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Where other high performance cars tend to make many aggro, a Lambo turns them meek and mild, yielding out of their lane or giving way at cross roads as the sleek Italian supercar burbles by. If only they really knew what it is like to drive a car like the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, they would totally lose it.
We have and we nearly did.
It's everything you might imagine and more.
The experience is almost mystical for the mechanically inclined, certainly a sensory overload and possibly the best ego massager money can buy apart from a private jet or multi- million dollar yacht which not many people can see you in anyway.
They sure do in the Lambo Spyder _ the convertible version of Lamborghini's V10 Gallardo supercar.
Essentially the same as the mid-engine tin-top the Spyder has an electrically folding soft top and no engine window through which to view the “crown jewels.” You can't have everything.
It costs a pretty penny (around $460,000rrp) for the stunning mica orange car we drove that was kitted out with extra goodies like robotised sequential paddle gear shift called e-gear and other luxuries.
Competitors are from that other Italian supercar company whose name starts with F and to a lesser extent, Porsche though they are a cut below the two Italians in prestige if not performance.
The name Lamborghini rolls off your tongue like a delicious feast and that's what the Gallardo Spyder is like _ delicious. It is sensational to drive at any speed.
An aggressive looking beast, the Spyder is all angles and air vents, low slung with a big rump and short front that is totally in keeping with its performance potential and the incredible sound blasting out those twin big-bore exhaust pipes.
If you have been to an F1 race and heard what a highly developed V10 on-song sounds like then you will appreciate the Gallardo's auditory assault. Funny enough, it only bellows, nay blasts when the throttle is pushed hard otherwise it could be your average unassuming sports car with a handsome baritone ringing from the engine. But moving to Metallica mode doesn't take long.
Built around an aluminium space frame a-la Audi (owner of Lamborghini), and various polycarbonate and aluminium panels, the two seater Gallardo Spyder tips the scales at a respectable 1570kg which means its going to have plenty of get up with 382kW and 510Nm spinning from the highly developed 5.0-litre V10 engine. It will put away a 0-100kmh sprint in 4.3 seconds and according to company literature, will run right through 300kmh given access to a handy airfield.
Better yet is the Gallardo Spyder's handling and ride _ aided by all-wheel-drive and sophisticated electronics that help keep everything in check regardless of speed (well, within reason).
The suspension is based around aluminium components and is double wishbone front and rear. Lambo has added a really handy lift mode to the front suspension for negotiating speed humps and dish gutters. Works a treat.
It rolls on gumball 19-inch Pirellis of large proportion fitted to some of the best looking composite alloy wheels we have ever seen.
Handling is controlled, quick to response, neutral at high speed, well damped and surprisingly supple, even in `sport' mode. Power is delivered with a greater bias towards the rear axle and a partial limited slip rear diff.
The optional e-gear system takes a bit of getting used to and isn't as rapid changing as some other systems but does the job well and is fun to use, even selecting reverse with a push button.
It has a large turning circle which is sometimes annoying and likes a drink of high octane premium but with 80 litres in the tank, touring range is pretty good. The pedal box is tight so it's left foot braking.
There is plenty of luxury kit inside the cabin including electrically adjustable and heated seats, premium audio, climate control aircon and power assisted ancillaries. The seats are upholstered in a soft leather with contrast piping and all controls are easy to use and stylishly laid out.
Its a surprisingly comfortable car to drive relatively roomy in the cockpit and offering reasonably good visibility but minimal boot space. Access is easy, egress a little more difficult due to wide rocker panels under the doors.
The Gallardo is a work of art for the mechanically attuned to behold. The massive disc brakes, superb build quality, lustrous paint, clockwork engine that has a serious sting in the tail and possibly the best exhaust note of any road car we have driven. How does it get past ADRs? Who cares, we drove around all the time roofless even in inclement weather just to savour the sound. Plenty of people had their phones out filming and recording the awesome sound track.
We just worried about it all the time, a problem when you have responsibility for something as valuable and revered as the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.
|Spyder||5.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$101,900 – 128,810||2008 Lamborghini Gallardo 2008 Spyder Pricing and Specs|
|(base)||5.0L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ||$89,400 – 113,080||2008 Lamborghini Gallardo 2008 (base) Pricing and Specs|
|LP560-4||5.2L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ AUTO||$92,400 – 116,820||2008 Lamborghini Gallardo 2008 LP560-4 Pricing and Specs|
|SE||5.0L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ||$92,500 – 116,930||2008 Lamborghini Gallardo 2008 SE Pricing and Specs|
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