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Discussion in 'European Cars' started by gallardo, Mar 3, 2008.
From Timesonline via http://forum.autohoje.com/showthread.php?t=1657&page=109
The new 202mph Lamborghini is a beast with a muzzle firmly in place
Joseph Dunn Half a dozen choppers ferrying journalists and Lamborghini top brass flew in formation over the scorched badlands of Nevada like something out of Apocalypse Now. Only Wagner�s Ride of the Valkyries was missing. This was not a reenactment of Francis Ford Coppola�s Vietnam classic but an expensively staged spectacular to mark the unveiling of the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.
Could the launch of a tweaked version of an existing car possibly justify all this razzmatazz? Admittedly the LP5604 is more powerful than the standard Gallardo, quicker, lighter and more thrilling to drive. But the differences are subtle rather than stark. One suspects the theatricals were therefore more to do with Lamborghini�s carefully mapped out marketing strategy of launching a new car each year.
The LP5604 will replace the original Gallardo, which has been in production since 2003 and has been by far the most successful Lamborghini in history, shifting more than 7,000 units to date. Competition from Ferrari, in the form of the F430 Scuderia, and Porsche, not to mention the possibility of an Audi R8 V10 later in the year, means that Lambo has been forced to up the ante.
Close up, the LP5604 (the LP stands for �longitudinale posteriore�, the position and arrangement of the engine, the 560 refers to its metric power output and the 4 denotes permanent four-wheel drive), is a ferocious-looking machine. The stub nose drops viciously over the front wheels, while the front air vents have been enlarged to feed the larger engine. The lines along the flank remain sharp and the fat rear end, which houses the engine, is beefier than a Geordie doorman and packs just as big a punch. The new engine adds 39bhp to the standard car�s 513bhp and will hit 62mph from standing in 3.7sec, shaving 0.2sec off the sprint speed of its predecessor. It has a top speed of 202mph. To put the car�s sheer power and performance into some sort of perspective it is worth remembering that a normal family car will typically reach 60mph in about 12sec. The LP5604 will be travelling at 124mph in 11.8sec.
It is the sort of power that can get a driver into trouble, and within an hour at the speedway a Russian journalist had ploughed off the track, over a gravelled area, through a metal fence and into a brick wall. He survived but the car didn�t. This then is a beast with all the ferocious appeal of a Siegfried & Roy pet tiger - one moment of inattention and it can turn and bite.
Like the original Gallardo, the LP5604 has all the fixtures and fittings you would expect in a family saloon: sat nav, air-con and stereo. The black leather seats hold you in place well enough, but overall you are left feeling distinctly underwhelmed. The switchgear on the fascia is chunky and metallic and, for my tastes at least, a little too visible: who wants to be confronted by a conspicuous button to operate the electric windows in a �143,350 supercar? At the same time, parts of the rev counter and speedo can be blocked from view by the small steering wheel.
These are minor quibbles. The real test of the car is not inside the cabin but out on the road. Gun the engine in your garage and neighbours will think an F-15 has landed on your driveway. From inside the cockpit the noise is even more monumental: the engine is situated six inches from the back of your head.
Floor the throttle and the acceleration is savage. The new gearbox is a huge improvement on the original, and changes are fast (120 milliseconds) and seamless both in auto and in paddle-shift mode. On the track, where all you have to lose is your nerve, the ride is thrilling. But is the car quite the extreme, no-compromise racer that Lamborghini would have us believe?
After several tyre-squealing laps, the one question I was asking was how the Russian managed to lose control. The LP5604 is fast and fun but it is not uncontrollable. Time and again, just as the car began to wobble, the onboard electronics kicked in to pull it back from the edge. Feel the back end begin to slide and instantly power is redistributed to the wheels that need it and cut from those that don�t, to keep things on the straight and narrow. And good though the new box is - especially in �corsa� race mode � it is not as visceral and real as a genuine manual gearstick. Lamborghini says a manual box will be available but that most of its customers prefer the ease of the paddle shift.
And this is probably at the heart of the Gallardo LP5604: it is billed as edgy and extreme - as is the company that makes it � but it is not yet a full-blooded seat-of-your-pants supercar. Such a car needs to be coaxed and tamed to get the most out of it; the LP5604 is house-trained and flatters the driver.
