2008 Lamborghini Gallardo
In honor of the last of 172 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera models – 10 in white, 34 in gray, 37 in black, 45 in yellow and 46 in orange – rolling off the production lines, DriverSide is proud to present an inside view on what it was like to drive one of these, we are sure, very expensive limited edition supercars.
In an average week of being an automotive journalist, we get write about everything from a new economy car debuting at an auto show to a long feature story on what hybrid car is all the rage this week.
Between those moments of writing, there are phone calls, research and lot of coffee breaks.
This is not to say that these are not fine stories, every last one of them, but sometimes we get assignments that make us jealous of ourselves and cause us to break into ear-to-ear grins.
Sometimes, we just get lucky, although not often enough, we think. We get to spend hours and hours in a state of bliss, where all thoughts recede from the mind and there is one thought and one thought only – the road.
Three words: Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. The what?
You know it, it’s that awesome looking Gallardo that recently made the rounds on the internets, the one with the special paint job and that big fixed carbon fiber rear-wing, that looks fast as sin and as light as Mary-Kate on a liquid fast diet.
How, you may ask, did Lamborghini put the already awesomely cool Gallardo supercar on a super-strict diet and come up with the monster Gallardo Superleggera (which is Italian for Super Light)?
Here’s how they did it – a nip of carbon fiber here, a tuck of transparent polycarbonate there, a retooled and lighter engine and transfer case and those 150 some odd pounds come right off without compromising safety or comfort in the search for extra miles per hour and a faster lap time. They also added a lot of extra ponies!
We at DriverSide had a chance to spend a full afternoon driving a Gallardo Superleggera around the Phoenix and Scottsdale area last year. Here were some of the thoughts from an afternoon of driving:
“Blaapppppp! Blaaaapppppp! Blaaapppp!!!! Blaaaaaaaapppppp!”
“I’m in the middle of the Arizona desert, it’s Monday morning and I’m blipping up another gear in a freaking Lamborghini.”
“I am so cool. Why am I so cool?”
“Why aren’t I rich enough to have one of these of my own?”
“I think these four-point harnesses are starting to hurt a little bit, but I look like Jackie Chan in Cannonball Run, right?”
“Here we go again, empty road. Blaapppppp! Blaaaapppppp! Blaaapppp!!!! Blaaaaaaaapppppp!”
“Oh no, that’s my line, sir, that’s my line, do not, DO NOT pass me in that SUV!”
In fact, that last part was said out loud as the Orange Lambo was being pushed on the freeway.
So what was it like to drive this thing, this monster? If you need to cut 0.2 seconds from the 0-62mph time of your Gallardo, then the Superleggera is the supercar for you. The Superleggera gives you, quite possibly, the most exhilarating 3.8 seconds you’ll ever have in your life. On the track, carrying speed through the corners – where most decreasing radius turns will eat you for breakfast – the Superleggera holds its own. Lap after lap at Phoenix International Raceway, with no brake fade, it keeps going.
A favorite moment of the day? Picture this: high noon, surrounded by desert brush and chaparral, no cars around for miles on an empty desert road, a gas station in the distance.
Nearing the filling station, we spot a dirt brown 1986 Honda Accord. The Accord is missing its front bumper, part of its engine and a rear window or two. A few hundred feet from the gas station as the Accord jams out in front of the Lamborghini, revs the engine, drops the clutch and gives the biggest ‘thumbs up’ known to man.
You can see the Accord’s driver smiling with all three of his teeth, all crooked-like, as he peels away. Nothing malicious on his part, simply one driver telling another that he, too, has that need for speed. While the $230,000-plus Lamborghini is not only in a different class than the Accord, it is, in fact, in its own private academy. He’s thinking, "Sign me up for school, I want one too."