The Truth About Cars » Lamborghini http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 27 Aug 2015 22:00:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Lamborghini http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/reviews/lamborghini/ 2015 Lamborghini Huracán Track Test http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/2015-lamborghini-huracan-track-test/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/2015-lamborghini-huracan-track-test/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 13:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1104033 A short time ago, I left you with my impressions of the Porsche 911 GT3. Even now, I am still in love with that car (Tiffany…call me). However, love is blind and everyone’s a critic. Just after the publication of that piece, I got a text from a buddy who published an outstanding review on […]

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2015 Lamborghini Huracán

A short time ago, I left you with my impressions of the Porsche 911 GT3. Even now, I am still in love with that car (Tiffany…call me). However, love is blind and everyone’s a critic.

Just after the publication of that piece, I got a text from a buddy who published an outstanding review on the Lamborghini Huracán. It simply declared “No way a GT3 can keep up with a Huracán.” Well my limited resources were never going to make that track test happen, but I do have access to a pair of Huracáns…

So, why not see what the hype is about?

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

Let’s just get it out of the way; this is not a rehash of Baruth’s write up in Road & Track. This is my lesser driving ability and writing talent on a shorter racetrack filtered through my time with the new baby Lambo. The shorter track is key, because when JB was giving the Lambo the business, I also received a text photo of a recorded 176 MPH saved on the dash. I don’t have enough track or skills to match that.

Not that I wouldn’t try…

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

I have always liked Lamborghinis. I would even bet money my first exposure was the same as yours: The opening scene of “The Cannonball Run” with Tara Buckman exiting the black scissor door and expressing her opinion on the then 55 mph speed limit.

I liked them, but I never loved them. They seemed to be beautifully designed but delicate machines. They never really had the track cred of their Italian neighbors and certainly not the collection of titles from my beloved Stuttgart crew. I never drove one until 2014 when I got behind the wheel of a trio of Gallardo’s at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit. I got a chance to drive both the AWD and rear wheel drive versions. They weren’t bad cars, but even with my svelte 6-foot runners frame, fitting inside became challenging and, after a while, somewhat painful as my helmeted head was always slightly tilted.

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

So when I was first exposed to the Huracán, I dismissed it as a modern Gallardo and went back to dry-humping the GT3. However, Saturday morning found me behind the wheel of the big red beast. You already know this, so chalk it up to verification, but it fits people. Not just taller people, but short ones as well. The Gallardo was not only painful for tall folks, but challenging for short ones; the seat simply did not have the range of motion. This one is much more usable.

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

That doesn’t mean the Lambo has gone all “normal.” The dash is still an aggressive liquid crystal display, even for the center gauges and environmental control display combo. Both theHuracán and Aventador were inspired by the shape of the F-117 Stealth Fighter, so jagged corners permeate the styling. Unlike the McLaren, which feels almost sterile in comparison, the Huracán is unapologetically a Lamborghini, like all before it. That’s a good thing.

The next unapologetic aspect of the car is the 602 horsepower V10 bomb behind the driver.

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

Holy.

Freaking.

Crap. (This is not what I said, but we both have jobs we’d like to keep)

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

That outburst came from a client who had literally only driven one car her entire life: A 1967 Camaro with a well worn 327 cu V-8. So when I asked her to step on the gas and roll onto the track, she literally stomped on the accelerator. The stability control and AWD kept the car pointed forward, but just barely. The demonic howl was enough to interrupt the classroom session next to the track…on the second floor.

The eight-speed transmission clicks off shifts as smoothly and seamless as you would expect, either with the side-mounted paddles or left to its on capable devices. The only possible drawback is the occasional unwillingness to downshift when left in “Strada,” which if you are on a track you shouldn’t do. However, if you are in the right seat, next to a college sophomore who has never driven anything more powerful than Mom’s Honda Pilot, you absolutely leave the car in “Strada.” Don’t worry. The acceleration is still more than enough to cause an audible gasp. Even more impressive is the Huracán’s rolling start. A well-executed entry onto Hallett’s turn 12 and full application of throttle would build speed so quickly, every client I rode with would lift before the marker ½-way down the main straight.

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

Even in New Jersey, at Englishtown’s impossibly tight track with very boisterous locals, I never had to verbally tell anyone to lift down the short straightaway. This is still a Lamborghini and it still scares people. They just did it on their own. The gap from this car and your very fast M3 is farther than the gap between the same M3 and my 1966 El Camino.

In this light, I began to understand Jack’s claim about the Huracán. It is explosive and accelerates like nothing you have experienced. It’s wildly expressive, more communicative than you expect, and scarier than most can imagine. It is blisteringly fast and outrageous as every Lamborghini should be.

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

That’s where I depart from the narrative. The Lamborghini Huracán is indeed staggering. It is the definition of a “supercar” and, in that sense, light years beyond the 911 GT3 — even the GT2. The Audi guts inside are far more reliable than anything featured in “The Cannonball Run” or the litany of knock-offs and sequels. The styling will always command attention from downtown Dallas to your local Cars and Coffee.

As advanced and capable as it is, on a tight track, it’s not a race car. Even under Audi’s stewardship, Lamborghini’s lack of a racing heritage shows. The car will eat 458 Italia’s without breathing heavy, but the Ferrari will always feel more like a driver’s car. The Nissan GT-R cleans up any mess you make like your mother when you have the flu, but the Huracán will effortlessly stomp it to oblivion.

None of that matters, because the Lamborghini Huracán is not a car for the track or to beat other cars. It is an amazing achievement. While most of these specimens will spend too much time in garages or cruising South Beach, the Huracán is a truly great car. You could actually live with one of these everyday, but it was built for one very narrow niche.

2015 Lamborghini Huracán

The Lamborghini Huracán is a car for fans of the Bull. It is the fulfillment of a visual and audio promise made in 1981 when we saw those scissor doors open for the first time. It is a car built for those who truly love Lamborghini, and honestly, it’s about damn time.

Photography by Nick Boris.

Lamborghini contributed absolutely nothing to this review. It was researched over 18 separate days in at tracks in Oklahoma, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Jersey coaching with Xtreme Xperience, burning their gas and using up their tires while driving and riding in their collection of exotics. Christian was compensated by Xtreme Xperince, but they had no influence over the outcome of this review.

