The Gallardo's a landmark Lamborghini: the first genuinely all-new car to be made by Sant'Agata under Audi ownership. It also marked a return for the firm to making a more affordable, usable super sports car than its legendary dynasty of V12s - something it hadn't done since the Jalpa went out of production in 1988. This was Sant’Agata’s first serious crack at the bottom end of the traditional supercar market and was conceived as a direct competitor for the 360 Modena and Porsche 911 Turbo. It went on sale to critical acclaim in 2003.

And the current Gallardo LP560-4 is the living, screaming proof that Lamborghini is taking its future very seriously indeed. Because although it is a faster, lighter, more powerful version of the Gallardo, it is also the cleanest, most economical and ecologically efficient car that Lamborghini has ever produced.

In a nutshell, the 560-4 (560ps, four-wheel drive) represents a more modern way of thinking at Lamborghini, and although it may have been launched in 2008, at a time when £152,280, 202mph supercars weren't exactly flying out of showrooms, it proves how serious the company is about staying relevant and, more to the point, staying in business.

Tough job, but the LP560-4 – 18 per cent cleaner than its predecessor and faster and more powerful to boot – looks like a pretty good start.

Top 5 Supercars

  • Ferrari 458
    The radical-looking, mid-engined V8 Ferrari 458 oozes supercar charm

    Ferrari 458

    1
  • McLaren 650S
    The McLaren 650S is much faster and more exciting to drive than the regular 12C

    McLaren 650S

    2
  • Lamborghini Huracán
    The Huracán is the successor to the Lamborghini Gallardo

    Lamborghini Huracán

    3
  • Lamborghini Aventador
    The Lamborghini Aventador replaced the long-lived Murcielago

    Lamborghini Aventador

    4
  • Noble M600
    The Noble M600 might lack the pedigree of a Ferrari, but it is a wonderful drivers' car

    Noble M600

    5

First drives

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