Road Test - 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    An Italian bull with German horse sense

    [​IMG]

    BY AARON ROBINSON
    PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID DEWHURST
    February 2004

    Who really cares what side of the Alps the pieces come from as you strafe the freeways in a Lamborghini Gallardo? Certainly not the other commuters, their noses pancaked to the glass and their ears twitching with each 493-hp whoop from the V-10 wailing at your shoulder blades.

    The world is on the lookout for modern miracles. Here’s one: Three decades after the founding tycoon bailed out, the smog and safety regulators checked in, and the cash kitty evaporated like spit on an iron skillet, Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini lives. Not only that, it’s sticking the famous bolting bull on the Gallardo, a new supercar with everyday manners and a base price whittled down to $167,200 to hook the wallets of the still-working rich.

    Thank the people’s-car people in Wolfsburg. They are not known for turning water into wine, but the suits at Volkswagen AG and its Audi subsidiary, which now owns Lamborghini, are getting one hell of a reputation for reversing the fortunes of dead (Bugatti), dying (Lamborghini), and sleepy (Bentley) car boutiques.
    A reminder of how thin it got, the thread Lamborghini once swung by is pictured with the new Gallardo—the 1975 Lamborghini Urraco represents the tractor emporium’s first whack at a cut-price coupe and the firm’s subsequent near demise in the 1970s (see sidebar).

    To get Lamborghini to bleed black, Audi has leveraged the brains in its aluminum construction center in Neckarsulm, Germany, to supply the Gallardo’s alloy space frame. It has torn off big checks to upgrade the creaky Lamborghini facilities. It has swum the corporate parts bin and found reliable if somewhat ordinary-looking items for the Gallardo. They include a stereo, a climate-control system, and various dashboard switches and displays.

    In so doing, Audi is helping Lamborghini tackle and—maybe, eventually—reverse the traditional paradigm at tweedy dealerships decorated with tropical ferns and oriental rugs. That is, the more one pays for his or her wedge of motorized lust, the more one can expect goony ergonomics, gas-chamber ventilation, slipshod construction, and frequent trips to the service department to correct egregious boners in design and development.

    Judging from our days in the Gallardo, the old paradigm is indeed showing cracks.

    The Gallardo’s body takes high-school geometry and makes it sizzle. No fleeing cats or sleeping females here; the Gallardo is all vectors, trapezoids, arcs, and angles both obtuse and acute, hunkered down on four huge 19-inch alloy spheres. The cab-forward roofline actually makes it look like two cars, the curvy one above overtaking the boxy one below.

    [​IMG]

    Its doors swing almost perpendicular on normal horizontal hinges (Lamborghini reserves the scissors doors for buyers of the $281,100 Murciélago flagship). Stoops under the 45.9-inch-high roof are butt-first with a long drop to the seat, but gymnastic skills are not required. The steering column manually tilts and telescopes, and the seats motor rearward in generous tracks. That plus ample headroom means most drivers should comfortably fit in the Gallardo without resorting to tools.

    The tight buckets greet you with a wafer-thin veneer of padding and all the sponginess of fresh asphalt. Despite an electric lumbar adjustment, they bulge outward near the base of the spine. After an hour, backs throbbed with fatigue. The four-cubic-foot compartment in the nose, split in two by a government-mandated (but quickly removed) divider so children won’t lock themselves in, is less a trunk than an oversized ashtray.

    Chalk two for the old paradigm.

    The beefy roof pillars arc downward to the body like two halves of a railroad bridge truss, leaving enough sheltered space on top of the dash to host your next bar mitzvah. Small quarter-windows forward of the doors help visibility around the thick pillars but lend a certain minivan ambience to the view forward. Aft blind spots have been reduced with the large rear glass and quarter-windows at your outboard shoulders.

    Forget seeing anything of the Gallardo’s pavement-sniffing nose. It juts forward from the wheels enough to routinely dig itself into shallow driveway ramps and speed bumps with a heart-stopping sssscchrraaaaaaak! A front-axle jacking system like that found on the Murciélago would help.

    Leather or squishy leatherette ornamented with thin lines of body-color topstitching covers most surfaces. The wheel is squared at the bottom of its arc, F1-style, to let thighs by. A row of slick metal toggles in the center console handle with class everything from headlights to hazard blinkers. No fighting over the cabin temp; the driver and the passenger receive separate climate controls.