Christian “Mental” Ward has owned over 70 cars and destroyed most of them. Next month he will be racing with those madcap Baruth brothers in Michigan. You can follow that impending debacle on Twitter, Instagram and Vine at M3ntalward. 

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Motorcars, Manhattan and Money http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/motorcars-manhattan-money/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/motorcars-manhattan-money/#comments Sat, 09 May 2015 15:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1054641   It’s impossible to visit Manhattan without noticing wealth and privilege. Though I’m loathe to use the P word as it’s been corrupted by politics, how else can you describe someone driving a S Class Mercedes-Benz with “MD” New York license plates other than as affluent and expecting special treatment from parking enforcement that won’t be extended to […]

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Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, $2.4 million

It’s impossible to visit Manhattan without noticing wealth and privilege. Though I’m loathe to use the P word as it’s been corrupted by politics, how else can you describe someone driving a S Class Mercedes-Benz with “MD” New York license plates other than as affluent and expecting special treatment from parking enforcement that won’t be extended to some zhlub from Jersey in a Camry?

New York City generates so much wealth that the people there can afford the opportunity and real costs involved with insane traffic, general congenstion and expensive infrastructure. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, then, that the New York International Auto Show is where car companies go to show off their goods from the top shelf.

 

Aston Martin Vulcan

Aston Martin Vulcan

Detroit may not be the center of the universe that NYC is, but the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is a huge event with the participation of a number of the largest corporations on the planet. Some of the displays cost millions of dollars to build. The Chicago Auto Show is, by some measures, even larger than the Detroit show. And while the Detroit show is more about new product and concept reveals, the Chicago show is about selling cars. While they sell a few cars in America’s second city, car enthusiasts living outside the NYC metropolitan area have a tendency to regard that region as hostile to automobiles, but the fact is the metro region is one of the biggest car markets in the world. Combine that fact with the area’s wealth and you end up with a car show that has, literally, tons of high end cars.

 

Koenigsegg Agera HH

Koenigsegg Agera HH

There was a time, before the auto industry’s existential crisis of 2007-2009, that just about every car manufacturer of note in the world had a presence at the Detroit show, including the ultra-luxury and exotic automakers. Ferrari used the Detroit show to introduce the 612 Scaglietti, Rolls Royce had press conferences at the Detroit show, and VW’s Lamborghini brand and Aston Martin, then owned by Ford, also had displays. Those brands haven’t had official stands at the NAIAS in years, nor have they had corporate presence at the Chicago show. Since Fiat was given Chrysler in the government bailout in 2009, you might have occasionally seen a Ferrari on the FCA stand, but lately Sergio’s outfit has been promoting Alfa Romeo and Maserati, so both of those brands had some cars at the big midwest shows this year, but nary a prancing horse could be seen at Cobo Hall or McCormick Place.

 

Maserati's stand at the New York Auto Show

Maserati’s stand at the New York Auto Show

However, the Maserati displays at the Detroit and Chicago shows this year were just small sections of the larger FCA stand. At the New York show, they had their complete North American lineup. The Maserati display was larger than those of BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, and about the same square footage as FCA’s Dodge and Chrysler brands had. Maserati does sell cars in New York – I saw one on the West Side Highway near Canal Street and the Holland Tunnel, though I’d say the most common luxury car that I saw in Manhattan was the S Class Merc.

 

Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini Aventador, just $400K

Aston Martin not only had their full line out for inspection, they had their limited edition Vulcan track car front and center in their display; not quite the ideal car for Manhattan. Rolls-Royce, which hasn’t had an official display at the Detroit or Chicago show in years, had their full lineup in New York, as did their former stablemate Bentley.

 

Lamborghini Huracan

Lamborghini Huracan

It wasn’t just high end automakers, either. While in the long run the introduction of the new Chevy Malibu – hundreds of pounds lighter than the outgoing model while being larger and with more interior space – may prove to be the most significant new product reveal at the NYIAS, it was the introduction of two American luxury flagships, the production Cadillac CT6 and the concept version of the next Lincoln Continental, that seemed to have gotten the bulk of the attention. Besides the big Mercedes sedans, I also noticed more than a few slightly older, big Cadillacs, like 10-15 year old Devilles and STSes. They were privately owned, not livery cars, so maybe there’s a market for the CT6 in Manhattan.

 

McLaren 650S Spider

McLaren 650S Spider

Another mainstream luxury car maker, Jaguar Land Rover, used the New York show to introduce the Range Rover SVAutobiography, which has $120,000 worth of luxury and “bespoke” kit added to the $80,000 base Range Rover. Jaguar executive board member and director of design, Gerry McGovern, alluded to the maximum Range Rover as being at home in New York’s affluent Hamptons, and closed his description of the SVAutobiography with, “And, it’s very expensive.”

 

Range Rover VeryExpensive SVAutobiography

Range Rover VeryExpensive SVAutobiography

As Jaguar Land Rover and America’s two luxury brands introduced models at the top of their lineup, McLaren used the New York show to bring their carbon fiber based supercars down to a new price point, going after the Porsche 911 market with the McLaren 570S. Like Aston Martin and Maserati, the McLaren display featured examples of all of their current models, the new 570S, the 650S Spider, a 675LT, and the GTR dedicated track version of the top of the line hybrid hypercar McLaren P1. I don’t know a single car enthusiast that doesn’t regard the McLaren enterprise with respect, so all of those remarkable sports cars would have drawn me in, but for the occasion McLaren brought out a truly legendary automobile, a Gordon Murray designed F1. Not just any F1, but one of the three F1 GT “longtail” cars built by the factory to homologate bodywork used in the 1997 FIA GT Championship.

 

The new McLaren 570S

The new McLaren 570S, note the kiwi shaped cove in the door. McLaren’s logo is a stylized kiwi. Bruce McLaren was from New Zealand.

Jalopnik’s Raphael Orlove was photographing the F1 longtail while I was at the McLaren display and he concurred when I said that I could spend the whole day at their stand.

 

The 570S from the rear

The 570S from the rear

If you go to as many corporate auto shows and enthusiast car shows as I do, you can get a little jaded. I generally don’t take photographs of 1957 Chevy’s, ’69 Camaros or perfectly restored Isetta microcars. It was hard to feel jaded near the McLaren display, and not just because of their own cars. Right next to the McLaren stand was a display from Brian Miller’s Manhattan Motorcars, which has franchises for Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, and Lotus. Porsche, R-R, and Bentley, as mentioned, had their own displays, so Miller brought out some exotics.

