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Gallardo Impressions

Discussion in 'Lamborghini Discussion (not model specific)' started by kverges, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. kverges

    kverges Karting

    Nov 18, 2003
    148
    Dallas
    Full Name:
    Keith Verges
    I have had a Gallardo for about a month and 1300 miles and thought I'd give some of my impressions.

    First, the fit & finish are excellent. Although this comment will draw fire, I have thought for many years that the Lambo was a poorly built and unreliable car, and having seen Countach & Diablo cars apart for service, I would not have one. The Murci may be better (I have not carefully studied one), and the Gallardo is very, very good. I have had the car in the air and looked underneath. The welds are very nice, the location of components sensible, and the routing of wiring and plumbing are very neat & tidy. The interior fit and finish is also excellent and suits me perfectly. The tilt & telescoping wheel gives a better driving position than my 355, in which you must be an orangutan in order to comfortably reach the wheel. Some people complain about the plebian Audi gauges & switchgear and I could not differ more. It does have a German flair to it, though, but I happen to like it.

    The trunk space is pretty much a joke and makes my 355 look cavernous. I removed the front trunk divider (so I can bring my briefcase and workout gear to the office) and have the fitted luggage, and by using the space behind the seats and the trunk, two people can go for a 3-4 day trip. Extended vacations in the car are out, but then again I don't go on long trips in my cars, so it is not much of an issue.

    The engine is fantastic. I have another V10 car and this one sounds so different, with the even-firing (every 72 degrees) crank throws. I even like the way the car starts, spinning frenetically (I think to build oil pressure before the ignition fires) and then lighting off with a sound sort of like my 355 on steroids. The exhaust could be a hair louder, and I hope to experiment further (James Patterson was kind enough to help me install his production prototype exhaust, which is a work of art but a bit too much for my daily-driver purposes) with something that has just a bit more and deeper growl. By the time you get to 3000 rpm, the torque becomes amazing all the way to 8000 rpm. You give up 500 rpm to the 360/355, but with 2 more cylinders, the exhaust tone is actually higher and with the significant increase in torque, the 360 (I have driven one) is noticeably slower and my 355 feels positively anemic in comparison. The engine is a full dry sump design.

    Driving the car is a complete joy. The seating position and ergonomics are nearly perfect for me. The seats are quite firm but supportive, a very germanic trait. I have not driven the car for more than about 1 1/2 hours at a time, but noticed no discomfort or fatigue. The shifting (I have a 6-speed) is the best of any car I have ever owned, which is particularly amazing given that this is a min-engine car with a complex linkage. I suspect the small, dual-disc clutch makes the transaxle shift very well, given a lighter load on the synchros. I test drove the e-gear and it is less involved and a bit worrisome at low speeds; I may be in the minority in my preference for a traditional 6-speed. The e-gear made wonderful down-shifts.

    Visibility is amazingly good, although not as good as my 355. You must rely heavily on the mirrors and the rear 3/4 view is badly obscured thorugh the rear window. I generally back into parking places, as it is so difficult to see traffic if backing and turning in an attempt to get out of a parking spot.

    Little things I don't like include lack of cruise control, the fact that there is no key fob remote trunk release, and I have had a few niggling quality issues, like the windows not raising properly and a suspension rattle. The car also needs proper front brake ducting and it is WAY too heavy! I put my car on race scales and with full fuel and NO driver, the car weighed 3544 lbs. The advertised weight is about 3150 and even if that excluded 22 gallons of fuel, the advertised weight is off by at least 200 lbs. I just don't understand why an all aluminum car needs to be so heavy - but all of the manufacturers are making portly cars - GM is in fact the surprising leader with a Z06 that I know weighs about 3150.

    The AWD is excellent, and I actually look forward to rain in this car, just to exploit the performance of 4 driven wheels. The ESP (stability) management is very effective, but intrusive if you want to go fast. I had to turn it off on track.

