color scheme as well as specially-designed “Callisto” rims shod with Pirelli tires. Note that the Gallardo SE could only be ordered in a very small selection of exterior colors: two grey shades as well as white (Balloon white), yellow (Giallo Midas), Orange (Arancio Borealis) and green (Verde Ithaca)
The Gallardo SE comes with a two-tone interior. All piping and stitching on the ultra-quality leather are executed in the same color as the bodywork of the car. The mid sections of the seats are finished in color-coded upholstery and even the black floormats have a color coded borders.
A rear-view camera is also standard issue on the Gallardo SE, as is a multimedia system and a navigation system. The sport suspension and an exclusive cover also came with the car but there are still several other options available, like the E-gear, which featured a ‘thrust’ mode to offer even more impressive acceleration by improving the gearchange through the different gears.
This “thrust” mode automatically revs the car to 5,000 rpm, drops the clutch engaging all four wheels in a controlled burnout, and ensures the car performs maximum acceleration. This “launch” only requires the driver to engage the “thrust” mode and step on the gas pedal, similar to the launch technology in pre-2008 Formula 1 race cars.
Gallardo Nera (Special Edition) is a limited (185 unit) version of contemporary Gallardo coupe introduced at the Paris Motor Show. The car was designed to showcase the customization options available to the customer in the Ad Personam program.
The Nera features special matte black body panels, and is only available in black—actually a combination of Nero Serapis and Nero Noctis. Brake calipers are painted a special silver, and the taillights are smoked to match the darker paint scheme. The interior is stitched from high-contrast black and white leather in the Q-Citura (lozenge shaped) fashion. Note that the glass engine cover remained an option, even on the Nera.
Among the produced Gallardo Nera, 60 were destined for the American market, 91 were sold in Europe.
Gallardo Spyder (2006-2007)
The production spyder model of the Gallardo was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006. It is considered by the company to be an entirely new model, with 520 PS (382 kW; 513 hp) and a lower-ratio six-speed manual transmission. The soft top is fully retractable.
In 2007, a Lamborghini Gallardo was entered in FIA GT3, as well as the Japanese ‘SUPER GT‘ Championship in the GT300 class, the lower of the two classes in the series.
The FIA GT3 car was built with help from German motorsport specialists Reiter Engineering, who previously made the Murcielago GT1 and the Diablo GTR Super Trophy racers. All the extra aerodynamics were bolt-on parts, conforming with cost-effective regulations that meant the finished car had to closely resemble its road-going counterpart. Brembo racing brakes and OZ Racing wheels were also added. It remained All-Wheel-Drive. It produced 512 brake horsepower (382 kW) @ 7800rpm and 376.2 lb.ft of Torque @ 4500 rpm, barely more than the road car, and only as a result of adding an unsilenced racing exhaust system and better cooling.
The SUPER GT car had to conform to rather different regulations. It could produce no more than 300PS (295 bhp/224 kW) and must be Rear-Wheel-Drive. The power is limited by air restrictors placed in the engine bay. The gearbox is a sequential 6-Speed twin-clutch setup. The rules regarding aerodynamics are far looser than those in FIA GT, meaning the SUPER GT car has more advanced aero, including a much bigger rear wing. It took a while to be competitive, only being consistently at the top this 2009 season.
LP560-4 Super Trofeo (2009-)
Lamborghini introduced what it calls the ‘Fastest one-make series in the world’, featuring a 570 bhp, All-Wheel-Drive race-prepared version of the newer Gallardo LP560-4. The series suppourted European race series such as Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM), FIA GT Series and the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), featuring 18 races overall and having a 30-car grid consisting of privateer teams as well as Lamborghini dealer teams and one factory team featuring guest drivers.
A version of the Gallardo, dubbed the Superleggera (super light), was launched at the 2007 Geneva Auto Show supposedly in preparation for the next Ferrari 430 Scuderia. The Superleggera paid tribute to the first Lamborghini production model, the famous 350GT, which was designed and built by the Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera in Milan, a coachbuilding company that recently restarted its activities. The Lamborghini Gallardo doesn’t have a Superleggera style constructed body, only the name.
The engine’s improved intake, exhaust and ECU added 10 PS (7 kW; 10 hp) for a total of 530 PS (390 kW; 523 hp). The 6-speed e-gear transmission, usually a US$ 10,000 option, now comes as a standard.
The Superleggera is lighter than the base Gallardo by 100 kg (220 lb) (70 kg (150 lb) in US model) from 1,430 kg (3,200 lb) via the use of carbon fibre panels for the rear diffuser, undertray, the rearview-mirror housings, the interior door panels, the central tunnel, engine cover; titanium wheel nuts, carbon fibre sports seats with Alcantara.
Colour choices include Midas Yellow, Borealis Orange, Telesto Gray and Noctis Black.
