By on October 14, 2008

Dig to the bottom of our current fiscal nightmare and you’ll discover an oddball type of derivative that Warren Buffet famously termed, “financial weapons of mass destruction.” Also known as Credit Default Swaps (CDS). Essentially, it’s a bet that a bad investment will fail. A strange type of insurance to be sure, where the purchaser of said CDS isn’t required to have anything to do with what’s being insured. Oh, and it’s a $55 trillion market. Er, was. And because of Gordon Gekko-huffing-PCP style greed, all of our 401ks have been halved. If not worse. Maybe the Adderall-addicted pukes that tanked our economy were trying to accumulate enough cash to buy a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4? While I can’t forgive ‘em, I do understand.

As you may or may not know, the LP560-4 has both an exterior and an interior. Got it? Moving on.

The sick thing about the latest, greatest Gallardo is that you’d have as much fun thrashing it down your favorite road as you would sitting in a closed garage and kicking the throttle. If cleanliness is next to Godliness, the LP560-4 makes the single filthiest noise I’ve ever heard. That’s what you get when ten cylinders and forty valves are all exploding 142 times per second twelve-inches from your neck. Utterly devilish. Here’s one for your bucket list: driving this raging bull through a tunnel with the windows down and the tach pegged at eight grand. Even I’m jealous of me.

The LP560-4′s all new 5.2-liter V10 now sports direct injection and variable valve timing that together increase fuel economy while cutting emissions. Who bloody cares? All that matters is the fact that your right foot is now in command of 552 merciless horsepower and 398 lb-ft of ruthless twist. Even better, redline is 8,500 rpm. Hey, if peak oil and chronic global warming are really here, best to go down swinging. Or is that swigging?

As you may imagine, this car is fast. Like, stupid fast. Yes you can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds on your way to a top speed of 202 mph. But all supercars do that. What so blows your frigging mind is when you’re under the impression you’re jogging along at 75 mph when in reality you’re doing a buck thirty. Velocity becomes so effortless– and the Gallardo LP560-4 is so firmly planted and composed– that you might as well be having tea.

I’ll come back to the maniac acceleration in a moment: first I have to explain Lambo’s new e-gear transmission. It’s a paddle-shifted affair, though you can run around in full auto. Which sucks. However, one tug on a lever and you’re in control of the gears, which is actually pretty good. Of course pressing “Sport” is much better, as the shifts happen much faster. There’s a new button that reads “Corsa” and it happens to be best of all because gears get swapped via angry gunpowder. BANG! I say, BANG! Don’t believe me? My driving companion got whiplash. Corsa’s that wonderfully violent.

Back to acceleration. We found a very straight and even emptier stretch of road to “test” Corsa. Up until this point we’d been going relatively easy on our borrowed $222k Italian plaything. Not here. I activated Corsa, deactivated the ESP and by mashing the gas pedal inadvertently activated launch mode where the $20k optional carbon ceramic brakes hold the car until the revs hit 5,000. Then sheer lunacy broke loose. Honestly, NASA could learn a thing or two about defeating inertia from this Gallardo. The combination of the skin being tugged from your skull and Satan’s trumpet blasting your ear acts as an adrenaline pump. It’s physically addictive.

Oh yes– handling. That’s superb, too. Thrust is split 30/70 front to rear through the AWD system. There’s also the aluminum intensive chassis and body: together they engender a power-to-weight ratio that rivals Napoleon. We never approached the car’s limits, but even at (maybe) 6/10 we constantly giggled. The rest of the time was spent shaking our heads in skeptical disbelief. Why? Because when diving into 45 mph turns at more than 90 mph you realize you could be doing 120 mph. Best of all, the LP560-4′s attitude becomes both more responsive and eager when the nanny’s sent packing. I mentioned the addictive thing, right?

I ran into Tanner Foust at the Formula Drift Championship that afternoon. He’d recently driven a LP560-4 around Italy for a week. We compared notes. His biggest beef with the newest Lamborghini is that in America, people look and assume you’re a cock. When Mr. Faust was in Italy, the citizens literally got out of their cars and clapped as he roared by. We should follow the Italians’ lead here, as the LP560-4 is a masterpiece. Bravo sirs. Bravo indeed.

(Lamborghini supplied the vehicle reviewed, insurance and a tank of gas.)

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53 Comments on “2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Review...”


  • avatar
    JJ

    Awesome. I love what they did to the design with the new rear and new led-headlights. And it’s green on the pictures too, which is great.

