The mere whisper of the name Lamborghini is enough to set the heart on fire. Minds race with thoughts of incredible speed and pavement crushing power. Taming the bull is something every car enthusiast has dreamt about since they were a small child.
|1. The new Lamborghini LP560-4 Spyder makes 560-hp and 398 ft-lbs of torque.
2. Pricing starts at $221,000, with coupe models at $198,000.
3. Three different driving settings are available: Normal, Sport and a Corsa mode that gives 40 percent quicker gear shifts and a higher threshold to the ESP system.
4. With a 0-60 mph time of around 3.9 seconds, with Lambo’s new launch control system that number can be knocked down to 3.6 seconds.
But harnessing such a beast almost certainly requires a significant amount of brute force and the iron-clad will of a circuit rodeo rider. Something so unruly couldn’t be easy to drive, could it? Surely it must be a daunting task.
Of course it’s intimidating! At $221,000 it better be! But it might surprise you to learn, the 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder is as effortless to maneuver as any high-performance sports car in the market. Once on the road, the living is easy.
There is, however, one thing you will need to content with when driving this incredible exotic automobile. Much like its more expensive sibling the Murciélago, crowd control is certain to be an ongoing issue. Loud and meant to be that way, once the engine turns over it’s impossible to fly under the radar. Imagine Metallica as the garage band practicing down your street on a Saturday morning and you get the idea.
Power comes in the form of a 5.2-liter 10-cylinder engine. Performance numbers are awe-inspiring; 560-hp at 8000 rpm and 398 ft-lbs of torque.
Stretching the legs of this bull requires long straights with sweeping, multi-lane corners and plenty of room to spare. Zero to 60-mph takes just under 4.0 seconds, while this drop-top is rated at a top speed of 201 mph.
Equipped with Lamborghini’s paddle-shifter actuated E-gear transmission, fuel usage is rated at an unexpectedly sensible 16-mpg combined, with 12-mpg city and 20-mpg highway. This is due mostly to the new direct-injection technology, that also helps to give the Gallardo’s V10 an additional 40-hp over its predecessor. It’s not going to win a prize for best-in-class fuel economy, but then it was never designed for that purpose.
Speed is the goal here and on that front, the LP560-4 Spyder has few rivals.
The steering wheel mounted shift paddles allow for rapid gear changes with just the flip of a finger. Pull the right handle towards the wheel to shift up; left to shift down. Brushed satin metal surrounds classic white on black center gauges with smaller side dials indicating fuel status and water temperature.
For now at least, all-wheel drive separates the Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder from the rest of the drop-top exotic car crowd. Parent company Audi has taken the best from its extensive parts bin and created an all-weather masterpiece.
By comparison, it will be interesting to see how the 2011 Audi R8 Spyder stacks up when it arrives later this year. I expect the Gallardo’s brash and edgy Italian personality to contrast the precise, classic sportiness of the quattro Spyder from Ingolstadt, Germany.
Mounted to an aluminum space frame, ingenious technology allows aluminum extruded parts to be welded together with aluminum-cast joint elements, delivering not only light weight, but an incredibly solid chassis. Structural rigidity is excellent, especially for an open top car such as this. Aiding on-road stability, a standard rear spoiler deploys electronically based on vehicle speed.
Dry or wet, hot or cold, the Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder handles almost anything. Equipped with Pirelli P-Zero 235/35/19 tires up front, plus 295/30/19 in back, the amount of available grip is superb.
Leather seats are designed to grab in all the right places without being intrusive. Back support is excellent, as is side and leg support. You would expect nothing less given the performance potential and the interior delivers.
The all-inclusive center stack contains three additional gauges keeping tabs on engine status. Located directly beneath is a large LCD interface for the onboard navigation/audio system, followed by a row of metal toggle switches controlling power windows, fog lights and assorted accessories.
Immediately above the center console dividing the passenger compartment are dual-zone automatic climate controls, power mirrors and 3-button e-gear tuning.
E-gear offers three unique settings: Automatic, Sport and Corsa. In this last setting, shift times are reduced by 40 per cent. Be prepared for a rapid-fire pop followed by a neck-snapping crack as 560-hp hooks up and you blast off into the distance, vapor trail included.
At the heart of every Lamborghini is a passion for speed. A beast to the uninitiated, once ridden, much of the fear is gone and all that remains is your desire to get in, buckle up and hit the road. Riding a bull has never been easier, or more entertaining!