What is it?
The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, the most obvious rival to the Ferrari F430 Scuderia.
True, the Ferrari is more expensive than the Lamborghini, but adding a robotised-manual gearbox and ceramic brakes to the LP560-4, both standard on the Scuderia, closes the gap. A lot.
The LP560-4 replaces the standard Gallardo coupé. And is a big improvement on it. Its engine is bigger, at 5204cc, and with 552bhp it makes a great deal more power. It sounds better, too.
Underneath it has been thoroughly re-engineered, with revised suspension, newly developed tyres, a lighter body with styling and aerodynamic tweaks and revised drivetrain.
What’s it like?
The differences over the original Gallardo are subtle, but you can tell the new car is faster and even more polished than before.
Now, it rides well, and although the steering has little feel it’s deadly accurate and has less kickback. The way it goes and stops are beyond reproach too.
The new engine makes its peak power at the same 8000rpm as before, and while peak torque is developed at a high 6500rpm, it doesn’t feel peakier overall. The e-gear transmission shifts faster than before, but it’s still slower and less smooth than the Ferrari’s ‘Superfast’ F1 system.
The transmission’s feel is one that’s repeated in other areas. In isolation the Gallardo LP560-4 is as wonderful as you’d expect a 552bhp supercar to feel – poised and agile – but it’s a marginally blunter instrument than the Scuderia; it feels less precise, less delicate.
Some say it understeers too much now: probably true, and lifting, braking or giving it some boot doesn’t help. If, though, you’ve a lot of space and some serious bravery you can power through it into very controllable oversteer.
Should I buy one?
Yes, if you want a supercar that delivers all the speed and sound you could want of a Raging Bull, plus a decent amount of usability, as the LP560-4 is ergonomically very sound. Its sat-nav and stereo are good, you can hitch up the front-suspension for kerbs and speed ramps, there’s a reversing camera and the mirrors are wide.
Less sharp than a Ferrari 430 Scuderia, yes, but pretty bloody wonderful nonetheless.