2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Review

27 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Review отключены
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2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Review

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Test Vehicle: 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo 5.2L V10 with 6-speed eGear Auto Gearbox

There s nothing like Canary Wharf on a crisp Autumn morning . At around 7.30am as the sun rises in the sky, the financial district of London becomes awash with tall, glassy structures each revelling in an aura of wealth, class and status. It is no coincidence then that Car Throttle has made the journey to this arena, the current image of a global bear market, to ride one of the biggest bulls of them all, the Lamborghini Gallardo.

The predecessor to the gallant named the Jalpa, was Ferruccio Lamborghini s attempt at making a more affordable supercar. With the high-end Countach adopting a ferocious V12, the Jalpa was a breath of fresh air with a smaller and more economical V8 engine that produced a healthy 255 hp. The same logic was brought forward into the Gallardo when it was launched in 2003, marketed as the baby brother to the top-of-the-range Murcielago, or the car aptly translated as the batmobile .

The initial 2003 model of the Gallardo launched amid a flurry of both positive and negative comments. On the upside was an automotive marvel capturing the imaginations of rich playboys around the world. On the downside were criticisms of the exhaust system, suspension, steering and transmission.

Fortunately the team at Sant Agata Bolognese, deep in the heart of Italy, took these pieces of criticism onboard and in 2006 came back to show the world a revamped Gallardo which had been uprated to churn out an impressive 520 bhp with a new steering rack and changes to suspension settings along with lowering of all gears.

It s no wonder then that Lamborghini have built nearly 9000 Gallardos with a few special editions having been created too; notably the Gallardo SE, Nera, Spyder and Superleggera.

Our test vehicle for the day would be a 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo, and whilst the car has now been updated for 2009 to give us the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. it is worth noting that this April 2008 model was one of the last to be made with the highest specifications available before the factory stopped production in May to prepare for the launch of the 560-4 in June 08. As a result, this car is unique and I knew it was going to be one hell of a beast to drive.

First impressions are important in a supercar dream world where image is everything, and fortunately the Gallardo delivers by the metric tonne. I was actually taken aback by how small the car is in real life compared to the press photography automotive journalists see on a day-to-day basis. Ride height comes in at 1165 mm and the overall length of the car is 4.3 metres, shorter than the 4.5 metres posted by the Ferrari F430.

The Lamborghini Gallardo cuts a sleek and … figure amongst the high-rise offices around Canary Wharf and the car has smooth curves where you need them along the roofline, with sharp, accentuated angles around the wheel arches, bonnet and rear of the vehicle (to help with the aerodynamic strain cars of this magnitude can be subjected to).

Our test vehicle had been given the ultimate paint job just in time for Halloween, with a colour known as Nero Serapis. Kitted out with 19-inch Callisto Silver Rims to complete the fighter jet look, this definitely isn t something a timid Sunday-driver would want to see in their rear-view mirror. What I found astounding, and what you ll see as a recurring theme throughout this piece, is the level of customisation you re able to achieve with a Lamborghini. The owner of this particular vehicle had made sure to armourfend the car (in effect coating the car in a thin, plastic layer) to protect the smooth paint job from the chips and scratches that come with driving in London.

This apparently is a popular option and it s a really cost effective way of ensuring a supercar remains in perfect condition.

The side profile of the Gallardo is truly stunning and you can imagine the amount of time this must have taken the Lamborghini engineers in their wind tunnels to perfect, with each design iteration focused on attempting to reduce drag and friction in order to turn this into the beast it is. The car hunkers down to the ground, but it is worth noting that our tester came with the lifting system package which raises nose height by 4cm at the press of a button, and allows the supercar to journey over bumps and road humps without fear of scratching or scraping the under-body.

Around the back of the vehicle and it s the same story; the Lamborghini badge takes centre stage with the body styled in an aggressive way. Dual exhaust pipes and large grilles help this V10 monster to breathe with darkened rear tail-lights (another optional extra) providing a fitting ending to the upper air intakes housed along the side of the Gallardo s bodywork. And you can see the engine in its full glory thanks to a transparent engine cover (yet another extra) which showcases one of Sant Agata s most celebrated powerhouses.

Now at a respectable 5 foot 10 inches your author isn t the tallest person in the room, but even I had difficulty climbing in and out of the deep, leather-backed seats. Maybe I just need more practice, but I imagine it wouldn t take much for a lady climbing out of the passenger seat to cause a scene. Then again, that is to be expected when your seat is only 30cm away from the tarmac.

The Gallardo s doors don t open in the same, dramatic, look-at-me fashion as its older brother the Murcielago, but once inside, the driver is still greeted with a similar sense of luxury and purpose. German engineers have never been well known for their creative flair, but then again if one was after artistic nuance they would opt for a car like the TVR Tuscan, where it takes a degree to be able to open just the door from the inside.

You would definitely know however that this car was the love-child of both Audi and Volkswagen thanks to a smart interior layout. The cabin is awash with black leather upholstery with figure-hugging seats and and an elegantly styled dashboard. It must be noted that the seats are very capable of holding your body in place especially when the car is being chucked around corners at high speeds, but the only criticism I have is that on normal everyday roads, they are incapable of soaking up all the bumps and potholes and thus this makes for a bruised derrière after a few hours driving, although I m sure that experienced Lamborghini bottoms will tell me that this is not the case!

Again our test vehicle was loaded up with optional extras including a branding package, coming home function (which does an awesome job at opening gates, garage doors with the press of a button), travel package, LCD screen, heated seats, satellite navigation, full radio/CD changer, iPod + Bluetooth connectivity, a chrono timing pack for use on the track, electric windows and too many more to mention! These are all nicely laid out in the instrument panel and feel very durable.

