If we asked you to define your expectations for a supercar, what would they be? Outrageous performance would likely factor in, as would bold and futuristic styling. On a more visceral level, you’d probably want the car to sound the part as well, frightening children, annoying hyper-critical neighbors and drawing attention from all others.
The 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo checks the “yes” box under all of these qualifiers, despite the fact that it’s now heading into its tenth (and final) year of production. It’s the gateway to the Lamborghini brand as well, but that’s not to say there's anything “entry level” about the Gallardo.
For 2013, the Gallardo is available in both coupe and Spyder (convertible) forms, in a total of six different models including the LP570-4 Superleggera, the LP560-4, the LP550-2, the the LP570-4 Spyder Performante, the LP560-4 Spyder and the LP550-2 Spyder. Even the least powerful offerings send 550 horsepower to the rear wheels, while the rest of the range benefits from the added traction of all-wheel drive.
Whether you choose 550, 560 or 570 horsepower variants (reflected in the car’s naming convention), power comes from a 5.2-liter V-10 engine, mounted amidship and mated to an “e-gear” paddle-shifted automatic transmission. On LP550-2 models (the -2 denoting how many wheels are driven), power goes to the real wheels only, while other Gallardo models power all four wheels. Performance, as you’d expect from a car with Lamborghini’s raging bull on its hood, is exceptional, with the fastest Gallardo reaching 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.4 seconds, on the way to a top speed over 200 mph.
It looks the part of a supercar, too. It’s not as radical as Lamborhini’s former star, the over-the-top Countach, or even the stealth-fighter Aventador, but there’s no mistaking the Gallardo for a car from any other brand. Besides, we find the conventionally-opening doors to be a refreshing change from the once-distinctive-but-now-overused scissor doors, and Lamborghini offers an ample selection of bright colors to spray your Gallardo in if more conventional hues are too subtle.
While the Gallardo carries out its supercar mission with proficiency, it doesn’t really dabble as a grand-tourer. The cabin resembles an aircraft cockpit, which also means there isn’t much room for the trappings of the modern road trip. Up front, the trunk is big enough for a weekend bag, but not much more, and the car’s hunkered-down stance and low roofline can make entry and exit a bit challenging. Once inside, however, the Gallardo’s seats are comfortable enough for the car’s purpose, and ample bolstering will help hold you in place at the kind of cornering velocities the Lamborghini is capable of.
A new entry-level Lamborghini is expected for the 2014 model, making this the final appearance of the Gallardo in the bullring. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to park one in your garage, that may be all the justification you need.
For complete details on all models, see our 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo page on The Car Connection