Driven: 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera LP 570-4

2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera LP570-4 - Monteblanco Circuito

If only my high school guidance counselor could see me now. I'm roaring down the front straight at the Monteblanco Circuito at a cool 160 mph in the new Lamborghini Superleggera LP 570-4, and part of me was wishing I had his phone number.

The Lamborghini Superleggera, Italian for "super light," debuted at the 2010 Geneva auto show; but on this day we find ourselves in pit lane at this race track near sunny Seville, Spain to give this raging bull a buck.

Deemed "The Pacemaker" by those at Lamborghini, the LP 570-4 was designed with motorsports on the mind. It carries 154 fewer pounds than the standard Gallardo. To shed the weight, Lamborghini instilled a classic motorsport ingredient: carbon fiber-and lots of it. Interior door panels, center console and tunnel, exterior engine bay cover, rear spoiler, rear lower splitter, side skirts, and side-view mirrors are all made from the stuff. The remaining weight loss came by replacing the window glass with polycarbonate, and adding nineteen-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The output of the direct-injected, 5.2-liter V-10 increases by 10 horsepower to 570 hp thanks to chip tuning. Together, this potent mixture of more power and less weight gives the Superleggera LP 570-4 a power-to-weight ratio of 5.18 pounds per hp, which is best in class, and enough to change the English translation Superleggera from "super light" to "super fun."

Upon entering the cabin, you're greeted with a sporty, yet elegant interior, and sport seats that grab your bum like a venus fly trap. Rearward visibility is really good considering the wedge-shaped doorstopper shape. Upon start up, the engine vibration travels up your spine and you can almost feel each cylinder fire independently; a blip of the throttle unleashes hell. The Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel provides great grip, which is important when you can accelerate from 0 to 124 mph in just 10.2 seconds.

On the road course, the Superleggera is able to flex its muscle and let all 570 hp run free. It's remarkably balanced for a mid-engine, all-wheel-drive car, showing only a minor hint of understeer. Turn-in is razor sharp and the steering is perfectly weighted and provides tremendous feedback. While the car can be coaxed into a four-wheel drift coming out of a tight corner, oversteer is kept in check on high-speed corners by the improved down force. The ESP's Corsa mode allows the car to get a little sideways before stability control kicks in. The carbon-fiber ceramic brakes never break a sweat, and the Pirelli P Zero Corsa ultra-high performance tires provide confident grip without shedding too much rubber.

Unfortunately, the paddle shifters are fixed to the steering column where they are mounted too high, making it difficult to shift mid corner. It was funny to see other drivers flashing their bright lights and washing the windshield when trying to find the next gear. Every up-shift feels like a firm smack on the back, as if to say, "Giddy up! Drive faster!" It's a constant reminder that no matter how hard you're driving the Superleggera LP 570-4, it has more to give.

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