Don’t be fooled by the familiar, although still deeply seductive, looks of the 560-4. Visually, it may be only slightly different from the original Gallardo – the nose vents are bigger, the rear lights are smaller and more elegant, and the interior has been ‘rationalised’ to make it easier to interact with, says Lamborghini. But beneath the skin, this is a very different car.
For starters it has a 5.2-litre V10 engine, which not only has a different firing order from the previous 5.0-litre V10 but also more power (552bhp at 8000rpm) and more torque (398lb ft at 6500rpm). It’s cleaner, too, thanks mainly to a Bosch direct-injection fuel system, which allows Lamborghini to claim that this is the fastest-revving direction-injection engine in the world – the limiter doesn’t call stumps until an ear-splitting 8200rpm.
Most of the four-wheel drive chassis is also updated – there are bigger anti-roll bars front and rear, uprated dampers, and significant changes to the steering and rear suspension geometry – as is the hardware and software for the e-gear paddle-shift gearbox. Lamborghini claims that over 90 percent of Gallardos are bought with the optional paddle-shift ’box and has therefore gone to a lot of effort to improve the system. Shifts in the new Corsa mode occur 40 percent faster now, and even in regular and Sport modes, the changes happen faster and more smoothly, says Lamborghini.
The 560-4 isn’t just cleaner on emissions; it’s also smoother through the air, because of improved aerodynamics, and more efficient mechanically, thanks to a reduction in friction throughout the car.
Intriguingly, the 560-4 is lighter than the stripped-out Superleggera version of the previous model, providing it with a thumping power-to-weight ratio of 391bhp per tonne.