    However,

    as you would sitting in a closed garage and kicking the throttle.

    I assume you’re talking about a big, well ventilated garage, right? Or did the credit crisis really hit you that hard…

  • avatar
    John R

    …engender a power-to-weight ratio that rivals Napoleon.

    LOL. Nice.

    That aside. I’m sure if the Corvette looked this good and went as well as thing goes people here would stand up an clap, too. But they don’t make Ford GTs anymore.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Is there really a color called “Countach White”?

    Shouldn’t it be pink?

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    I hate you Jonny. Not only did you get to drive this beast, but after reading this missive I now I know I will have to use half of my 401k to own one. (The other half will probably be used to insure it.)

    We never approached the car’s limits, but even at (maybe) 6/10 we constantly giggled. Giggling is one of the best ways of knowing you have a great car.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Sounds almost like a litrebike review.

    If they can get it to 50k, maybe i’ll talk the wife into one :) No, I’m not holding my breath.

  • avatar
    JJ

    And now it’s white on the pictures too, which is also great.

  • avatar

    Much too small for me. When I drop $200,000 on a retirement super car, I’m getting a Murcielago.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Who needs a car that you can’t even park it anywhere in Town?

  • avatar
    iganpo

    I saw a bright yellow Gallardo parked on the street in Oakland’s Chinatown yesterday. Not exactly the safest of neighborhoods.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I’m jealous of you too. I saw a regular Gallargo, perhaps with modified exhaust, on a track and it truly produced the devil’s symphony. Just once I’d love to thrash one through some So Cal canyons…

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I saw a bright yellow Gallardo parked on the street in Oakland’s Chinatown yesterday. Not exactly the safest of neighborhoods.

    Depends who owned the car. I used to work in an area where, say, if you parked a 3-Series–or even a Honda Civic–you’d be lucky to keep your car, let alone tires or paint job, yet there was this one black S-Class that, mysteriously, never got a scratch.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Probably the owner of that Lambo in Chinatown Oakland is a Chinese mafia or Chinese Triad “Dare Touch his Lambo” they are very famous in California driving exotic cars compared to the low rider gang bangers of the cribs and reds .

    But if you park a Lambo in a descent neighborhood like the Backbay in Boston. The next morning your Lambo might be missing its rims and the thief might be corteous to put them on Bricks and they are professionally done without a scratch on the Lambo.

    Built in NAV system is a different story

  • avatar
    Sigsworth

    “a power-to-weight ratio that rivals Napoleon”

    Best. Comment. Ever.

    I registered just to say that.

  • avatar
    Matthew Potena

    I drive the Superleggera version of the Gallardo in July. For the first time I think Lamborghini (Audi) has done a better job with their car than Ferrari has with its competitor, the 430. It was almost a daily driver, except for the screaming orange paint! The E-Gear transmission was incredible. I would enter corners in a higher gear than was necessary just to tap the left paddle and feel and hear the perfectly timed throttle blip and downshift. Bravo Lambo…….

  • avatar
    rochskier

    The freshened design does look much better, especially the rear-end. I saw a 2004 Gallardo at the car wash a few weeks ago and the rear-end made me think “kit car”.

  • avatar
    Keef

    Even better, redline is 8,5000 rpm

    My goodness that’s an awful lot of revs.

  • avatar

    “Even I’m jealous of me”
    “a power-to-weight ratio that rivals Napoleon”

    -Awesome!

    (++at one time in history, the left hand of Jens Pulver had a similar power-to-weight ratio.)

    +++ The new Reventón-ified nose looks better, too.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    I will probably never even sit in one of these.

    But I would like a large wooden barrel full of this angry gunpowder you speak of…

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    Excellent review. A return to the incredibly well-written analysis here at TTAC.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Areitu:

    Wouldn’t we all…

  • avatar
    chanman

    Jonny, if they made a backup generator using that engine, you’d be looking forward to power outages… of course, you’d need to have a gas station’s plumbing put in under your house, but isn’t that a small price to pay?

  • avatar
    DearS

    I do not drive my car at over 6/10ths. So excuse me if I do not like this Gallardo so much. I mean it might definately interest me to see it go, or ride in it but not to drive it. No love from me.

  • avatar

    the citizens literally got out of their cars and clapped as he roared by

    We don’t do that here when a Vette or Viper goes by. We assume they’re cocks.

