Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Greg Pajo

That’s a typical sequence of mind-sets one is likely to go through when approaching two no-holds-barred supercars like the wild Porsche 911 GT3 RS and its equally exciting new soulmate, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera. Even Walter Röhrl, the lanky superstar who can beat God around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife, freely admits that the sharpest street-legal scalpels still stir his stomach whenever he approaches them, ignition key in hand.

Duck your head, limbo in, probe the footwell for legroom, lower yourself carefully into the Sparco tub, stretch out, exhale, and relax if you can. No, the Gallardo cockpit is not made for tall fatsos like me whose Gold’s Gym membership expired in 1972. Which is a shame, because the Superleggera epitomizes luxury in a modern, laid-back fashion - super, yes; leggera (light), less so. Almost the entire passenger cell is lined with black Alcantara, which looks and feels like suede. To reduce weight, the door panels, the transmission-tunnel cover, and the seat buckets are made of shiny carbon fiber. Other nice touches include special instrument faces, body-color accents such as contrasting stitching and piping, aluminum pedals, and a meaty steering wheel with an ever-so-slightly squared-off bottom.

Painted orange metallic, our fully loaded test car was charmingly over-the-top, what with orange weaving in the seat faces and orange brake calipers. To shed the 154 pounds required to bring the power-to-weight ratio down to 5.3 pounds per horsepower, the engineers switched the rear side windows and the backlight to distortion-prone polycarbonate. The high-gloss engine-compartment cover, the rear diffuser, the front splitter, parts of the undertray, and the extrawide rocker panels are baked from carbon fiber. Not exactly essential - but nonetheless available at extra cost - are such attention grabbers as an LED-lit engine bay; cabin and puddle lighting packages; and the stacked, nonadjustable, Countach-style rear wing. All in all, the more radical material mix helps reduce dry weight to 2954 pounds, which isn’t bad at all for a fully loaded, V-10-engined, four-wheel-drive supercoupe.

Our Porsche 911 GT3 RS test car has no rear seats, no air-conditioning, no radio, no apparent noise insulation, no central locking, not even proper inner door handles - instead it has red, pull-to-open fabric ribbons. From the outside, the Porsche looks even gaudier than its brother in arms from Emilia-Romagna, but inside, the ultimate two-wheel-drive 911 is almost as barren and minimalist as a race car. The narrow, thinly padded seats take less than a day to change the complexion of your behind to hurting-baboon red, and the car, both inside and out, is decorated with more RS 3.8 badges, stickers, and decals than the year has months.

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