Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera (2007) Review

By: Gautam Sharma

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Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

Lamborghini has unleashed the angriest Gallardo on the planet.

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera (2007) Review
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

 

2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

[Aug 2007] The Superleggera (superlight) is the ultimate embodiment of Lamborghini's V10-propelled tearaway.

Its design brief was simple: rip out absolutely everything that doesn't involve going faster, harden the suspension to bone-jarring intensity and breathe on the engine to eke out a few extra horses from the donor V10.

The engine bursts into life with an eardrum-assaulting bark but once underway, the sheer uncompromising nature of the Superleggera manifests itself. The four-point harness limits movement to such a degree that it's impossible to even reach out to pull the door shut once strapped in. And the ride quality is positively abominable.

In true supercar fashion, the seat is positioned low, which means you haven't got a hope of seeing where the tapered nose actually finishes. Rear visibility is not much better. The E-Gear robotised manual transmission isn't the smoothest device in the cut and thrust of traffic either.

But escape the inner-city crawl for some fast, flowing roads and its uncompromising design starts to make sense. The gearchange that seemed clunky around town delights with its immediacy and brutal efficiency. Also entertaining is the manner in which the onboard electronic brain rev-matches on downshifts - it doesn't just blip the throttle, it instigates the equivalent of a bootful of loud pedal. It's pure audio porn.

The 5.0-litre V10 is a masterpiece. Smooth and torque-laden, it spins past 8000rpm with the ease of a purebred race engine. Docile and well-behaved at low revs, all hell breaks loose at 5000rpm.

However, the raw pace of the Lambo wouldn't be of much value if the chassis lacked poise, or if the steering communicated via snail mail. Happily, neither of these is the case, as the car's sublime balance and limpet-like grip serve to flatter the driver. Gradually upping the pace, one finds the slightest trace of initial understeer, which can be counteracted by easing off the gas a fraction before nailing it on the corner's exit.

The all-wheel-drive system is rear-biased, apportioning torque at a 30:70 ratio, so it basically feels like a rear-driver that's adhered to the tarmac with superglue. It takes extreme provocation to even begin to unstick the rear end. The optional carbon ceramic brakes serve up staggering deceleration too.

The interior consists of lashings of black carbonfibre and the one-piece bucket seats have minimal adjustment. They're well suited to the task of holding your organs in place during thrash mode on the twisties.

The raw, unadulterated nature of the Superleggera is unmatched by any mass-produced vehicle. You wouldn't dream of driving it everyday, but the lightweight Lambo serves up a better adrenaline rush than any carnival ride could ever provide.

DID YOU KNOW…

Lamborghini found a way to strip 100kg from the base-model Gallardo to yield a kerb weight of just 1330kg - about the same as a Toyota Corolla (which has about a quarter of the power). The resident 5.0-litre V10 is uprated (via a doctored ECU and free-flow exhaust) to produce 390kW at 8000rpm and 510Nm at 4250rpm. Do the maths and you'll deduce its power-to-weight ratio is a Herculean 3.4kg/kW. Just eight Superleggeras have been earmarked for Australia, so its collectable status is assured.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

BODY:  two-door coupe

WEIGHT: 1330kg

DRIVETRAIN: mid-engined, AWD

ENGINE: 5.0-litre V10

POWER/TORQUE: 390kW at 8000rpm/510Nm at 4250rpm

TRANSMISSION: six-speed manual E-Gear

PERFORMANCE: 0-100km/h - 3.8secs.

TOP SPEED: 320km/h

PRICE: $489,000

 

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