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Friday, May 30, 2008

New 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo

Exclusive First Test: 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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While LP560-4 may succinctly describe this latest and fastest Gallardo, it is the engine that defines it. Mounted behind the driver's compartment is an all-new, 5.2-liter direct injection V-10, the first of its kind in a mass production vehicle. Two rows of five cylinders set at a 90-degree angle mean this is a wide engine in a wide car. The high zoot factor comes from that high rpm horsepower rating. Lamborghini and Bosch engineers teamed up to develop the technology that ensures that the updated V-10 spins no faster than its 8500 rpm redline. The result: 552 horsepower at 8000 rpm, 398 pound-feet of torque at 6500 and exclusive membership into the sub-3.5 second club.

All 560 cavallinos are routed to the Viscous Traction (VT) four-wheel drive system through the thoroughly updated e.gear transmission. You can still shift it yourself, as Lamborghini will continue to offer a traditional six-speed manual, but with 90 percent of customers ordering e.gear, it is understandable why they spent the time and money revising the system.

In Corsa (track) mode, Lamborghini claims e.gear shift times have been reduced by 40 percent. We couldn't verify that claim, but during our test session and around a road course set up at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it certainly felt as though shifts were quicker -- and far more violent. For high-performance driving on the street or simply loafing about, e.gear also offers Sport and traditional slower shifting Automatic modes. But the hottest ticket is the aforementioned Thrust mode - Lambo's all-new and appropriately named launch control system.

Not only is the LP560-4 much faster and more powerful, it's also greener. By virtue of a strict diet, heavy ECU tuning, and the miracles of direct injection and advanced lubricants, Lamborghini claims the Gallardo's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have been reduced by some 18 percent. By the company's own calculations, the Gallardo returns a respectable (for a supercar, anyway) 11 mpg in the city, and a jaw-dropping 23 mpg on the highway.

So to reiterate, the $201,000, 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 will go from 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds, hit a top speed of 202 mph hour, and get over 20 miles per gallon on the highway.

Guess that's why they call it a supercar.


Base Price $201,000
Vehicle Layout Mid-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe
Engine 5.2L/552-hp/398-lb-ft DOHC V-10
Transmission 6-speed auto
Curb Weight (dist f/r) 3310 lb (43/57) (mfr)
Length x Width x Height 171.0 x 74.8 x 45.9 in
0-60 mph 3.4 sec
Quarter Mile 11.4 sec @ 126.9 mph
EPA City/Hwy Econ 11 / 23 mpg (est)
CO2 Emissions 1.35 lb/mile (est)
On Sale In U.S. Summer