 

McLaren 575LT

McLaren 575LT

Maybe it was because their fellow Italians at Ferrari skipped the NYC show, but Lamborghini didn’t have an official display, so Manhattan Motorcars had a red Aventador and a metallic orange Huracan. The two Lambos are not common cars, but they were flanking an even rarer car, a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. The 1,200 HP Bugatti is the fastest production roadster ever made.

 

McLaren's dedicated track P1, the P1 GTR

McLaren’s $3.1 million dedicated track P1, the P1 GTR

Even rarer than modern day Bugattis, though, are cars from Koenigsegg. Christian Koenigsegg, the mad genius from Sweden, has built just over 100 cars since he started building hypercars about a dozen years ago. The Koenigsegg Agera HH on display at the NY show is as rare as they come, a one-off Agera R customized by the factory for David Heinemeir Hanson, a Danish computer programmer who was responsible for Ruby on Rails, a web application development framework that has made him a very wealthy man. The car is painted in his favorite color scheme of blue and black, to match his one off Pagani Zonda HH.

 

FActory owned McLaren F1 XP GT "longtail" homologation prototype.

FActory owned McLaren F1 XP GT “longtail” homologation prototype.

I’ve been to lots of auto shows including one of the top three concours in the U.S. and I don’t think I’ve ever seen as concentrated automotive wealth as sat on the McLaren and Manhattan Motorcars stands (with the possible exception of the classic luxury car section of the Henry Ford Museum with its Bugatti Royale and Duesenberg J). I was only able to get retail prices on nine of the ten cars at those two displays. Not counting the McLaren F1 Longtail, there was about $9 million in cars. If you include the F1 you could at least double that figure. In 2012, one of the 10 competition F1 Longtails that were built for racing sold for over $13 million. No doubt the factory owned prototype would fetch similar or even more money, perhaps even enough to buy a nice Manhattan condominium.

Photography by Ronnie Schreiber. For more photos of the vehicles in this post, please go to Cars In Depth.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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Geneva 2015: Lamborghini Aventador SV Bows http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-lamborghini-aventador-sv-bows/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-lamborghini-aventador-sv-bows/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:06:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1010946 Need a lighter, more powerful exotic bull? The Lamborghini Aventador SV, bowing at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, just might be the answer. The Aventador SV is 110 lbs lighter than the standard Aventador, and is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 pushing 750 horsepower and 509 lb-ft of torque to all corners through a seven-speed […]

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Need a lighter, more powerful exotic bull? The Lamborghini Aventador SV, bowing at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, just might be the answer.

The Aventador SV is 110 lbs lighter than the standard Aventador, and is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 pushing 750 horsepower and 509 lb-ft of torque to all corners through a seven-speed single-clutch automated manual connected to the SV’s Haldex permanent AWD system. Nil to 62 mph comes at 2.8 seconds, and tops out at 217 mph.

Aggressive aero and adjustable rear wing keep the bull close to the ground, while adaptive suspension individually adjusts wheel damping during cornering. Other features include electromechanical dynamic steering, carbon fiber seats and trim, and TFT gauge cluster.

While no pricing in U.S. dollars has been announced, Europeans can expect to spend €327,000 ($368,000 USD) before VAT, with deliveries beginning in the spring.

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Supercars To Go, Third Place: Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 AP http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/supercars-go-third-place-lamborghini-gallardo-lp550-2-ap/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/supercars-go-third-place-lamborghini-gallardo-lp550-2-ap/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:22:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=961969 The idea of a rear-wheel-drive Gallardo was so obvious that it’s a wonder it took six years for it to appear on the market as a limited edition and another year after that to join the standard lineup. Indeed, the 550-2 was popular from the moment it appeared in dealer order sheets, though not for […]

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5502

The idea of a rear-wheel-drive Gallardo was so obvious that it’s a wonder it took six years for it to appear on the market as a limited edition and another year after that to join the standard lineup. Indeed, the 550-2 was popular from the moment it appeared in dealer order sheets, though not for the reason you’d initially suspect.

We’d all like to believe that the “purist” Gallardo sold well because Lamborghini owners naturally gravitated towards a more thrilling, more authentic Lamborghini experience, preferably with a manual transmission. A few people did stump up for the mack daddy clutch-and-RWD combo, but far more people chose the 550-2 Spyder e-gear. After all, the 550-2 was cheaper than the 560-4 we discussed yesterday. Why not use the savings to pay for the droptop, particularly given the fact that you, the Lamborghini customer, live in a sunshine state anyway?

So though you will occasionally see an AWD Gallardo coupe hammering through some miserable weather in Manhattan or Chicago or Powell, Ohio, the customers always really wanted the cheapest convertible they could get. Thus, the triumph of the 550-2; not as a fine-tipped, metal-topped brush with which to paint the fastest laps on a concrete canvas, but as the lowest number in the list of Spyder suggested retail prices.

Our test car is half-pure, if you will; though it has no canvas top, it is equipped with the same e-gear transmission seen in the LP560-4. Like most of its 550-2 siblings, it has a more conservative front and rear fascia than the AWD variant. As an “AP” version, it boasts a quilted-leather interior. This is surprisingly relevant to the trackday task at hand. Observe:

2009-lamborghini-gallardo-lp560-4-interior-photo-195332-s-1280x782

In a standard Gallardo, that quilted roof is replaced by a double-bubble felt headliner that offers a full extra inch and a half of headroom. The difference that makes in the comfort of operation for taller drivers wearing a helmet is impossible to exaggerate. In this 550-2, I had to keep my head tilted at all times. No amount of slouching could let me sit upright in it. Had I brought my top-vented helmet to the track that day instead of my open-face instructor’s model, I’d have been unable to drive the 550-2 around the track.

Which would have been a genuine shame.