    As for the track, I have driven it for about 30 minutes at my home track MotorSport Ranch. This is a 1.7 mile, 11-turn and very technical track. All I did was check tire pressures and go for it. The brakes were excellent, with no fade, but the front rotors had a blue sheen by the end; ducting is a must for serious track work in order to improve pad & rotor life. Despite the short straights, I saw an indicated 125 mph before braking on the front straight, which is less than 5 mph slower than my Formula Mazda race car with wings & slick tires. The car has significant understeer and needs alignment work and perhaps a larger rear sway bar. Despite all this, the track personnel timed me at roughly 1:22 for a lap. I frankly can't believe this, given that I was on street tires and not really trying to wring it out, but a buddy in his GT3 could just keep up, and in fact went off in the effort, while I was fairly conservative. I am optimistic that with good tires and alignment that this car might break 1:20 at MSR, which is what GT3 will do on slicks.

    Bottom line is that this car really seems to fit the bill of a daily-driveable supercar. There are no high-dollar service intervals like the Ferrari, the car is very comfortable and tractable as transportation, and the car performs at a very high level on track. This is not a poseur car that can't put the go with the show. The car is a joy in wet conditions. To give you an idea of how pleasant it is to drive, my wife absolutely loves it, and she never wants to drive my other sports cars (except the 355, which she agrees takes a back seat to this car in driveability). I can and do take it to work, dinner, symphony, and the track.

    I love my Ferrari and it is more classically beautiful than the Gallardo, but Ferrari had better take this car very seriously. I don't feel I have a bias in favor of either marque, and I can safely say that I would not consider a 360 (including stradale) against this car and would guarantee that, stock for stock, this car will beat a 360 on the track - and if it rains, fuggedaboudit!

    The good news for Ferraristi is that Ferrari almost certainly will have to come out with a car that is a quantum leap over the 360, and then Audi has already demonstrated the technology to turbo the Gallardo, so . . . .
     
  2. cochise

    cochise Rookie

    Nov 3, 2003
    3
    Lake Mary, Florida
    Full Name:
    Dempsey Chavis
    thank you ...excellent post ... I too have been leery of Lambos out of fear of 60's ,'70's era build quality, parts scarceity,etc . But of late, thanks to this site ...I believe the times are a changin! And I also believe you are correct in that the Gallardo,Murcie success will tend to improve both marques.
     
  3. 348 Turbo

    348 Turbo Formula Junior

    Jul 17, 2002
    473
    great post! I've been carefully watching the Gallardo. I actually like the looks too. For my personal tastes, the Countach was the last good looking Lambo. I was glad to see this new design.
    I'm particularly glad to hear of the great performance. Are you going to have Norwoods service it?
     
  4. Spasso

    Spasso Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2003
    117
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    Thanks for the informative post. Nice to hear some detailed impressions based on experience.

    The conventional opening doors still bother me though. Just doesn't seem 'Lambo like'. Even the 'butterfly' type similar to the Enzo would work well with this car.

    DJ
     
  5. G-force

    G-force Formula 3

    Aug 4, 2002
    1,703
    so california
    Full Name:
    wayne skiles
    Kieth
    Congrats on Gallardo purchase. I know you from the Viper board.
    How do your Texas Viper buds like the car and its performance?

    I just had my 1500 miles service ($270) and love mine also!
    The Competition Coupe was more outrageous to drive on
    the street but the Gallardo makes more sense!

    Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. jonathanp

    jonathanp Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    29
    Dallas, TX
    Full Name:
    Jonathan Peck
    Keith,

    Very nice and well put........
     
  7. kverges

    kverges Karting

    Nov 18, 2003
    148
    Dallas
    Full Name:
    Keith Verges
    The Viper guys are duly jealous ;-) I still have my '01 GTS and would hate to be forced to choose - the Viper is an awesome, awesome car and by the final production run, Dodge really got it right - the brakes are even good in the '01-'02. A little known secret is that the ABS also came with different rear calipers, eliminating the front brake bias that plagued the '92-'00 Vipers. No squeaks, rattles or breakdowns in 15K miles and 3 years.