  • avatar
    davekatz

    Mostly they are. Honest work never paid all that great.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    We don’t do that here when a Vette or Viper goes by. We assume they’re cocks.

    I beg to differ. I owned a 1969 Vette, and people frequently ask questions/complimented the car. Now I own a 1998 Viper GTS (Silver/Blue). People go BONKERS over this car. 99% is positive since I’ve owned (2000 – current). It can be a bit much at times, when people catch you by surprise hooting & hollering as you drive by… But again, 99% positive. You’re always going to have that 1% that are just ‘Haters. My take on it is this – The Viper is ‘perceived’ as blue collar Supercar. Right or wrong, that is the ‘perception’. I can’t stop for gas without 5-10 questions. And I believe this ‘perception’ will continue, especially since the Viper ACR squashed all the European supercars costing double/triple/quadruple at the ‘Ring. It set a lap record after 4 measly laps (7:22).

    Now this ‘perception’ is the total opposite for European supercars. For some reason many people ‘assume’ you are a ‘white-collar’ D-Bag if you’re driving a Ferrari/Porsche/Lambo. Basically, ‘too cool for school’. Yes, it’s silly. Perception is not reality, but it can make owning one of these Euro makes a less pleasing experience. People spitting on your car, keying, etc… I’m not saying this is the ‘norm, but I know a few Porsche/Ferrari/Lambo owners. And they deal with these ‘haters far more than I do. And that sucks, cause my next ride is probably going to be a Porsche. And I’m not looking forward to dealing with A-holes.

  • avatar
    DearS

    That reminds me, its not comparison that makes something what it is, its how it works.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    Mostly they are. Honest work never paid all that great.

    Given, there are some guys in the Viper Club that have more money than they could ever spend. But there are just as many like I, that are middle class but saved for years. Policeman, fireman, construction workers, cubical gophers, etc… People seem to forget, a loaded 4-wheel drive full size truck/SUV cost about the same as the average used Viper. $40K-$50K. Sure, it’s still not cheap. And if you’re poor forget about it. But not out of the realm of us hard working ‘normal’ middle class folk. And these cars are bulletproof for the most part, so maintanence bills consist or oil changes/brakes/tires. All of which I can do (minus mounting tires). And believe it or not, the Viper is my cheapest car to insure. Driven under 7,500 miles a year and insured on a special policy for exotic cars. $600 a year with a 5% deductable on appraised value (yes, the deductable is a bit steep at $2,500). Not to mention this car has depreciated ‘very little’ since I purchased in 2000. Given, I’ve sacrified my other car purchases (daily driver is a ’99 Buick – dead reliable and picked up dirt cheap), but it’s been worth it. Remember, we’re not all Cocks ;)

  • avatar
    DearS

    I’ll say no one is a cock perhaps. Perception is subjective afterall.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    Perception may not be reality, but the consequences surely are.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    Perception may not be reality, but the consequences surely are.

    Amen to that…

  • avatar
    ambulancechaser

    Best. Looking. Car. Ever.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    Hey Jonny,

    That was the best written revieweditorialwhatever I’ve read here for quite some time. GREAT JOB!

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Wolven: Thanks!

  • avatar
    baaron

    This is the best supercar review I’ve read in a long time. For five minutes I was a passenger being hurled across the country at obscene speeds in one of the yummiest interiors imaginable.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    As cool as the Lambo sounds, I still couldn’t see EVER purchasing a paddle shift. No matter how much money I had. In ANY car. This means you Enzo! (BTW – I know you can get a Gallardo in a stick). I know, I know… The best one’s can shift faster than any human, they perfectly match revs on a downshift, F1 uses them (so they must be good), some say you can concentrate more on hitting an apex (don’t agree), etc… I’ve heard all the arguments. But they are BOOOOORRRRRRING. Talk about taking away from the driving experience. I believe ‘shifting a shifter’, ‘pushing a clutch’, ‘steering a wheel’, ‘pushing a brake pedal’, ‘heel/toe downshifting’, and ‘slamming an accelerator’ are all equally thrilling. Take one away, and it becomes less of an experience. Take two away, even less. And so on… In the future, even more of these will be removed. Hey, some people may prefer a less interactive driving experience. And that is fine. But pass me a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder or a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO please… NOW THAT’S AN EXPERIENCE!

  • avatar
    galaxygreymx5

    This has got to be the single best review on TTAC, ever. Can we have an annual contest for prose?