Somewhere inside my twisted, oft-broken ribcage beats a heart that absolutely despises this automobile’s undisputed and massive superiority over the 560-4. After all, it’s the height of douchebag spec-sheet press-kit in-flight journalism to mindlessly prefer the “right-wheel-drive” version of a supercar. I could have delivered this verdict to you from my home office and thus enjoyed four days playing Fleet Foxes covers on my ragged-wood ’74 Gibson J-40 instead of suffering through over one hundred and fifty teeth-grinding coaching sessions in Oklahoma. Any idiot with a twelve-month-old username on Jalopnik can tell you that the 550-2 is better. How I prayed for this car to suck as I took my cramped seat behind the wheel and prepared to pull onto the front straight at Hallett. I was dead set against the white Lamborghini, stabbing from hell’s heart into its flat-surfaced face with all the hate I could muster. The words came unbidden to my mind’s typewriter as I opened the door:

A cynical attempt to persuade nouveau-riche keyboard racers that they aren’t being coddled by everything from hyper-active ESC to safety-first tire stagger, the 550-2 proves to be the two-percent milk of Lamborghinis, a Lambo For Dummies too ill-educated to understand the benefits of AWD on the racetrack…

But look ye, Starbuck, what is said in heat, that thing unsays itself. And it took just one turn — one turn for me to put aside the ridiculous conceit of hating the RWD Gallardo for hate’s sake. How joyously it bent into the first fast left, the steering both smoother and lighter for the loss of the front axles! How it balanced in the midcorner on the throttle, and how it leapt from the exit with just a touch of stutter-step as the V10 fed a Diablo’s worth of twist to the forty-five-percent differential! I pulled the paddle and the shift was smoother and faster than in its quad-driven sister. Over the blind hill I went as the speedometer rang the triple digits and I pulled the paddle again and was heartily shoved in return and then finally it was time to trust the brakes, that trust returned with a shudder of the ABS and an arresting-hook swing of the speedo’s needle even as I roared down through the gears to second for the track’s slowest corner.

Forget the spec sheet, for it fails to show you the most important item included when you choose the cheapest Gallardo: joy. There’s a tradeoff, of course: when it rained, the lack of a driven front axle made everything more of a challenge, including full-throttle acceleration in a straight line. In that respect, however, it was no worse than a Corvette.

The rest of the thing is as the LP560-4: understated interior even with the quilted leather, plenty of visibility, a feeling of manageable size, an engine that manages the neat trick of being torquey and rev-happy, a suspension that balances the competing demands of ride and handling well enough to work on an ancient racetrack.

With less visual gingerbread than virtually any other Gallardo variant, in the Econoline-van white paint, and already suffering from the not-quite-Lamborghini proportions that failed to shock even back in 2004, this car definitely won’t impress anybody in Palm Springs or Miami. Your neighbors will wonder why you can’t afford a Huracan, and your frenemies on the Internet will automatically assume you paid whatever the lowest listing price on eBay for any Gallardo is. The Estonian call girls and NYU SeekingArrangement adventurers will turn up their noses at your attempts to climb the supercar ladder. At the Cars and Coffee, it will be suggested behind your back that you own the Acura ILX of Lamborghinis.

All of that, as well as everything else that troubles you, can be safely and easily forgotten the moment you exit pit lane at your local track. Dismissed by the posers, this bull is, instead, the toreador’s choice.

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Supercars To Go, Fourth Place: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/supercars-go-fourth-place-lamborghini-gallardo-lp560-4/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/supercars-go-fourth-place-lamborghini-gallardo-lp560-4/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:41:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=961945 I truly love the Best&Brightest of TTAC. So much so that one of the common attack vectors used by my involuntarily-celibate, low-T, sub-neurotypical detractors is to parody that affection in a manner that reveals more about their fumbling attempts to interact with their “MLP:FiM” Meetups than it does about my admittedly wide range of personal […]

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I truly love the Best&Brightest of TTAC. So much so that one of the common attack vectors used by my involuntarily-celibate, low-T, sub-neurotypical detractors is to parody that affection in a manner that reveals more about their fumbling attempts to interact with their “MLP:FiM” Meetups than it does about my admittedly wide range of personal flaws. Nevertheless, I do occasionally find myself frustrated by the B&B’s relentless desire to nitpick the articles that we put up.

As an example: Due to the distressingly low number of contributors close-knit team at TTAC, it’s often necessary for one of us to pitch in during the off-hours to get a story up. And sometimes that call comes during what I think of as “The Ketel One Hour”, leading me to make inebriated mistakes like referring to deposed Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood as “Roy Batty” or “Scott LaRock”. The typical response of the readers is to completely pounce on me (or, more often, Derek) for making these mistakes, forgetting that if we had a so-called “editor” to “edit” what we write, we wouldn’t have any money to rent Camrys for track tests.

So, with that in mind, we’re on our third Supercars To Go test, and not a single member of the B&B has been sufficiently incensed to hit the “Reply” button and e-scream:

“NONE OF THESE ARE SUPERCARS!!”

It’s true. While the use of the word “supercar” is almost as old as Shaw’s use of the word “superman”, it didn’t really stick until, by the agency of one LJK Setright, the Lamborghini Miura was yclept thus. Therefore, a supercar is a mid-engined twelve-cylinder automobile with outrageous styling. It is permissible to exceed the requirements of this formula — hello, Cizeta Moroder V16T! — but not to provide less. I ask you, dear reader, is the Fiero 2M4 a supercar? No? Then how is the Audi R8, with barely twice the cylinder count and no more adventurous an interior design, a supercar?

Nor is the Ferrari 458 a supercar, being the direct descendant of the very non-supercar-ish Dino 246. The Gallardo is not a supercar, being the descendant of the (ugh) Jalpa. The McLaren MP4-12C is not a supercar because the “12” in the number has nothing to do with the number of cylinders. The GT-R is not a supercar in the same way that a fish is not a bicycle.

So why call this a “supercar” test? Well, the company that rents these cars, Xtreme Xperience, calls them supercars. Given that they are basically in the rental business, and the rental business is the one place in the world where a Chevrolet Malibu is a “full-sized” car and a Corolla is a “mid-size” car, it makes sense. Hertz calls the 911 C4S a “dream car”, and who’s dreaming of driving some wack-ass waterboxer with a droptop and a PRNDL shifter?

We also live in an era where people actually refer to a Mustang as a “sports car”. The distributed illiterate intelligence of the Web has bleached the meaning out of words like a decade’s worth of Texas sun at high noon, which is why young women describe “pad thai” food as “amazing!” and Chinese-sewn Lululemon pants that inadvertently display one’s pudenda (Latin: “the shameful thing”) every time you bend over as “awesome!”

