2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Review

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
2009 lamborghini gallardo lp560 4 review

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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  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Oct 23, 2008

    Spot the Spinal Tap reference!

  • Oldshore Oldshore on Oct 24, 2008

    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, www.gothamdreamcars.com)I can sort of understand what you have experienced. Jay (Justin's father)

  • SCE to AUX "Having spoken to plenty of suppliers over the years, many have told me they tried to adapt to EV production only to be confronted with inconsistent orders."Lofty sales predictions followed by reality.I once worked (very briefly) for a key supplier to Segway, back when "Ginger" was going to change the world. Many suppliers like us tooled up to support sales in the millions, only to sell thousands - and then went bankrupt.
  • SCE to AUX "all-electric vehicles, resulting in a scenario where automakers need fewer traditional suppliers"Is that really true? Fewer traditional suppliers, but they'll be replaced with other suppliers. You won't have the myriad of parts for an internal combustion engine and its accessories (exhaust, sensors), but you still have gear reducers (sometimes two or three), electric motors with lots of internal components, motor mounts, cooling systems, and switchgear.Battery packs aren't so simple, either, and the fire recalls show that quality control is paramount.The rest of the vehicle is pretty much the same - suspension, brakes, body, etc.
  • Theflyersfan As crazy as the NE/Mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor drivers can be, for the most part they pay attention and there aren't too many stupid games. I think at times it's just too crowded for that stuff. I've lived all over the US and the worst drivers are in parts of the Midwest. As I've mentioned before, Ohio drivers have ZERO lane discipline when it comes to cruising, merging, and exiting. And I've just seen it in this area (Louisville) where many drivers have literally no idea how to merge. I've never seen an area where drivers have no problems merging onto an interstate at 30 mph right in front of you. There are some gruesome wrecks at these merge points because it looks like drivers are just too timid to merge and speed up correctly. And the weaving and merging at cloverleaf exits (which in this day and age need to all go away) borders on comical in that no one has a bloody clue of let car merge in, you merge right to exit, and then someone repeats behind you. That way traffic moves. Not a chance here.And for all of the ragging LA drivers get, I found them just fine. It's actually kind of funny watching them rearrange themselves like after a NASCAR caution flag once traffic eases up and they line up, speed up to 80 mph for a few miles, only to come to a dead halt again. I think they are just so used to the mess of freeways and drivers that it's kind of a "we'll get there when we get there..." kind of attitude.
  • Analoggrotto I refuse to comment until Tassos comments.
  • Kendahl Fifteen years ago, the GTO was on my short list of automotive retirement presents to myself. It was just a bit too big and gas mileage sucked compared to the 6-speed Infiniti G37S coupe I bought after test driving several brands. It's a pity owners of cars that are collectible the day they are bought screw them up with aftermarket modifications they don't need. I'd offer they seller top price less what it would cost to put the car back to stock. (I just traded in the Infiniti, in mechanically excellent and cosmetically very good condition with 78k miles, for a 2023 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing.)