When it goes on sale in June it will initially sit in the company�s product range alongside the standard Gallardo (which will eventually be phased out) and last year�s stripped-down version, the Superleggera. It will undoubtedly sell well and add to the growing allure of the brand, which has seen sales increase from 1,000 cars in 2003 to 2,406 in 2007. The company, renowned for its Italian flair but now under the ownership of Audi, is embarking on an ambitious German-style expansion plan. The odds are we will see a Spyder version of the LP5604 masquerading as a new car next year.
All this helps to keep the brand fresh and lively - as does its new merchandise line of clothes and key rings (can�t afford the car? Buy the sweatshirt instead) and its clever product placement (watch out for the Lambo in the new Batman film this summer) � and it will certainly have its arch rival Ferrari keeping a wary eye on its Italian neighbour. But whether this particular new car is quite as �extreme, uncompromising and Italian� as the slogan claims is a moot point.
Still, none of that really seems to matter when you are sitting in a traffic jam outside the neon casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Here, where fortunes are made and lost on the turn of a card or the spin of the roulette wheel, you are not looking for visceral performance and the fear of stalling. Instead you are soaking up the looks and the camera flashes from passers-by thinking the same thing as you are: �If I get lucky tonight I�m gonna buy me one of those.�
Model Lamborghini Gallardo LP5604
Engine type 5204cc, 10 cylinders
Power / Torque 552bhp @ 8000rpm / 398 lb ft @ 6500rpm
Transmission Six-speed clutchless manual
Fuel / CO2 13.6mpg (combined) / 351g/km
Performance 0-62mph: 3.7sec / top speed: 202mph
Road tax band Band G (�400 per year)
Verdict Watch out, Ferrari
Date of release June
Model Ferrari F430 Scuderia �172,605
For Superb performance and handling
Against Expensive, more common than a Lambo
Model Porsche 911 GT2 �131,070
For Brilliant to drive, relatively affordable
Against Lacks romance of an Italian supercar
Lambo has a particular badluck with journalists crashing their demo cars.
First drive: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
Posted on Saturday 31 May 2008
To a large extent Lamborghini exists today because of the Gallardo. While the Murcielago has always remained the top model in the company�s line-up, it was strong sales of the Gallardo that allowed it to reach profitability after almost 30 years of losses. At its initial launch back in 2003 there was the worry that this new �entry-level� Lamborghini would dilute the brand�s exclusive cachet. As the first model completely designed under the watchful and sensible eye of Audi, there was also some concern the carmaker was expanding its market share at the cost of exclusivity and heritage.
But once the first trickle of reviews came in, all fears were put to rest, and the new car was able to strike an almost impossible balance between accessibility and exclusivity. It�s since gone on to become the Italian marque�s most successful model to date - selling around 7,100 units - and its reputation as an everyday supercar is the best descriptor of the new Lamborghini: outrageous but still entirely livable.
However, Lamborghini was never one to rest on its laurels. Just as it had done with the Murcielago and the more extreme LP640 variant, designers also tinkered with the Gallardo and added some extra kit to make it a much more vicious machine. Put on a diet, the brand new LP560-4 loses 20kg over the standard model and is given another 40hp (30kW) for extra bite. The most significant changes come in the form of a new aerodynamic package that improves downforce considerably and makes the car a far more formidable track weapon than the standard Gallardo.
Named for its 560hp (418kW) output and 4WD powertrain, the latest incarnation of the Gallardo impresses on several fronts. With its highly-strung 5.2L V10 the LP560-4 has stunning performance, accelerating to 62mph (100km/h) in just 3.7 seconds and going on to reach a top speed in excess of 200mph (320km/h).
The engine emits a deep bellow when pushed, and is most brutal in the lower end of the rev-range where it seems to summon the most force. Hitting the top end is equally exciting because the torque curve remains flat and stable throughout the rev-range.
It�s strange to think of the self-titled �Most outrageous car company� considering emissions and fuel economy in its marketing materials, however even Lamborghini is beginning to think about tough new pollution regulations to be ratified by the EU. For this reason it has introduced a new Bosch direct injection system, giving the LP560-4 more power and torque but better fuel-efficiency and lower emissions than the previous Gallardo.
Styling and interior
Lamborghini has updated the Gallardo�s shell to bring it more in to line with the Murcielago and recent Reventon concept. You can clearly see the family resemblance in the new model with giant air dams and new lights in the front.
The rear has also been altered significantly, with cooling vents, new rear lights and bumper plus a redesigned diffuser all contributing to its changed appearance. In what may be a subconscious nod to its German cousin, the LP560-4�s rear looks a little like the Audi R8�s. The rear lights are now positioned in a �Y structure� and the same motif appears in the front LED daytime running lights.