When I was about nine years old, Lee Iacocca appeared on the television to show America the Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon “Miser” models beneath a sign that said “52 MPG”.

“That’s incredible, if it’s true,” I said to my mother, who snapped back,

“Your use of the word ‘incredible’ means that you do not ‘credit’ it, which means you don’t believe it. Therefore, you’ve managed to contradict yourself quite nicely in a short but indifferently constructed sentence.” Did I mention that my mother spoke seven languages and delighted in exposing my logical fallacies in the harshest manner possible, starting around my third birthday? Not to worry, I’ll tell my analyst, as soon as I can find one who looks like the sexy blonde analysts in the Ratt videos.

Where we we? Oh, yes, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. It’s no supercar, but never was there a Miura that could have seen a distant glimpse of this thing’s origami-folded ass around a racetrack. It runs the quarter in 11.2 seconds. This particular Gallardo being one of the very last built, it has a thoroughly-revised e-gear transmission that works quickly and smoothly around a racetrack. The “paddle” shifters are really long metal handles that will be intimately familiar to anyone who has ever driven a Bentley Continental GT or, ahem, installed and VAG-COM-coded those same paddles to work on their Phaetons. It can be a little difficult to find them when the blood is hot and the pace is hard. Only after this test did I meet a Lamborghini factory driver who showed me the best way to do corner-exit upshifts on cars with steering-column-mounted paddles, like this and the Huracan: you use the left hand to steer the car and the right hand to shift. It’s very suave, when you do it correctly.

The Gallardo four-wheel-driver suffers from the same basic issues as the Audi R8 in terms of front axle activity and tire stagger, but having that 552-horse V10 behind you allows you to adjust these issues on the fly with copious amounts of torque and 8000-rpm power. It’s also possessed of a more responsive and informative steering system, which is odd because I’m pretty sure that the spec sheet has the same parts listed for both cars. I drove two different 560-4s that weekend and they were identical and both very good, so like Timothy B. Schmit I can’t tell you why that’s so.

The Gallardo’s low roof makes it a tight fit for me (six foot two, 32″ inseam) when wearing a helmet. The 560-4 is much more comfortable than the 550-2, however, for reasons I’ll discuss in the article on that car. The interior is a sort of Audi’s Greatest Hits with the addition of some chromed bespoke switches. If you own an old A4, you’ll recognize the temperature controls straightaway. Still, with the addition of some leather and chrome here and there, it actually works as an exotic-car interior. The old Italian cars from the Seventies were black plastic and chrome, and so is this. The difference is that none of the buttons are inoperative. You can track this car all day with the A/C on if you like. It doesn’t get hot, it doesn’t misbehave, it doesn’t flash warning lights at you. Compared to the Ferrari 430, it’s flashier on the outside and more subtle on the inside. If that’s your sort of thing, you’re in luck.

While there’s a “Corsa” mode for the stability control, this LP560-4 is perfectly safe and easy to drive with the ESC completely disengaged. You can feed it full power at any remotely sane point in the corner and though it won’t play differential games like a GT-R to tighten your line, neither will it loop the bitch around on you. The brakes are a bit wooden but they work very well even over the course of a full day’s lapping session. I had several female students who chose this car, none of whom had any track experience, and they were all able to enjoy themselves immediately.

The sense of worrisome size that accompanies the big Lambos like the Murcielago doesn’t exist here. The Gallardo feels smaller than a Corvette when you’re driving it, largely because you’re near the front axle plus it’s both narrow and slab-sided. I’d always thought of the Gallardo as a jerk-off car for jerk-off drivers but as the days went on and I saw just how well it worked for my students I came to really respect it. During my own drives of the car I found it to be superbly stable and adequately thrilling.

In dry conditions, with decent tires, you should be able to show heels to a stock C6 Z06 in this car. Add a bit of rain or poor track surface to the mix and the Lambo will leap away. This is particularly true for drivers without a lot of experience.

So what’s wrong with the car? Well, the styling was never as dramatic as it should have been, even if this final-facelift version looks suitably aggressive. The interior is a little too executive-sedan for my taste. It needs more tire to exploit the power. I’d rather have it with a six-speed manual. Most of all, however, that driven front axle just soaks all the potential drama out of the car. The LP560-4 is just too bolted-down, too safe, too sane, to be maximally thrilling. What it needs is the weight and dynamic gains that would come from ditching the front half of the drivetrain. Luckily, that’s an option, as we’ll see.

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Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce SUVs Still Waiting For Green Light http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/lamborghini-rolls-royce-suvs-still-waiting-green-light/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/lamborghini-rolls-royce-suvs-still-waiting-green-light/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=935290 Saving away for either a Lamborghini Urus or the Rolls-Royce SUV with no name (yet)? You may end up in an Aventador or Wraith instead if neither one are green-lit. According to AutoCar, the £180,000 ($289,000 USD) new-age Rambo Lambo is awaiting the go-ahead from Audi, which an anonymous insider claims will come when economic […]

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Saving away for either a Lamborghini Urus or the Rolls-Royce SUV with no name (yet)? You may end up in an Aventador or Wraith instead if neither one are green-lit.

According to AutoCar, the £180,000 ($289,000 USD) new-age Rambo Lambo is awaiting the go-ahead from Audi, which an anonymous insider claims will come when economic and geopolitical conditions calm down:

We are convinced the Urus can significantly boost global sales, but the financial conditions need to be sound. Right now, there are signs we may be heading for a downturn in the markets due to various factors, including trouble in the Middle East, although this is not reflected in the current sales situation, which puts us ahead of 2013.

Over at BMW, the Grey Poupon delivery wagon — set to move out of mainly Chinese showrooms at £200,000 ($321,000) — is still in the design phase. Board member for the high-end premium brand, Peter Schwarzenbauer, said the proposals are closing in on BMW’s vision for the SUV, but if the execs can’t be convinced that the final design resembles a Rolls-Royce, the vehicle will not be built.

Both SUVs are expected to enter production in 2017.

