What's good for the coupe is good for the Spyder. That's evidently the thinking at Lamborghini. Earlier this year, Lamboghini introduced an even more potent version of its five-year-old Gallardo. The new version earned the suffix LP-560, code for the V-10 engine's position (again at the rear with a north-south orientation, or Longitudinal Posteriore), output (560 horsepower), and drive wheels (four). Now the Spyder gets the LP 560-4 treatment.
The heart of the upgrade is the larger, more potent direct-injection V-10. Displacement rises from 4.9 liters to 5.6 liter; power increases by 40 hp from the standard Gallardo's 520 hp; and torque swells to 398 lb-ft versus 376 lb-ft. Aided by a 44-lb weight reduction, the larger engine gives the LP 560-4 Spyder full, 200-mph bragging rights (with a 201-mph top speed, versus 195 mph), and the car rockets from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. For those who intend to put that performance to use on a track, fade-resistant carbon-ceramic brakes are a new option. Gas mileage, should your Toyota Prius-driving friends inquire, is 12 mpg city/20 highway (with the standard six-speed manual) or 13/20 with the optional eGear automated manual.
The Spyder's soft top (available in black, blue, gray, and beige) disappears beneath the engine cover, and the power-operated rear window can be raised to act as a windscreen - although we question its effectiveness at 201 mph. At more sedate speeds, lowering the roof allows passersby a better chance to admire the interior (in leather or Alcantara). Like many high-end manufacturers, Lamborghini offers a program (called Ad Personam) that lets owners customize interior elements to the limits of good taste, and beyond.
The LP 560-4 Spyder replaces the current Spyder, and goes on sale in early 2009, at an estimated price of $221,000.