The LP 570-4 is a premeditated response to Ferrari, which will soon be unleashing the 458 Italia. The decades-old rivalry between the iconic supercar brands has seen some of the most startling and evocative cars emerge from Sant’Agata, Bolognese.
This car is visual drama of the sort concocted on Broadway: Tempestuous, broody, with an air of sublime malevolence. The new front chin, with the massive fixed wing at the rear, provides tremendous downforce, and along with the four-wheel-drive powertrain, gives it astounding dynamics. On an aluminum bodyshell, polycarbonate windows sit within carbon-fibre door panels. The engine cover is made from carbon-fibre, with a polycarbonate window. Also carbon-fibre: The rear spoiler, running board, the huge diffuser at the rear, some underbody tray components, even the outside mirrors. The wheels are forged aluminum alloy with titanium wheel nuts. The carbon fetish gets more pronounced inside. The transmission tunnel, door pads (which don’t have a door handle but use a leather strap to yank the doors shut), steering wheel, handbrake, dial housing and seat shells are all woven in carbon. Even the seats use Alcantara instead of leather, which sheds a few more grams. It is nearly 70 kilos lighter than the LP 560-4 (which was 100 kilos lighter than the standard Gallardo).
The on-a-diet LP 570-4 is quicker, nimbler and more balanced. The 5.2-litre V10 screaming behind my head yields 570 PS at 8000 rpm. The car weighs just 1410 kilos, so the power-to-weight ratio is just a little over 400 PS per ton, a staggering figure to play with.
When you hit the throttle, it darts forward so violently it displaces your kidneys, drains the blood from your eyes and if you left the window open, it would even exfoliate your skin. It does a 100 kmph in 3.4 seconds but it does 200 kmph in a little more than 10 seconds! One moment you’re rushing towards the horizon in crazed frenzy, the next it’s back on the brakes again as the corner looms dangerously close. Applying the brakes on a Lamborghini exercises the eyeballs: You brake they pop out, accelerate they sink back in.
The LP 570-4 savages corners with a ferocity that belies conventional physics. It isn’t what you would call finely balanced; a superb traction control system lends it a measure of finesse, yet this breed of bull has to be led firmly by the horns. What makes the experience magical is the way you sense every perceptible shift in its weight, something you barely notice in a hatchback and almost never realise in a sedan. It’s part of what makes supercars so special, so involving and so expensive.
The LP 570-4 is by far one of the quickest Gallardos ever made (it will max out at an electronically-limited 325 kmph) and is fantastically quicker around corners. The pace with which you must brake, downshift, turn in and then accelerate out is rapid to the point of you developing blurry vision. It isn’t the typical bull in a china shop, it isn’t hyperactive like you expect a Lamborghini to be. It won’t leave a mess in its wake, yet it always keeps you in this heightened sense of anticipation.
It is a car purpose-built for the track and while the ride comfort on the circuit was something I really couldn’t care about, on the road, it can take itself apart.
I have never come across a Lamborghini I didn’t lust after. And even though I am no matador, I’d love another go at taming this bull. (Courtesy Overdrive )
(This story appears in the 18 June, 2010 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)