The vehicle was unveiled in 2007 Geneva Auto Show.
The full price for a Superleggera with everything on it runs for over $200,000. Lamborghini began offering the Gallardo Superleggera in June 2007.
In March 2008, Lamborghini announced that they had ceased production of the Gallardo Superleggera. During its production life, 172 were produced, with 10 in white, 34 in grey, 37 in black, 45 in yellow and 46 in orange.
LP 560-4 (2008-)
It is powered by a new 5.2L V10 with direct injection, with improved power and torque. Unlike the precedent engine, this engine no longer has split crankpins, so it is not even firing, but Lamborghini says that due to the stiffer crankshaft it has less vibrations than the previous engine.
Transmission choices include six-speed manual or a six-speed E-gear, with E-gear revised to change gears by a rotational selector instead of a fore/aft movement, which offers 40% quicker shifts. E-gear also added Corsa setting and Thrust Mode launch control system.
The car was also 20 kg (44 lb) lighter than 2008 base Gallardo. Other changes include a new front bumper influenced by the Murcielago and exterior lights influenced by the Lamborghini Reventón.
Gallardo LP 560-4 has base price of US$201,000, but can go over $222,000 with e-gear, carbon ceramic brakes, navigation and other options. Other factory options are available with Ad Personam program. The British version has MSRP of £147,330.00 ($235,730 USD), including NavTrak vehicle tracking system and delivery package.
The vehicle was unveiled at 2008 Geneva Auto Show.
The first production LP560-4 was built with help of an Automobile Magazine journalist.
The first US car was sold in 16th Annual Race to Erase MS charity auction for $270,000 to former True Religion Jeans co-founder/co-creator Kymberly Gold and music producer Victor Newman.
LP 560-4 Spyder (2008-)
Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder was unveiled at 2008 LA Auto Show. The LP560-4 Spyder has a slightly more limited top speed than the LP560-4 coupe. The drop-top limiting this version’s top speed to around 200 mph.
Super Trofeo (2009)
It is a limited (30 units) version designed for Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo one-make racing series. The series began in May 2009.
The Super Trofeo race car is based on the Gallardo LP 560-4 sports car, but with a reworked chassis and a direct injection V10 engine rated 570 PS (419 kW; 562 hp) with higher compression ratio of 12.5:1, variable valve timing. The car has dry weight of 1,300 kg (2,900 lb). E-gear transmission is standard.
The Super Trofeo car and parts package cost €200,000 (US$284,300) plus tax, available via Lamborghini dealerships, with support and parts sales trackside.
LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni (2009)
It is a limited (250 units) version named after Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni. The engine was rated at 550 PS (405 kW; 542 hp). The vehicle had dry weight of 1,380 kg (3,000 lb). Unlike the contemporary line-up, this model is rear wheel drive (because the standard all-wheel drive system was removed).
The CORSA ESP setting allows greater drift angles over regular models.
Other features include re-calibrated optional e-gear transmission, redeveloped 45% limited slip differential, full leather black upholstery with white colour strips, Polar white centre console, a stripe down the centre of the car, and a badge below the left side window bears the signature of Valentino Balboni and the production number of the car.
The Lamborghini LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni can reach a top speed of 199 mph and reach 0–100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
The vehicle has MSRP of €162000 (Europe), £137900 (UK), $219800 (US).
In 2009, the car was voted Top Gear‘s car of the year; Richard Hammond explained: “We were impressed with its stripe, its V10 engine, its rear wheel drive, the savagery of its exhaust, and its stripe.”
In December 2004, two Gallardos were donated to the Italian police in honour of the force’s 152nd anniversary, one came from Automobili Lamborghini SpA while a second was donated by an independent organization.
The Gallardo Police Cars are used by the traffic police (Polizia Stradale) during emergencies and alarm situations on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway, also under the powers of the special safety operative which is already being employed along that tract of highway and above all, for the transport of body organs destined for transplantation.
On October 2008, a private ceremony was held at the Viminale Palace where Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. donated the newest Gallardo, the LP560-4, to the head of the Italian State Police, Prefect Antonio Manganelli. The new Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia will replace its predecessor to fulfill roles with the Lazio Highway Police Department.
In November 2009, one of the Gallardos was involved in a serious accident near the northern Italian town of Cremona where it was on display at a student jobs fair. A vehicle had come on to the road and had smashed into the front of the Gallardo. This caused it to drive into a set of parked cars, damaging it quite severely on the front.
Yellow Gallardos have been “temporary” police cars for the Metropolitan Police in London, England, one in 2005 and one in 2006, for specific publicity events. The 2006 vehicle was seen at the start of the 2006 Gumball Rally. Both vehicles were lent by Lamborghini London and were fitted with yellow and blue battenburg markings, police logos and a small blue lightbar.