Gallardo roadtest--FROM AUTOCAR | LamborghiniChat

Gallardo roadtest--FROM AUTOCAR

Discussion in 'Lamborghini Discussion (not model specific)' started by tonyh, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. #1 tonyh, Jan 6, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Don't know if you have seen this yet?


    In the past ‘baby’ meant V8 power so the original toddler has to be the Uracco 250 of 1970. It spawned three versions of the same two-door coupe, and a targa called the Silhouette. None of them ever really worried Ferrari. Next was the 3.5-litre Jalpa launched in 1981, but it never caught on in the UK as the concession changed hands and iron-oxide crippled the residuals. When the Jalpa died at the end of that decade the little Lambo disappeared until a concept called Cala arrived in 1995. It had a 400bhp V10 and didn’t look a whole lot unlike the Gallardo.

    DESIGN & ENGINEERING----------------------------------

    Gallardo uses an aluminium bodyshell constructed on an automated production line at Sant’Agata. Naturally it offers huge torsional strength, but even with the benefit of aluminium suspension components, the car still weighs a portly 1420kg without a drop of fuel in the 90-litre tank. A lightweight the Gallardo is not.
    Nothing other than double wishbones would suffice for the suspension, and as well as reducing unsprung mass, they’re supported by anti-roll bars at both ends, both of which sit remarkably close to each other. You see, the baby Lambo is actually a touch more foetus than infant, measuring just 4300mm in total length, while still sitting on a 2560mm wheelbase. It is a very small car on the road, a full 175mm shorter than a Ferrari 360 Modena.
    Aluminium everywhere, diminutive dimensions: where does all the weight come from then? Two places, the first being the transmission. Like big brother, the baby Lambo uses a four-wheel-drive system whose front and rear limited slip differentials and centre viscous coupling add almost 100 kilos. We’re now far enough down the line not to worry about all-wheel-drive spoiling a supercar, and the Gallardo’s gene pool couldn’t be stronger: four-wheel-drive Lambos are the best of the lot.
    The second weight penalty is equally unavoidable; 4961cc of 90-degree V10 is never going to float above the scales. The engine dominates everything and seems to take up half the car, and it carries with it some serious numbers: 492bhp at 7800rpm and 376lb ft at 4500rpm. Power rumbles through either a six speed manual ’box (tested here) or the same set of cogs hydraulically activated by two paddles behind the wheel for an extra £7600. Ferrari calls it an F1 change, Lambo calls it e-gear. We call them paddles.
    The most interesting statistic is that £117k price. The world wants to tout the Gallardo as the Ferrari 360’s nemesis, but in reality it is £14k dearer and 92bhp stronger than the Ferrari - a clever ploy.

    ON THE ROAD-------------------------------------------

    Ride is exceptional, and suits UK roads

    Zero to 60mph in 4.1sec (with a slipped clutch that smelt like an emergency stop on an InterCity 125), 100mph in 9.0sec, and a top speed of 192mph; these numbers alone tell you that the Gallardo out-punches a 911 Turbo. Only a suspiciously rapid set of 360 Modena figures (8.8sec to 100mph, 184mph max) seem to trouble it.
    But neither of these cars can match the Gallardo’s real-world blend of flexibility and torque mated to a near-perfect set of gear ratios. It will reach 60mph in first gear, yet will rev to within a whisker of its cut-out in top. They provide a razor-sharp V10 that will pull from idle, really tug by 3500rpm and then rip from 6000rpm to the 8200rpm limiter. And the noise is something else, louder than you’d imagine, and wondrously off-beat.
    Brakes are conventional steel ventilated discs measuring 365mm at the front with 335mm rears. Stopping power is suitably reassuring: fade is non-existent, and only a slightly awkwardly placed middle pedal detracts from the overall experience.
    Body control is the Gallardo’s ace card. It loves British blacktop because its chassis has reserves of two crucial commodities; wheel travel and compliance. You quickly learn to trust it, and drive it like a fast four-wheel-drive saloon.
    Both traction and grip from the Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tyres are well beyond the call of the public road. A wet hairpin might unveil the potential rearward torque bias, but to get the full opposite lock number requires a huge lift and then full power; nothing else will work. It’s that well behaved.
    If the Gallardo is lacking a frisson of interaction, the compensation arrives in the form of a chassis that is simply more approachable. In the wet it is in a different league from a Ferrari 360, and it will ride over anything you throw at it: suburban potholes or expansion joints are brushed effortlessly aside. You’d never call it supple, but it’s a comfortable car for UK roads and no harsher than a regular 911.