    My '03 Viper SRT-10 was a huge disappointment - I could rail on and on and on. Suffice to say it is gone and the Gallardo is the replacement. Not really in the same price league, but I am already much happier with the Gallardo than I ever was with the '03 Viper.
     
  8. tw1nturb0

    tw1nturb0 Rookie

    Feb 2, 2004
    5
    awesome post, thank you for the information!

    Rob
     
  9. stradman

    stradman Rookie

    Jan 8, 2004
    1
    London UK
    Full Name:
    Stradman
    Great Post. You mention the stradale, but Can I ask you however, have you actually driven the stradale? If so what were your impressions?
    Alex
     
  10. kverges

    kverges Karting

    Nov 18, 2003
    148
    Dallas
    Full Name:
    Keith Verges
    I have not driven the stradale, so who knows if it can run better than the Gallardo. I will say that, by the numbers, it probably does not shed enough weight or add enough power to overcome the sizeable disparity between the 360 and Gallardo. I also have one final bias, and that is that I could not have a Stradale for sticker and so won't have one at all.
     
  11. G-force

    G-force Formula 3

    Aug 4, 2002
    1,703
    so california
    Full Name:
    wayne skiles
    That's ok Kieth I could have had one ,so could Jim Gress. whose Stradale was on the boat. WE both passed and bought the Gallardo. Not a tough decision for either of us......
     
  12. Bimmerista

    Bimmerista Karting

    Feb 7, 2004
    144
    Carrollton, TX
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Thanx for the info...I'll put that forward toward my purchase of a Gallardo in the future.
     
  13. stradman

    stradman Rookie

    Jan 8, 2004
    1
    London UK
    Full Name:
    Stradman
    That's fine, but did you actually drive the CS for or not? Because if you didn't then the fact that you passed on your option doesn't say anything.
     
  14. jhl1963

    jhl1963 Rookie

    Jan 1, 2004
    1
    Awesome review! Any idea of the 15/30/60K service?

    Thanks,
    Jordan
     
  15. racerdj

    racerdj Formula 3

    Jan 19, 2003
    2,007
    Indianapolis
    Full Name:
    DJS
    Great Post-Have you driven the Murcielago? If so comparisons.
     
  16. Nemo666

    Nemo666 Rookie

    Apr 3, 2004
    15
    Excellent review and great insights. Thanks again!
     
  17. Mark(study)

    Mark(study) Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 13, 2001
    1,182
    Clearwater, FL
    Full Name:
    Mark
  18. G-force

    G-force Formula 3

    Aug 4, 2002
    1,703
    so california
    Full Name:
    wayne skiles
    not too bad..I generally hate white on most cars.
     
  19. G-force

    G-force Formula 3

    Aug 4, 2002
    1,703
    so california
    Full Name:
    wayne skiles
    Well I guess we went on what we read, and how the 360 performs,and how great the Gallardo drives etc.

    AT THE VERY LEAST Lamborghini sold 2 more cars to Current Ferrari owners!!!
     
  20. racerdj

    racerdj Formula 3

    Jan 19, 2003
    2,007
    Indianapolis
    Full Name:
    DJS
    "I love my Ferrari and it is more classically beautiful than the Gallardo, but Ferrari had better take this car very seriously.
    The good news for Ferraristi is that Ferrari almost certainly will have to come out with a car that is a quantum leap over the 360, and then Audi has already demonstrated the technology to turbo the Gallardo, so . . . ."
    Great thoughts and I agree 100% with you.
     
  21. audionut

    audionut Formula Junior

    Apr 25, 2003
    369
    Toronto, Canada
    Full Name:
    Adrian Low
    What a great post. Thanks for sharing. I have a client who drives his Murci year round, even in this last snow-plagued winter, and he reports no issues at all. In fact, I believe it is his only car! Keep the impressions coming as you have even more seat time, please. Thanks
     

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