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Paris 2014: Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Unveiled http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-lamborghini-asterion-lpi-910-4-unveiled/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/paris-2014-lamborghini-asterion-lpi-910-4-unveiled/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 11:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=923105 Lamborghini has joined Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren in the hybrid hypercar game with one of its own, the Asterion LPI 910-4. This particular PHEV has its power fed to all four corners through three electric motors and one 5.2-liter V10 delivering 910 horsepower through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The V10 and one of the motors […]

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Lamborghini has joined Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren in the hybrid hypercar game with one of its own, the Asterion LPI 910-4.

This particular PHEV has its power fed to all four corners through three electric motors and one 5.2-liter V10 delivering 910 horsepower through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The V10 and one of the motors sit behind said transmission — with the electric in between the two — while the remaining electrics drive the front end. Nil to 60 is Aventador-level at 3 seconds flat, and tops out at 199 mph (78 mph in electric-only mode).

The hypercar also hits Prius levels of efficiency, delivering 56 mpg in the combined European test cycle; your mileage may vary. Further, the first 30 miles can be run on electric alone, with options of using all four engines or just the V10 available at the driver’s disposal.

Though it is on par with the 918 Spyder, LaFerrari and P1, the Asterion is more of a grand tourer than a track monster, with a bigger greenhouse and higher driver position than the other three PHEVs. The car also boasts a carbon fiber monocoque for less weight, though Lamborghini hasn’t said how much the Asterion weighs. The automaker adds that the concept was built with every component and technology available in-house, meaning production could start tomorrow if the lords of Sant’Agata wanted.

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2018 Lamborghini Urus Will Share $240k Price Tag With Huracán http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2018-lamborghini-urus-will-share-240k-price-tag-huracan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2018-lamborghini-urus-will-share-240k-price-tag-huracan/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=906969 Lamborghini’s newest foray into the premium truck/SUV market may still be for the production stop light to go green, but when it does, it will likely be priced in line with the Huracán. According to Motoring.com.au, Lamborghini R&D board member Maurizio Reggiani says the Urus “is still not confirmed for the brand,” and is awaiting […]

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Lamborghini’s newest foray into the premium truck/SUV market may still be for the production stop light to go green, but when it does, it will likely be priced in line with the Huracán.

According to Motoring.com.au, Lamborghini R&D board member Maurizio Reggiani says the Urus “is still not confirmed for the brand,” and is awaiting final approval from the top brass at Volkswagen AG. Once approved, however, the premium SUV will enter production at the end of 2017 at the earliest.

The statement flies in the face of proclamations of a confirmed 2017 production date by both brand CEO Stephan Winkelmann and Lamborghini Japan sales and marketing boss Eginardo Bertoli. Bertoli adds that the Urus “will be priced similarly to the Huracán, to maintain the brand’s position as premium” when it arrives in Japanese showrooms in 2018.

In the United States, the Huracán starts at $237,250 MSRP. At that price, the Urus would be the most expensive premium SUV available that doesn’t have six wheels or leather from the alleged nether regions of Moby Dick. That said, Reggiani says approval matters more than price at this time, which is likely a formality before the New Age Rambo Lambo roars out of Italy in a few years.

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Volkswagen To Triple SUV Lineup In Fight Against Toyota For Total Global Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/volkswagen-to-triple-suv-lineup-in-fight-against-toyota-for-total-global-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/volkswagen-to-triple-suv-lineup-in-fight-against-toyota-for-total-global-sales/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=836730 With Toyota still in its sights, Volkswagen plans to triple the number of SUVs in its lineup in its fight for the top sales podium among the Global Three. Bloomberg reports the current offerings — the midsize Touareg and compact Tiguan — will soon be joined by the upcoming seven-passenger CrossBlue-based SUV that will either […]

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With Toyota still in its sights, Volkswagen plans to triple the number of SUVs in its lineup in its fight for the top sales podium among the Global Three.

Bloomberg reports the current offerings — the midsize Touareg and compact Tiguan — will soon be joined by the upcoming seven-passenger CrossBlue-based SUV that will either be assembled in Mexico or Tennessee, coupe and long-wheelbase versions of the Tiguan, the Touareg and a subcompact based on either the Taigun or T-ROC concepts. The strategy would provide VW with the opportunity to meet Toyota across the latter’s range on its way to beat the Japanese automaker in global deliveries by 2018, and would build brand strength in the United States and emerging markets such as China.

Meanwhile, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche are also moving further into the SUV market, ranging from the Cayenne and new Macan — both of which are expected to account for 64 percent of all Porsche sales by next year, according to IHS Automotive — to the Q1 in 2016 and Urus in 2017. The overall game would net Volkswagen an operating profit boost over 6 percent of sales over the current rate of 2.9 percent, as SUVs are considered to be more profitable than other vehicles.

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Geneva 2014: Lamborghini Huracan Is The Vanguard Of The V10s http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/geneva-2014-lamborghini-huracan-is-the-vanguard-of-the-v10s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/geneva-2014-lamborghini-huracan-is-the-vanguard-of-the-v10s/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 16:11:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=765105   Yes, exotics aren’t really the main draw for TTAC readers – discussions of Panthers, W-Bodies and the minivan versus CUV debate tend to get everyone going – but it’s nice to break up the monotony every now and then. Besides, where else can you find a naturally aspirated 610 horsepower V10?

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Yes, exotics aren’t really the main draw for TTAC readers – discussions of Panthers, W-Bodies and the minivan versus CUV debate tend to get everyone going – but it’s nice to break up the monotony every now and then. Besides, where else can you find a naturally aspirated 610 horsepower V10?

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2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/10/2009-lamborghini-gallardo-lp560-4-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/10/2009-lamborghini-gallardo-lp560-4-review/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2008 10:47:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=105591

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.

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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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Take Two: Lamborghini Gallardo Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/11/take-two-lamborghini-gallardo-review/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2007/11/take-two-lamborghini-gallardo-review/#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2007 21:19:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/reviews/take-two-lamborghini-gallardo-review/ l2832.jpgAs their respective logos suggest, driving a Ferrari requires courage and finesse; piloting a Lamborghini means taking the bull by the horns and hanging on for dear life. In fact, driving a Lambo is something of a pistonhead rite of passage. It says you’re able to control-- or at least survive-- a monster. Anyway, that’s the old rep, before Audi started playing with the bull’s balls. I mean, finding a way to harness automotive testosterone for more “civilized” progress. Though enraptured, Farago wasn’t entirely convinced by the Gallardo’s Audiefied manners. Nuts to that.