    LIVING WITH THE CAR--------------------------------------------

    Ludicrously offset steering columns and pedals, and a posture only suitable for an orang-utan belong to Lamborghini’s past, not its present. In fact, you could argue that a conventional door is a little too conventional, but we won’t.
    Finding the correct driving position is a little tricky, though. The problem isn’t the range of steering column and seat adjustment, but the nature and positioning of the clutch pedal. You’ll need to be sitting so that you can push the clutch to the floor for slow-speed gearchanges, and then adjust to the higher bite once the pace quickens. But the exquisitely dished wheel juts perfectly at the chest, and the seat’s padding supports all the right chubby bits.
    Space isn’t an issue either - there really isn’t any. Just enough for a half-set of golf clubs behind the seats, and a tiny bag in the nose-mounted bonnet. For some, that won’t be enough. It’s a shame a supercar that has been made so useable can’t carry enough luggage to take advantage of the added practicality.
    So will people with £117,000 to spend care about how much it costs to fuel? Possibly not - but that's just as well, because a Gallardo won't return more than 16mpg. Our test average of 13.6mpg included some hard treatment, but the basic message is clear: 492bhp from 10 cylinders in a 1.5-tonne car equals dreadful fuel consumption. People will care about the car’s range though, and the 90-litre tank means it’s possible to put 300 miles between fills.
    Of more interest to owners will be residual values. The £117k Gallardo is an unknown quantity; demand has been strong, with over 200 orders taken. Lamborghini will double its UK sales outlets over the next year, but given that this means opening a Manchester showroom alongside the existing London site, it’s still not what you’d call national coverage. But with a three-year warranty and build quality you’d expect from an Audi concern, the Gallardo will certainly be the hottest supercar property of 2004.

    VERDICT 5 1/2 STARS-----------------------------------------

    If Ferruccio Lamborghini’s ultimate vision for the company bearing his name was to give Ferrari something to stick in its pipe and smoke, then the Gallardo will go down in history as being the product that finally achieved his goal. It is, by any conventional notions of performance, styling, handling and sheer desirability, a quite brilliant achievement. We stop short of calling it remarkable, because with its new-found resources we rightly expect nothing less than the perfection from Lamborghini Automobili nowadays. Yes, the price looks a touch ambitious but 200 deposits says otherwise; its interactive qualities aren’t of the telepathic variety you get in, say, a Ferrari 360 CS; and luggage space is no better than pathetic. But then you balance everything out in light of the car’s amazing everyday capabilities and realise that no rival currently matches its mixture of styling and any-weather performance. Not even the mighty 911 Turbo. And yet it’s also a very serious bit of kit in its own right in a straight line, with performance blistering enough to silence all its rivals, and with a delicious soundtrack thrown in for good measure. In the end, for all its objective strengths, the Gallardo is the visual interpretation of every car nut’s dream. Whoever said Audi would ruin Lamborghini was as wrong as it is possible to be.
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  3. Autocar must of tested the Modenas 0-60 time off a cliff.
  4. I have not driven this or the modena, so i couldnt say, however the comparisons between this car and the 360 CS really arent correct, as that is a stripped out racer, a fact most seem to readily forget. And furthermore, I believe most ppl that would pick the CS dont realize just how necessary the level of practicality (as it is quite small in either case) is for the gallardo. Having a LITTLE sound deadening material and a stereo is nice;) I just want to HEAR it! never heard a good v10 yet.
  5. Good review.

    I am a little disappointed that the Gallardo is not an quicker then the number posted by Autocar.

    These are numbers that a Porsche 996tt x 50 can surpass today and the Ferrari Stradale could shadow.

    0-60 in 4.1
    0-100 in 9.0
    1/4 mile?
    1 km ?
  6. An Exotic the Porsche isn't... I'll accept a tenth or two less performance and take a Gallardo !!
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  8. Gallardo is quicker than the X-50 so you dont have to worry.
  9. Not with this test :(
  10. Try driving both, and not relying on magazines.

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