The Lamborghini Gallardo isn’t the fastest model in the company’s lineup, but it is certainly one of the most visually appealing. And one of the most interesting in that while it’s styling is undeniably Italian, the basic mechanicals are from the Audi R8. This has come as a result of VW’s ownership of both companies. There are some Audi sourced parts to be found inside the car as well. This gives it the enviable position of being a supercar of Italian styling fused with German engineering.

The Gallardo makes the most of its R8 drive train, delivering 552 horsepower from its’ mid mounted, 5.2 liter V-10 to all four of its wheels. With this kind of power, the Gallardo offers an amazing level of performance in its stock trim. However, for even more performance, Lamborghini offers a special edition called the Valentino Balboni edition. This model ups the ante by routing all of its power through the real wheels alone, bringing it even one step closer to a full blown race car and giving it the ability to kick the rear end around as needed, or wanted.

Bodystyles: Coupe, convertible
Engine: 5.2L V-10
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed auto-clutch manual
Models: LP 560-4, LP 560-4 Spyder, LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni, LP 570-4 Superleggera

If you prefer your motoring alfresco style, you’ll definitely want to opt for the power-soft-top Spyder version, introduced in late 2009. For the 2011 model year, Lambo is also unveiling a special, limited Superleggera (“super-light”) edition –which drops 154 pounds off the standard Gallardo while also bumping output to 562 horsepower (other performance-enhancing goodies are added, too).

Pure sex. For a design that’s approaching a decade in production, the Gallardo still looks fresh and modern — aided in part by the wild palette of available color options. Giallo Halys yellow, anyone?

Yes, you’ll recognize some Audi parts inside, but you’ll ride too well to mind. Included are dual-zone auto climate control, a leather and aluminum steering wheel, and available navigation and rear parking camera.

In “base” LP 560-4 form the Gallardo screams, reaching 60 mph in less than four seconds and gunning to a top end right around 200 mph. And, of course, the lighter, more potent Superleggera edition is quicker still. Also on tap are an adaptive, mega-grip suspension, monster Brembo brakes, and an available E-Gear paddle-shift auto-clutch six-speed. This one’s as fast as it looks.

Each occupant is protected by three airbags (front, side, and head), plus the doors are augmented with side-impact bars and the seatbelts feature pre-tensioners. Naturally, anti-lock brakes and stability-control are also standard.

All models: 12 mpg city/20 mpg highway (manual), 13 mpg city/20 mpg hwy (E-Gear)

  • Paper airplane styling
  • Screaming V-10
  • Wild colors
  • All-wheel-drive competence
  • Reflexes slightly dulled by AWD
  • Tight cockpit
  • Many non-Lambo cabin parts

Lambo’s best seller ever, and for good reason

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  • Audi R8 5.2
  • Ferrari 458 Italia
  • Porsche GT3

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