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l2832.jpgAs their respective logos suggest, driving a Ferrari requires courage and finesse; piloting a Lamborghini means taking the bull by the horns and hanging on for dear life. In fact, driving a Lambo is something of a pistonhead rite of passage. It says you’re able to control– or at least survive– a monster. Anyway, that’s the old rep, before Audi started playing with the bull’s balls. I mean, finding a way to harness automotive testosterone for more “civilized” progress. Though enraptured, Farago wasn’t entirely convinced by the Gallardo’s Audiefied manners. Nuts to that.

The baby bull certainly looks the biz. During my tenure, the beast of Bologna attracted the wide-open throttles of two Texas-bred Taurii eager to bask in the limelight of their bovine overlord. The Gallardo’s creases are a youthful interpretation of the family bloodlines. The trim lines and eager headlights are puppy-dog cute against big brother Murcielago’s stern-faced mug. 

l2854.jpgSurprisingly, when highway stunt turns to stationary floss, bedazzled bystanders don’t notice the Gallardo’s lack of upwards opening doors. It’s a brand hallmark that turns heads faster than a Kanye West performance at a Republican Party fundraiser. Still, it’s a fair exchange: scissor doors for adorable. And there’s still less chance that onlookers will mistake the Gallardo for a “normal” car than Kayne West will perform at a Republican Party fundraiser.

Supercar interiors are known for yards of fragrant leather, exquisite metalwork, Alcantara decadence and an aesthetically incoherent smattering of modern amenities, usually lifted from someone else’s parts bin. Check. More to the point, the Gallardo’s aromatic thrones are g-force ready and boulevard compliant, and its rearward visibility puts the Chrysler 300 to shame (as if it needs help). 

l2814.jpgThe Audi-sourced interior bits are no bother– especially when contemplating the joys of a 512hp V-10 that shares an occasional blueprint with das mittel Audi sedan. Twist-up the quad-cammed meisterwerk capolavoro. The unfiltered engineering loosens your bowels even as it intoxicates your soul. Let the idle settle, put your hand on the aluminum shifter and the aft-mounted pistonage persuades your heartbeat to match its elevated cadence. Sweet.

With all wheel-drive and enough torque to launch a yacht, the Gallardo does a lot more than accelerate. It MOTIVATES. Stay in the sauce past 4000 revs and a tidal wave of forty-valve madness churns your mind and pummels your kidneys, The psycho-somatic assault doesn’t let up until the 8000rpm redline arrives. Zero to 60 takes 4.2 seconds, but who’s counting? Certainly not the driver, whose mind is occupied with a lot more serious matters than keeping track of numbers on a stopwatch.

l2921.jpgRF tested a Gallardo with E-gear, which is a bit like having sex with a bad hangover. The Lambo’s conventional six-speed manual is the perfect dance partner; never once did the driveline wince from a misplaced command. Whisking through the metallic gates was effortless and accurate. Even better, the sound of aluminum clacking against aluminum provided peerless mechanical intoxication.

Even with massive 19” hoops underfoot, the Gallardo’s ride adds enough compliance to give the impression there’s an A6 badge on the rear. Let the throttle plates relax and this Lambo takes pavement poundings with charm school restraint.

l2933.jpgThe Gallardo has the mad cornering skills to justify the bills. Yes, the effortless control of a 911 is absent. Whereas the Porsche has that hot knife through butter gestalt, the Gallardo’s helm is more akin to pushing a vario-speed Dremel through a sheet of balsawood. You get all of the Porker’s capability, just not as much tactile satisfaction. That said, like any good super car, extra speed makes everything better. The Gallardo’s power-on cornering is mostly unflappable.

It should come as no surprise that the Lamborghini Gallardo cuts corners like Motown’s finest bean counters. But the car’s idiot-proof dynamics are a big bonus. Make no mistake (so to speak9); I pushed the Gallardo hard. Its Quattro-esque driveline planted me in my seat, patiently waiting for my right foot to catapult us out the apex. The traction control knows its place; its mildly intrusive manners are summoned only when your bacon must be saved. 

l2878.jpgNever before has a carbon-based body been in such perfect harmony with four Pirelli gumballs. It’s quite surreal; thrashing a vehicle that flirts with the limits of one’s prowess and then yanks you down to reality with nary a hint of drama from the 14” rotors. The Gallardo is a supercar that doesn't require superhuman effort to extract maximum pleasure from the asphalt. 

And it’s a total babe magnet. OK, you might not want to sleep with any woman/man who wants to sleep with you because you own Lamborghini Gallardo. But there’s plenty of inter-personal pleasure to be had as the driver of a one-car advertisement for Italian automotive heritage. But the real thrill comes from wringing the neck of a supercar that lets you live to tell the tale. Yes, the Lamborghini Gallardo is a beast, but it's about as friendly as a 500hp+ sports car can be. And that's no bull.

[Momentum Motorcars provided seat time in the vehicle reviewed]  

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Lamborghini Gallardo SE Review http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2006/03/lamborghini-gallardo-se/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2006/03/lamborghini-gallardo-se/#comments Tue, 28 Mar 2006 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=695 Profile of a German - Italian half-breed.Testing a Gallardo SE in Miami is like sipping Chateau Lafite Rothschild in a public urinal. The little Lambo was born to annihilate the twisting mountain roads surrounding Italy's supercar valley, or flirt with V3 on a derestricted German autobahn. Miami's geometric streets and traffic-choked highways offer the Gallardo driver nothing more than a sinuous onramp and an occasional half-mile sprint-- which is plenty damn exciting but about as satisfying as red wine slammers. So, whilst fending-off a frantic flackmeister preoccupied with the definition of the words "driving impression," I guided the baby bull towards the nearest race track.

As I quick-quick-slowed through the cars clogging I-95 North, I was taken aback by the lack of stare and attention given the Gallardo. With its strange combination of diminutive footprint, cab forward stance, drop snout, near horizontal windshield and unrelenting angularity, the Gallardo lacks what native S-Class owners call "uberholprestige": that indefinable yet unmistakable car-isma that convinces fellow road users to move the Hell over. Either that or Floridians are fed-up with the automotive tastes of Bolivian drug lords. In any case, we now know what happens when a Belgian designs a supercar for a legendary Italian nameplate under the wary eye of a German conglomerate; and it ain't what I'd call pretty.

