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Duelling Lambos on the track

S.Muralidhar March 27 | Updated on March 25, 2013

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Edizione Tecnica



Owning a super car in India can be such a bummer. You’ll have to contend with the poor road conditions, the slow moving traffic, the low speed limits and the monstrous speed breakers that can potentially wreck your expensive car. To experience the real joy of driving a super car, Indian owners get up in the wee hours of the morning, rev them up and open up their legs on expressways and generally have to still suffer the risk of cattle and people crossing the lanes.

Thankfully, now there is some hope for serious owner drivers of super cars, who can take it to the track and experience dynamic driving conditions. The race track is the natural environment of the super car. And that is where the car’s prowess can be truly exploited without the fear of external threats. It can be just your car versus the challenges that the track can throw at you.

Track days

Most manufacturers have by now developed a range of both road legal flagship sports cars and limited edition road and track tuned versions. These cars are already very capable and can be driven both sedately on the road and also aggressively on the track, satisfying the driver’s racing instincts. These are called track days and the big super sports car makers now have access to a world class Formula 1 certified race track in the Buddh International Circuit.

Italian super sports car maker Lamborghini’s track days are always looked forward to and obviously an opportunity to experience these cars on the BIC track is not to be missed. Earlier this month Lamborghini shipped in a few of its cars and senior driving instructors to the BIC for a driving experience.

Amongst the cars on offer for the experience were three Gallardos (pronounced Gai-yard-o) – the LP 550-2, the new LP 560-4 and the LP 570-4 Superleggera Edizione Tecnica. Now, just a word about Lamborghini’s nomenclature practice where the ‘2’ represents two-wheel drive and ‘4’ represents four-wheel drive and the numbers represent the peak power output of the engine. The predecessor to the current Gallardo LP 560-4 was the first to get four-wheel drive.

Smartbuy reviewed the previous Gallardo LP 560-4 after driving it on the Shanghai race track. At BIC, we got to experience the new 2013 Gallardo LP 560-4 and even pit it against the LP 550-2.

LP 560-4

Lamborghinis represent the pinnacle of the super performance sports car club. While the Aventador attempts to take the concept of performance and exclusivity to an all new level, leaving even current Lambo owners salivating, the Gallardo is the model line that is Lamborghini’s most comprehensive. Gallardos also fit into the owner’s lifestyle better, can be driven to more destinations and is a bit more accommodating of driving errors, especially the LP 560-4 thanks to its four-wheel drive tech.

The Gallardo’s design is classic Lamborghini with the characteristic triangular and trapezoidal forms spreading out at the front. These are two shapes that add remarkable visual depth and aggression to the design and these are highly typical of the Lamborghini design language.

Now for its 2013 avatar, these forms are further accentuated in the LP 560-4’s new front end. Divided by diagonal elements in body colour and in black, the overall look of the front end is broader and more forceful. From the front the Gallardo LP 560-4 now looks more wicked and faster even as it is standing still.

To complete the new look larger air intakes have been created ahead of the front wheels and the new 19-inch ‘Apollo polished’ alloy wheels, painted in matt black and feature precision-machined spokes in polished silver.

Also new is the even more dynamic rear end design on the Gallardo LP 560-4. The triangle and trapezoid are, of course, the characteristic design elements here, too. The air outlet for the power unit now has now a wider surface area, which improves its thermodynamic efficiency. A new Style Package is available as an option and offers high-gloss black paintwork on the underside of the front spoiler, front and rear grilles and the transverse element of the rear trim to give the Gallardo LP 560-4 an even more powerful on-road presence.

On the BIC track, the LP 560-4 quickly informs you about who is letting you remain in control. That extra bit of stability control and power to all four wheels is better appreciated after I drive the LP 550-2 and wrestle a bit with the wheel to keep it pointed during heavy braking right after the long back straight between turns 3 and 4. There is a lot more confidence right after that and I get more daring while tackling the series of more tricky turns 6, 7, 8 and 9 of BIC.

LP 570-4 Superleggera

The next few laps on the BIC were in the Superleggera Edizione Tecnica. Superleggera translated means Super Light and refers to a form of body construction. And Lamborghini’s Superleggeras are legendary with their ability to leverage new materials to achieve light weight construction without any compromise on safety and performance.

The LP 570-4 Superleggera is a car that has been inspired by the Super Trofeo championship racing cars. The car is about 70 kgs lighter and uses the same 5.2-litre, V10 engine as the 550-2 and the 560-4, but it is tuned to a higher 570CV (559 bhp) of peak power output. Top speed is limited to 325 kmph and the 0-100 kmph run takes just 3.4 seconds.

As Edizione Tecnica, the car gets a further improved equipment level and an even more individual look. Features of the Edizione Tecnica include the fixed high rear wing, as well as brakes in carbon-ceramic technology. They combine low weight with outstanding fade resistance and durability. The power to weight ratio down to an outstanding 2.3 : 5 (bhp: kg) allows the car to be taken as one of the best references in the segment.

The Edizione Tecnica gets a special look with three new exclusive optional colour combinations, whereby the entire roof arch and front air intakes are painted in a contrast colour.

On the track, the extra power available on tap in the Superleggera is immediately evident from the quick climb of the speedo needle over the 270 kmph mark. On the straights the LP 570-4 is unmatchable, and with all four wheels receiving power, it is also amazingly nimble at the turns.

Flipping the paddles and shifting through the gears is so quick that getting down three slots before tackling the next turn is just blips before you get to the right slot and engine rpm range. And of course, the best part is the addictive exhaust note that keeps you company.

Unfortunately though, the driving instructor is not very impressed. “Should do better next time”, he quips.

The new Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 is priced at Rs 2.61 crore (ex-showroom Delhi) while the new Gallardo LP 570-4 Edizione Tecnica is priced at Rs 2.92 crore (ex-showroom Delhi).

Published on March 25, 2013

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