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2013 Lamborghini Gallardo KBB Expert Review

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MSRP $249,295

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Editors - Updated Date: 3/20/2013

By far the most popular Lamborghini ever (nearly 13,000 made so far), the angular, mid-engine Gallardo is dramatic yet civilized: an Italian exotic you can truly drive to work during the week and at the track on weekends. Credit the influence of Audi, which acquired Lamborghini in 1998, for the impressive refinement. Decoding the Gallardo engine nomenclature, the LP550-2 gets a 542-horsepower V10, the LP560-4 upgrades tuning to 552 horsepower, and the LP570-4 tops out with 562 horsepower. All three are available in coupe or Spyder (convertible) versions. As the designations suggest, the LP550-2 has rear-drive but the stronger engines come only with all-wheel drive (AWD). The bodywork looks angry, the V10's song is wickedly enchanting, and the driving experience is enthusiastically Italian.

You'll Like This Car If...

If subtlety is not your thing and you want a car that looks, drives and sounds dramatic, the 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo may be for you. It's more track-ready than a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, harder-edged than an Aston Martin DB9, and its AWD beats any Ferrari for slick-surface grip.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you look for leading-edge sophistication, consider that the current Gallardo has been around for a while (and is due for replacement next year). The newer Ferrari 458 Italia has more advanced chassis control and a better ride.

What's New for 2013

Lamborghini is marking time until a new car replaces the Gallardo next year. The LP560-4 models get a new array of vents and dividers in front, an enlarged air outlet in back and new wheels. Two LP570-4 Edizione Tecnica models are added, the Superleggera coupe and Spyder Performante.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Lightning-quick throttle response and intoxicating sounds from the engine bay are ever-present Lamborghini Gallardo characteristics, but the car has other sides to its personality. Around town, the driver must put up with a lumpy idle, rock-hard ride, the tires' tendency to follow road grooves, and a turning radius that feels like a full-size pickup's. Husky Americans, especially, will feel cramped in the cockpit. But on an open back road or high-speed track, the Gallardo finds its focus. The stiff space frame and taut chassis impart an organic stability and responsiveness. The AWD of the "-4" versions imparts a little more understeer and numbs the feedback a bit compared to the lively "-2" rear-drive cars, but the tradeoff in stability, security and sheer grip on any surface is worth it.

Favorite Features

The flat planes and sharp creases of a modern Lamborghini body look especially cool in a matte finish, and it only costs $26,600 extra to get a Gallardo in matte black, brown or white.

The Gallardo's low, protruding nose looks sleek, but would grind against steep driveways without the front lifting system, which raises the front end an inch and a half with the push of a button.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More


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