    Certainly right about the cock thing; I don’t have enough appendages to count the number of tools I’ve seen in these things cruising down Melrose or Sunset at about 7,000 RPM.

    God I just read it again. Beautiful.

  • avatar
    murphysamber

    your most entertaining review since the RS4, Lieberman. Audi hardware seems to make you happy.

  • avatar
    Wulv

    Another Review that gets a permanent bookmark, along with the RS4 JL did. Bravo sir Bravo

  • avatar
    sean362880

    Another excellent review. Personally, I’ll wait for the Spyder version, which really turns it up to 11. Oh, and I’ll have to wait til I get out of grad school into an 8% unemployment market and make my millions flipping burgers.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    murphysamber: Not always…

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008-audi-a5-review/

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    there’s a few in philly, i like that you can hear the low menacing throb before you see it come around the corner at low revs. Not the cheesy broken tailpipe annoyance of a harley poseur blasting his impotence at s stoplight, but more like the pound of the t-rex in Jurassic parka as it chases you.

    mmmmmmm

  • avatar
    BEAT

    onerareviper… I feel like I was drifting while munching a kit kat when I read your post.

    Indeed there is no replacement for a stick.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If cleanliness is next to Godliness, the LP560-4 makes the single filthiest noise I’ve ever heard.

    I love that line. I’d never have described an engine as “filthy” sounding, but it works.

    I’ve very, very little experience with this class of car–my time with a Lambo came to a stop when I tried to rent one (expensive, but I was treating myself) and found I couldn’t effectively fit in the damn thing.

    My wife did comment on the gated manual shifter: as in “Why don’t normal cars have these?”, which I thought was a valid question, as it would have saved many a frustrating hour of “What gear am I in?” whens he was first learning.

  • avatar

    Great review. Sounds like an incredible experience.

    You have the redline listed as 8,5000 RPMs (one too many zeros). Am I the first of 3,050 pageviews to notice it, or the first who’s anal retentive enough to notice it?

  • avatar

    ChrisHaak :

    Perhaps not the first to notice, but the first who cared enough to let us know.

    Thanks!

    Ahem. As you’re so good at spotting typos, factual inaccuracies and such, can I ask you to please send them to robert.farago@thetruthaboutcars.com? Oh wait, I just did.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Jonny,

    You really do have the best job in the world.

    Thanks for letting us ride shotgun. By the way, should you ever just happen to have one of these out for a spin and you just happen to be in The Valley, FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE LET ME KNOW.

    Closest I came to driving an exotic was back in 2000, when a buddy of mine took his uncle’s 360 Modena out for a spin. He let me drive it… in first gear. Bastard. Still, the sound of that engine is something I still think about.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Are they going to come out with a hybrid version?

  • avatar
    Thinx

    His biggest beef with the newest Lamborghini is that in America, people look and assume you’re a cock.

    I happen to know two gents who own Lamborghinis – one (’00 Diablo) was indicted for fraud but escaped with a fine; the other (’05 Gallardo) beat his pregnant girlfriend and had to pay her off to drop charges when she left him.

    There are other Lambo owners that I know (especially the older classics – Miura, Espada, Countach) who are real gentlemen. So the stereotype is very unfortunate – it may be that the demographic has recently moved so far upmarket that it is difficult for most people to relate to. When your local doctor drove a Ferrari 328 on the weekend, it was an entirely different thing from where things are now.

  • avatar
    murphysamber

    Johnny:

    Let me edit that comment. Audi hardware purposely designed to make your ass pucker…?

  • avatar

    Thinx: the days of overproducing Gallardos brought out by the upturn in sweetheart lease deals is numbered…if not dead. I expect the overcompensating fashionistas (or insert other negative conotation here) will no longer be able to leverage their way into these cars. Lamborghini’s standing won’t be tarnished by some of it’s owner base for much longer.

    Great review, JL. And this time I’m not saying that because you are a LeMons judge.

  • avatar

    Looks awesome. We will be attending and reviewing the World Class Driving event at the end of November, and the LP560 will be one of the cars there. I’m really excited to drive it. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll have the chance to open it up like you, but it will be fun nonetheless.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Spot the Spinal Tap reference!

  • avatar
    Jay

    Jonny
    Outstanding review. Having just driven a Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder and a Lamborghini Murcielago (about 20 min in each car along with 3 others, through Gotham Dream Cars, http://www.gothamdreamcars.com)I can sort of understand what you have experienced.
    Jay (Justin’s father)


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