Sitting inside, the interior resembles that of the regular Gallardo. The seats are set extremely low but leg and shoulder room are generous for both driver and passenger. Lamborghini offers the LP560-4 with either leather or Alcantara upholstery for the seats, and the same options are given for various accents around the cabin.
While the interior hasn�t changed much from the pre-facelift model, the driving experience certainly has. Gone is the instability during high speed cornering and the tendency to understeer that were the negative hallmarks of the Gallardo. The LP560-4�s new aerodynamics package has significant effect at speed, and the front spoiler and rear diffuser work together to improve aerodynamic efficiency by a staggering 31%.
On the road
The optional carbon-ceramic brakes are also excellent, though we wish Lamborghini would follow cross-town rival Ferrari�s example and make them standard on the new model. Still, there�s not much to complain about when you�re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a car and the brakes deliver up to 1.2g of seatbelt-straining force.
With its high-revving engine, excellent four-wheel drive system, improved down force and powerful brakes, the LP560 is more confident around a track than the Gallardo. The suspension has also been tuned and lightened, and is adept at keeping the car stable during high-speed cornering. Body roll is now almost non-existent.
Steering the car through the pedals was necessary more than a few times, especially when understeer reared its ugly head. However, these were rare occasions and generally the car was responsive to our steering inputs. The transmission comes in three modes, Normal, Sport and Corsa, with the final being the most hardcore option. In Corsa mode the gear shifts are around 40% faster than normal. There�s also a launch control option, during which both brake and accelerator are depressed, locking revs at 5,000rpm and sending the Gallardo off while matching traction with power perfectly.
The LP560-4 isn�t brilliant in all areas though. The carbon-ceramic brakes still lack proper feel for stop-and-go traffic, a problem we�ve noticed on a number of other cars fitted with them, including the McLaren SLR (not sold here) and the Porsche Carrera GT (now out of production). The extremely low front spoiler also makes the car hard to take around town and even when you do use the handy front-raising feature there�s still the occasional painful sound of grating metal.
The LP560-4 takes Lamborghini�s biggest success and changes the formula - as a driver�s car, it is devastatingly quick and a delight to throw around a track but as just a car, a daily driver, the old Gallardo made more sense. Then again, when did buying a Lamborghini ever make sense?
These are first pics I have seen of lp560 in gray
Not liking the Audi rear end anymore to be honest... I still love this thing to death though
I love it
really ugly, the front looks squinty eyed and lame, and the back is a facsimile of the R8
it's that or lambos can't handle.
lambos are real mens car. Learn to drive or die.
Lambos are glorified Audi TTs.
Looks very good. Those wheels are great as well.
Certainly grown on me a lot since the first pics we saw.
Ferraris are glorified Fiat Grande Puntos.
At least they have passion.
How can you call a car like this ugly, dont be a retard.
yeah well TTs have passion and GAY PRIDE so there <A BORDER="0" HREF="http://www.supercars.net/PitLane?displayFAQ=y"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="pitlane/emoticons/tongue.gif"></A>
this thread is secod most childish thread after ajzahn in the gt-r thread.
Looks nice in orange.
I gotta get out of here. Tere will soon be gay chinos marrying arabs and adopting children only to teach thme how to be gay from an early age. I got suspended twice in elementary school for teling kids they were gay and I was going to kill them. - TOXA
PandaBeat has no taste
2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Arrives This Summer; Stickers up Nearly $20K
SANTA MONICA, California � U.S. dealers should begin receiving the first deliveries of the new 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 in late summer. The new model will be priced starting at $201,000, not including shipping and the federal gas-guzzler tax.
The sticker represents a hefty bump from the $182,000 price tag on the base 2008 Gallardo. But the new LP560-4 has considerably more hardware and performance capability than its predecessor.
The all-wheel-drive Gallardo LP560-4 boasts a new direct-injection 5.2-liter V10 that makes 552 horsepower (560 PS in the European system, which accounts for its new label). Lambo claims a 0-60-mph time of less than 3.7 seconds and a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
Incidentally, Americans may think the LP560-4 is a bargain, compared with what some of their European counterparts will have to pay. The new Gallardo arrives later this month in the U.K., where the base price, including delivery, is �147,330 � about $290,000 in U.S. dollars.
What this means to you: More displacement, more power, more driven wheels. Let's put that price hike in proper perspective. � Paul Lienert, Correspondent
Great video testing on Las Vegas track
Also nice pics from Autohoje