When buying a £150,000+ supercar like the Gallardo, security is obviously an important issue. Another extra which this car was kitted out with was Navtrack, which communicates with Cobra tracking services to ensure only nominated drivers can move the car. The

anti-theft option that also comes with the car sends alert signals when anyone attempts to tow/lift the car off the ground. It s a clever technology and a must for all supercar owners.

So what s it like sitting in the driver s seat of a Lamborghini Gallardo? There s no doubt that it s humbling being in command of a 520 bhp V10 snarling bull of an engine. Looking through the hand-stitched, flat-bottomed leather steering wheel you get a real sense of what this car is capable of. Maximum power at 8000 rpm.

Top speed of 195 mph (315 kph). And with nearly a full tank of fuel ready to give you the ride of your life perfection.

The visibility out of the front of the car is superb and with a short overhang to the front bonnet, you really feel that you re right in the middle of the action. The large aerodynamic and forward leaning side view mirrors do a great job at providing the driver with an all-round view of the road, however the visibility when gazing into the rear view mirror isn t as good. Fortunately our test vehicle came with the rear view camera option, which has proven infinitely helpful when trying to squeeze the ghini into a tight parking spot.

So now we come to the climax, the pinnacle, the pièce de résistance of this article, the Lamborghini driving experience . Few mere mortals ever get to experience anything like this, so with the weight of mankind s expectations on my shoulders, I proceeded to turn the Gallardo s keys in the ignition

My immediate reactions after hearing the V10 behemoth burst into life were very positive thanks to immense sound-proofing inside the cabin and exhaust flaps which were added to the car in 2006 to improve everyday drivability ( I mean c mon, who wants to listen to a growly Lambo engine all day ) which means that under 2500 rpm, the engine is barely audible. However, just a few blips on the throttle bring the bull to life and the animal really knows how to show off, whining its way to an 8000 rpm redline.

As I set off around the winding Canary Wharf roads, a few things struck me as noteworthy. First, the steering is very light at low speeds, allowing for easy manoeuvrability (with 3.2 turns from lock to lock) and deadly precision. Furthermore, whilst overall weight distribution (42:58) isn t as perfect as you d find in a front-mid mounted engine like in the McLaren SLR, the Gallardo feels planted and tactile, and you manage to get all this as feedback through the steering wheel.

This particular 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo happened to come with the robotised sequential E-Gear system with actuation by paddles on the steering column instead of the usual six-speed manual. As a result, and much to my enjoyment, I was able to play around with the different gearbox settings to see just what this supercar was capable of.

Standard automatic was the first mode I started on, and I have to say that it performs incredibly well. Gear changes are smooth, and whilst they re not lightning quick, the computer does take the relative strain away from driving in rush-hour traffic. Plant your foot on the accelerator and the onboard electronics do a great job of rapidly changing down ratios to provide a burst of speed.

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However, things start to get a little more interesting when you activate the E-Gears. Like pretty much every other flappy-paddle gearbox on the market, the left stalk shifts down gears and the right stalk shifts up, and in pure manual mode I have to say that I was left a little disappointed. Bear in mind that this system has been revised for the LP560-4 but at low speeds changes were jerky and upshifts were slower than expected.

No worry, let s slip this thing into Sport mode. I have to say that this handy addition which firms up the suspension, fine-tunes the steering and deepens the growl of the exhaust note, really makes the Gallardo for me. The car takes on a whole new sinister demeanour and eats up corners thanks in part also to Lamborghini s all-wheel drive system.

The hint of body roll that was present in both automatic and normal manual modes disappears and the whole car hunkers down to the road.

The icing on the cake? Before entering one of Canary Wharf s many tunnels darting under the Thames, engage Sport mode, flick down into 2nd gear and floor the accelerator. The noise that results can only be described as automotive perfection.

Scrubbing off speed too is no tall deed for the Lamborghini Gallardo. Fitted with all wheel ventilated discs with aluminium alloy Brembo calipers, one stab on the … pedal is enough to send your eyeballs flying out of their sockets and a burning desire to experience negative G-force once again. Be warned that like all carbon ceramic brakes, these take a little while to warm up, otherwise you ll be pushing hard and experiencing a whole load of travel before you get any bite.

The main thing that amazed me over the course of our half-day with the Gallardo was the fact that this automobile can be used as a daily drive. A negative stigma has become associated with these supercars that dictates that they can only be driven on Sunday mornings and need to be serviced once a month. As I came to learn sitting next to the owner of this vehicle, that simply isn t the case. The Gallardo needs servicing only once per year (and that comes with an oil change too) and if driven responsibly (ie. no dumping the clutch at traffic lights) does not walk hand-in-hand necessarily with high maintenance costs.

In fact, petrol and insurance are the most obvious expenses and these days manufacturers are churning out cars with higher performance figures and higher efficiency ratings. The technology in these vehicles is truly remarkable.

So where does this leave us and what verdict can we draw from an inspiring day in Canary Wharf?

Lamborghini have once again proven themselves as a supercar manufacturer in a league of their own. From eye-catching styling, luxury inside and out and an obsession with engine perfection, they really have carved out a niche of their own and they continue to dominate it.

Gone are the days where the supercar was king only of the garage, the Lamborghini Gallardo can truly be called an everyday car and you don t need a racing certificate to push your foot down on the throttle either, these things are easier than ever to drive whilst still providing unmeasurable levels of adrenaline and excitement.

In a world where Porsche rules the City roost, we need an automaker to dream up new fantasies, to not be afraid of being bold and to shine in a gloomy economy.

Lamborghini has done this, and the Gallardo is living proof.

2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Specifications

Base Price . £150,000 ($250,000)

Body . 2-door Coupe

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