Steve Sutcliffe
28 February 2013

What is it?

Rumour has it that the production line marked ‘Gallardo’ will glide gently to a halt in August this year to allow tooling for the all-new baby Lamborghini to begin, which may or may not go on sale before the summer of next year depending on (a) who you talk to at Lamborghini, and (b) if you believe what they say to be true.

Either way, and despite the imminent ceasing of the now 10-year-old Gallardo’s production, this is the last time that Lamborghini will breathe new life into its smallest but biggest-selling car. And as last hurrahs go, this is not exactly one to take your breath away.

What we are talking about is a mild redesign of both nose and tail, one that introduces the weirdly triangular, some say slightly vulgar, design themes that appear pretty much all over the Aventador and the limited-edition Sesto Elemento.

There’s also a new design of 19-inch alloy wheel and larger air intakes have been carved into the bodywork just ahead of the front wheels, again drawing on the sharp-edged visual themes pioneered on Lamborghini’s most recent creations.

Alongside the bigger rear grille – which, says Lamborghini, “improves the thermodynamic efficiency” of the V10 (without providing it with any more power, torque or ecological credentials compared with what’s gone before) – the overall effect, visually at least, is subtle yet dramatic, both at the same time.

What is it like?

You can spot the 2013 Gallardo fairly easily compared with its predecessors, old or recent, but whether the design tweaks are a step forwards or a step sideways is another matter – or could they even be a step backwards?

Whatever your take on the way that it looks (personally, I think the Gallardo has become less good looking as it has grown older) what lurks beneath the skin hasn’t really changed. 

Apart from the new, fractionally lighter alloy wheels, it hasn’t really changed at all, in fact. You still get the same 5.2-litre V10 that produces a thoroughly rousing 553bhp at 8000rpm and 398lb ft at 6500rpm. That’s good enough to fire the 1625kg, four-wheel-drive LP560-4 to 62mph from rest in 4.0sec and to a top speed of 201mph.

Trouble is, in the case of the test car, you also get the same old six-speed paddle-shift gearbox, which feels even more antiquated in its operation than it did before, especially compared with what’s on offer in most, if not all, of its rivals at the same price (£165k).

And unfortunately, much the same can be said about the rest of the way this car now drives – and operates inside – relative to its key competition.

Should I buy one?

There’s still an underlying sense of excitement about looking at, listening to and driving the Lamborghini Gallardo – because anything that makes this much of a fuss about merely going down the road still deserves its place in the heart of the true enthusiast.

If you look closely at what’s actually on offer between the cracks, however, the truth is not that pretty compared with what’s available from not just Ferrari and McLaren nowadays but also Porsche and even Audi.

Bottom line: lovely car that the Gallardo once was, its replacement won’t arrive a moment too soon.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4

Price £164,444; 0-62mph 4.0sec; Top speed 201mph; Economy 20.0mpg; CO2 emissions 330g/km; Kerb weight 1625kg; Engine V10, 5204cc, petrol; Power 553bhp at 8000rpm; Torque 398lb ft at 6500rpm; Gearbox 6spd sequential manual

Join the debate

Comments
13

LP 550-2

1 year 33 weeks ago

Would love to see a review of the latest LP 550-2 with a manual box, presumably the last of the manual Lambos...

I agree with your view of the facelifted looks: definitely a step backwards.

TBC

Horse

1 year 33 weeks ago

Not sure about the bull, looking more like a dead horse.....

I like the Gallardo, but I

1 year 33 weeks ago

I like the Gallardo, but I too feel that it is old and outclassed and is in need of replacement. As for the looks, this is another example of a facelift which make a car look worse. The original Gallardo, and the 1st facelift, looked stunning. Although not a munter, this 2nd facelift is questionable and unecessary.

still no dual clutch

1 year 33 weeks ago

I agree on the styling, definitely a step backwards vs the pre facelift model. Also a pity that they didnt put the DSG box in from the new Audi R8, same engine and chassis after all so I'm sure it would fit, but if it's going in a few months anyway then probably not worth the engineering costs - suprised they bothered with a facelift at all really.

Bring on the replacement!

jer

..

1 year 33 weeks ago

This was always my supercar of choice prior to 458s and 14c era. Shame its become long in the tooth. Always remember the surprise when Chris Harris of this magazine bought a black one with his own money. 

Tom Chet wrote: Would love

1 year 33 weeks ago

Tom Chet wrote:

Would love to see a review of the latest LP 550-2 with a manual box, presumably the last of the manual Lambos...

Agreed, that would be the Lambo i would choose (with a soft top maybe)

jer wrote: This was always

1 year 33 weeks ago

jer wrote:

This was always my supercar of choice prior to 458s and 14c era. Shame its become long in the tooth. Always remember the surprise when Chris Harris of this magazine bought a black one with his own money. 

I remember Chris Harris's article about his purchase. Never did find out how he could afford to spend well over £100k on a car, considering he was 'only' a motor journalist!

As for the Gallardo, yes after 10 years in production it's not going to match much younger rivals like the 458 and 12C blow by blow, but it's still the most dramatic looking junior supercar and it'll be as quick as the younger brigade on public roads, for all practical intents and purposes.

Agreed

1 year 33 weeks ago

I agree with Steve big time here! The Gallardo is looking very old, both inside and out. Its overweight and dynamically done too. A replacement couldn't be needed more.

Cyborg

Overdrive wrote:  it'll be

1 year 33 weeks ago

Overdrive wrote:

 it'll be as quick as the younger brigade on public roads.

It'll be as quick as any Dacia on public roads, speed limits being what they are.

-

1 year 33 weeks ago

The only supercar I've ever driven, an early manual 4wd. I was expecting a brute and it wasn't, pretty easy to drive at 8/10ths after only a few minutes in the car.

Long in the tooth now, this re-vamp is surely just a 'don't forget about me!'


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Our Verdict

The Lamborghini Gallardo is the full supercar sensation with sublime handling

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