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2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560/4 Review

The Impossibility of Anonymity

A three-quarter front view of a yellow 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560/4 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway

In short: A quick, brash and aggressive exotic.

Sensually resculpted for 2009, the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP560/4 has shed pounds and gained horsepower, exuding even more desirability. Its snug but functional cabin is still heavy with sensible Audi-sourced components, but that restraint is countered with fierce, track-ready performance. Mash the throttle, and the even-keeled Teutonic sensibility dissolves into Italian rage; the Gallardo's new 5.2-liter V10 engine pumps out 560 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, though its exhaust note is more mechanical and sewing machine-like than its throatier predecessor. Launch control is enabled in Corsa mode with the traction control off and both pedals depressed, causing the V10 to wail at 5,000 rpm; lift the brake pedal, and torque chirps all four Pirellis, producing raw and insistent forward motion. The 60 mph mark arrives in 3.7 seconds, and acceleration doesn’t quit until 202 mph.

A view of the engine and rear of a 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560/4

Less aggressive driving is easier than ever with the new Gallardo, thanks to a smoother shifting eGear transmission. Optional carbon ceramic brakes offer stunningly short stops, but a bit of dead play in the pedal just before activation can make smooth driving challenging at anything less than warp speed. Handling is tenacious and inspires confidence, though handling at the limit can get twitchy.

Most impressive about the LP560/4 is its relative value; priced at $201,000, the new Gallardo is roughly $20,000 less than last year's track-ready Superleggera, and matches its power to weight ratio. It may be easy to bask in the comfort of the LP560/4's supple leather and Alcantara interior, but once this two-seater gets up to speed, its thoroughbred nature becomes hard to avoid. Quick, brash, and aggressive, the latest baby Lambo proves that the Italian brand has only reinforced its reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the rarified world of exotics.

A white 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560/4 in motion

Warranty/Service: Three-year/unlimited-mile basic warranty; three-year/unlimited-mile drivetrain warranty.

Base Price: $201,000 /As tested: $211,000

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: mid-engine, all-wheel drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe

Engine: 5.2-liter, 40-valve DOHC V10
Horsepower: 560 hp @ 8,000 rpm
Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual, or robotized eGear sequential manual with paddle shifter

Curb weight: 3,307 lbs
Wheelbase: 100.7 in
Length/Width/Height: 171/74.8/45.9 in
Turning circle: 37.73 ft

Brakes: ventilated discs front and rear with ABS and ABD
double wishbone front and rear with anti-roll bar, anti-dive and anti-squat
all-wheel drive with viscous traction system
, electronic stability program and anti-slip regulation

0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
Top Speed: 202 mph

EPA City: 11 mpg (est.)
EPA Highway: 23 mpg (est.)

CO2 Emissions: 1.35 lb/mile (est.)

Safety: front dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, side head-thorax airbags

Likes: sharper-edged steel and performance, unmistakable Italian presence, the impossibility of anonymity

track manners a bit rough around the edges compared to Italian competitors, the impossibility of anonymity

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Text and photography: Basem Wasef

PSV060308 (Updated 05/19/10 NW)

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