First Drive: Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Bicolore & LP570-4 Spyder Performante

The Performante, like all four-wheel-drive Gallardos before it, suffers from some understeer and some dullness in the steering itself, but it's still an electrifying car, and it feels incredibly stable and predictable and responsive and powerful as it catapults you around Monticello. The brakes are amazing and the E-gear quick-shifting. The rear-wheel-drive Bicolore, for its part, has stupendous grip, precise steering, and a natural and fluid character. It certainly fulfills the desires of Lamborghini enthusiasts who have long pined for the purity of rear-wheel drive. On the debit side, with that purity comes squirrelly behavior in the front end of the car under severe braking, and this requires a firm hand at the steering wheel to stay pointed straight ahead.

Even as the Aventador begins its reign as Lamborghini's flagship, this is the beginning of the end for the Gallardo, which likely will be replaced in a couple years. The Bicolore and the Performante probably aren't the last special editions that the product planners will concoct, though. What comes next? It's hard to say, but whatever it is, it will have some crazy name, it will be offered in a profusion of bright paint colors, and Ezra Dyer and I will fight over who gets to drive it first.

The Specs

LP550-2 Bicolore
PRICE: $196,995
ENGINE: 5.2L V-10, 542 hp, 398 lb-ft
DRIVE: 2-wheel

LP570-4 Spyder Performante
PRICE: $253,095
ENGINE: 5.2 L V-10, 562 hp, 398 lb-ft
DRIVE: 4-wheel

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