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Profile of a German - Italian half-breed.Testing a Gallardo SE in Miami is like sipping Chateau Lafite Rothschild in a public urinal. The little Lambo was born to annihilate the twisting mountain roads surrounding Italy's supercar valley, or flirt with V3 on a derestricted German autobahn. Miami's geometric streets and traffic-choked highways offer the Gallardo driver nothing more than a sinuous onramp and an occasional half-mile sprint– which is plenty damn exciting but about as satisfying as red wine slammers. So, whilst fending-off a frantic flackmeister preoccupied with the definition of the words "driving impression," I guided the baby bull towards the nearest race track.

As I quick-quick-slowed through the cars clogging I-95 North, I was taken aback by the lack of stare and attention given the Gallardo. With its strange combination of diminutive footprint, cab forward stance, drop snout, near horizontal windshield and unrelenting angularity, the Gallardo lacks what native S-Class owners call "uberholprestige": that indefinable yet unmistakable car-isma that convinces fellow road users to move the Hell over. Either that or Floridians are fed-up with the automotive tastes of Bolivian drug lords. In any case, we now know what happens when a Belgian designs a supercar for a legendary Italian nameplate under the wary eye of a German conglomerate; and it ain't what I'd call pretty.

What is behind me is not important.  Thank Gott. What DO you call it? Audighini? Lamboraudi? Inside, it's equally hard to tell. Pride of place goes to a bog standard Audi head unit and dual-zone climate control system. A row of faux aluminum toggle switches tries to reclaim the cabin from Ingolstadt's anal retentives, violating both common sense (depress and hold for lights?) and haptic satisfaction (a Barbie washing machine offers more profound clickery). This single stylistic flourish is lost in an interior dominated by generic minimalism. The Gallardo's bland, unbranded gauges are only the worst example of the flairectomy. If you're looking for a sense of occasion, breathe deep; an intoxication of musky leather provides a much-needed supercar cue.

Alternatively, prick up your ears. At idle, the Gallardo's V10 sounds like a mono-chromatic bassoon player jangling a set of keys. Up to 3500rpm, it's hard to tell which is less impressive: the amount of usable torque or the engine's subdued sonic signature. At four grand, the Gallardo SE gets its freak on. When I finally mashed the go-pedal, charging down the literally named Beeline Highway, the Gallardo's 512-horse powerplant emitted a bellow that sent distant gators scrambling for submersion. The aural belligerance increased in direct proportion to the escalating violence created by the car's gut-punching thrust. This all the way to the Gallardo's scarcely credible 8100rpm redline.

Careful with that polygon Luc!Two clicks on the stationary e-gear paddles (flippers to a piss ant parody of Audi's DSG) snapped us to 140 miles per hour. And yet we seemed no closer to the limitless, brooding horizon. And then the Gallardo started to vibrate like an electrified motel bed, indicating a suspension issue, an alignment problem, worn tires or some lamentable combination thereof (not entirely unknown to drivers of thoroughly played press cars). My soul mate demanded I Chuck Yeager the situation, but repeated blasts through the century and a half mark only exacerbated the supercar DT's. Meanwhile, we'd arrived.

I most emphatically did NOT take the Lamborghini Gallardo SE onto the track at the Moroso Motor Sports Park in Jupiter, Florida. But if I had, I might have reported that the Gallardo was as happy roaring around tight corners as a Prius golf carting in an Earth Day parade. That the German/Italian pocket rocket is a perfectly stable platform for drivers determined to hear the clack of their passenger's helmet ricocheting off the side window. That the four-wheel drive supercar turns eight tenths into five tenths, and punishes nine into eleven tenths with an understeer slide– unless you switch off the ESP traction control.

Eh.In that case, I probably would have discovered that the Gallardo's tail loses its implacable resolve to stay behind the front end– which would have been great for some tire-smelting drifting but a REAL problem for anyone stupid enough to paddle the e-gear during lateral-G's. I might also have pointed-out that the Gallardo SE's uprated brakes still fail to meet the standard set by Stuttgart's stoppers for bite, feel and ferocity. But, as I said, I didn't get the chance to put the Gallardo SE through its paces; and I'm not the type of automotive writer to indulge in uninformed conjecture.

Remaining in the theoretical realm, it's easy to see how Lamborghini could take the Gallardo to the next level. A couple of turbos would eliminate the low-end torque deficiency. A DSG gearbox would transform the herky-jerky e-Gallardo into a daily driver. And a bit of extra design coherence would sort out the uglies. Oh wait, that's the upcoming Audi R8. Huh. Now what?

[Prestige Imports provided the vehicle, insurance, taxes and a tank of gas.]

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http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2006/03/lamborghini-gallardo-se/feed/ 3 Testing a Gallardo SE in Miami is like sipping Chateau Lafite Rothschild in a public urinal. The little Lambo was born to annihilate the twisting mountain roads surrounding Italy's supercar valley, or flirt with V3 on a derestricted German autobahn. Testing a Gallardo SE in Miami is like sipping Chateau Lafite Rothschild in a public urinal. The little Lambo was born to annihilate the twisting mountain roads surrounding Italy's supercar valley, or flirt with V3 on a derestricted German autobahn. Miami's geometric streets and traffic-choked highways offer the Gallardo driver nothing more than a sinuous onramp and an occasional half-mile sprint-- which is plenty damn exciting but about as satisfying as red wine slammers. So, whilst fending-off a frantic flackmeister preoccupied with the definition of the words "driving impression," I guided the baby bull towards the nearest race track. As I quick-quick-slowed through the cars clogging I-95 North, I was taken aback by the lack of stare and attention given the Gallardo. With its strange combination of diminutive footprint, cab forward stance, drop snout, near horizontal windshield and unrelenting angularity, the Gallardo lacks what native S-Class owners call "uberholprestige": that indefinable yet unmistakable car-isma that convinces fellow road users to move the Hell over. Either that or Floridians are fed-up with the automotive tastes of Bolivian drug lords. In any case, we now know what happens when a Belgian designs a supercar for a legendary Italian nameplate under the wary eye of a German conglomerate; and it ain't what I'd call pretty. The Truth About Cars no