2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera
Lamborghini’s chief rival, Ferrari, might be charting new waters by unveiling a hybrid at the Geneva auto show, but the bucking-bull brand is sticking to tried and true formulas with its news. The Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera follows exactly the recipe laid out by its predecessor: less weight, more power. But now that the basic Gallardo LP560-4 puts out 552 horses, the total for the Superleggera sneaks up to 562, courtesy of a more liberal engine-management programming. The power peak still occurs at a siren-song 8000 rpm, and torque remains 398 lb-ft at 6500 rpm.
Lambo says 0 to 60 mph will take only 3.4 seconds, with 124 (200 km/h) passing in just 10.2. Terminal velocity is 202 mph. However, a regular-strength Gallardo we tested recently needed only 3.2 seconds to hit the 60-mph mark. That car also took a mere 11.2 seconds to trip the quarter-mile timing lights at a speed of 130 mph, which suggests that the new Superleggera will land safely among the quickest production cars we’ve ever tested. Lamborghini’s e-gear automated manual transmission will be standard, although we expect that, like the previous car, the Superleggera will offer the gated six-speed manual as a no-cost option. With e-gear, fuel economy is said to be 14 mpg in the city, 20 on the highway. Good luck finding the restraint to achieve those figures.
“Leggera” Just Doesn’t Have the Same Ring to it
In Italian, “Superleggera” means “super light,” which is not entirely accurate in describing a car that will still weigh around 3350 pounds. Euro-market cars drop 154 pounds off the Gallardo’s curb weight, but the Superleggera might see a smaller drop in the U.S. In the last lightweight Gallardo, our government regulations mandated the carbon-fiber-shelled seats from the European car be replaced by fatter thrones with side-impact airbags embedded in the bolsters. We expect to be similarly deprived this time around.
Had carbon fiber been around when Lotus founder Colin Chapman was building cars and spouting immortal words, his famous “add lightness” line might have instead been “add carbon fiber.” In all, 80 of the 154 pounds shaved from the Gallardo to make a Superleggera are owed to the lightweight material. In addition to the seat shells, the center-tunnel cover and door panels are carbon fiber. Outside, it is used for both the standard (small) and optional (large) rear spoilers, as well as the side sills, rear diffuser, underbody paneling, mirror housings, and engine cover. The window in the engine cover through which passersby can ogle the Lambo’s V-10 switches to polycarbonate, as do the rear and side windows. The weight-saving program doesn’t go so far as to delete the A/C, which owners will be grateful for with such a dark interior. Everything inside that was once leather is now lighter-weight Alcantara, including the seats, dash, and headliner.
Not Much Change, But Go Ahead and Stare Anyway
Beyond the spoiler and carbon-fiber mirror housings, exterior changes are few. The front fascia, the bottom of which is now black, grows larger air intakes; and the lower body is tattooed with a sexy “Superleggera” side stripe that now sports three thin lines along its top edge—green, white, and red—in homage to Lamborghini’s homeland. Forged aluminum 19-inch wheels with titanium lugs save 29 pounds compared to the regular Gallardo’s, and wear Pirelli P Zero Corsa rubber. Carbon-ceramic brakes are an option which, if our experience with the last model carries over, should be avoided on account of their nearly unmanageable grabbiness.
Pricing is not yet available, but the last Superleggera added nearly $30,000 to the Gallardo’s base price. If a standard Gallardo doesn’t do it for you and you’ve got that sort of extra bread to toss around, you could also consider giving Jason Heffner a call.