    The color LCD screen between the big tach and speedo shows trip info, open-door warnings, and any alarms of things gone kablooey. Overhead reside map lights and—holy Lexus in a Lamborghini!—a three-button HomeLink panel for opening garage doors and disabling house alarms. Mirrors fold inward on motorized stalks.

    Chalk up about 20 for the New Way.

    [​IMG]

    Even the starter motor on the Gallardo sounds fast. Turn the key, and the frenetic chugging ends in a sultry whoosh of combustion as the 303-cubic-inch DOHC 40-valve V-10 ignites. The engine settles quickly on a breathless 1000-rpm idle, ready for anything from a lazy trawl down a boulevard to a blast up to the 8100-rpm redline, the wide torque band pushing hard from rest and the intake tract sucking obscenely from the fender ducts.

    The six-speed e-gear system we tested (the manual six-speed saves $10,000) is from Marelli, which also supplies Ferrari and Maserati. Paddles on the column ask for shifts while hydraulically controlled robotic fingers change the cogs in as little as 0.0012 second. A button left of the column selects reverse with a percussion of whines, clicks, and thunks from behind. The sharp and lovely bark of a computer-controlled throttle blip accompanies each downshift.

    Computers can’t read minds. In full-auto mode, the transmission is always one step behind, downshifting only after you’ve stepped on it, upshifting just as you spot the hole through traffic. Smooth, jerk-free operation only happens when the driver takes control of the paddles. Even then, scooching up to a parking-lot log is white-knuckle stuff. The clutch fully engages, and the car lurches forward with each brush of the gas pedal. Push one too many times, and the Gallardo’s chin will taste concrete. One time the computer resolutely refused to give any gear, a problem resolved only by cycling the key. Push-button cars sometimes have push-button fixes.

    For the fastest exit, Lamborghini recommends switching off the traction control, selecting first gear and the sport-shift mode for quicker changes, and stomping the gas. The computer lets the engine wind to about 2400 rpm then dumps the clutch. There’s a howling paroxysm in the back, then a slight chirp as the four tires receive their torque, then the scenery blurs.

    Fingers quivering on the upshift paddle, we kissed 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and burst through the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 118 mph, riding the pointy end of a roostertail of desert dust sucked off the road by the Gallardo’s underbody. Lamborghini says the car will twist its needle to 192 mph. Our last report was at a stable, unflustered 191 mph before we lit into the 24-piston brake system (16 up front, eight in back). The calipers and the cross-drilled rotors packed within the four Pirelli slabs can shred 70 mph in 158 feet and do it repeatedly without fade.

    In turns those same slabs help the Gallardo build dizzyingly big numbers. It pulls one full g on the skidpad and puddles blood in the body on public roads as its viscous center coupling and limited-slip rear diff direct the massive torque for hot-glue grip. Despite its 3560 pounds, the Gallardo doesn’t feel ponderous. The wheel pulses with contact data and cuts its path with quick precision and a light effort. Neutrality is the default mode, the nose obediently going where it’s told. You can cook a corner red-hot before the Gallardo’s balanced poise softens and it begins to plow, at which point the stability control gently taps a brake or two to put things back on track.

    [​IMG]

    Impact energy dished up by the 30-series-rear and 35-series-front tires, plumped up to 44 psi—the recommended pressure for high-speed driving—mostly soaks into the robust skeleton. Lamborghini has lathered a slightly cushy frosting onto a rock-rigid sports-car suspension. Let the commuting begin.

    The Gallardo has wow performance even in the Euro-bullet class. It accelerates to 60 only 0.3 second behind the V-12 Murciélago. The regular-grade Ferrari 360 Modena F1 sees nothing but fading taillights (the Stradale version is faster, but you’re more likely to grow yams on your back than get one of those). Yes, the Corvette Z06 is just about as fast and the $114,815 you save will make a tidy down payment on Jacko’s Neverland Ranch, but new Corvettes don’t pancake noses like new Lamborghinis.

    That paradigm will never change.

    -----

    THE VERDICT

    [​IMG]

    Highs: 493 ways to break the law, something besides the engine shows intelligence, it stretches your 15 minutes of fame indefinitely.
    Lows: Seats carved from tungsten, a trunk all but maxed out by John Goodman’s dungarees, e-gear makes parking a crapshoot.
    The Verdict: A supercar striving to be a good car. Now that’s exotic.

    -----

    C/D TEST RESULTS

    [​IMG]

    ACCELERATION
    Zero to 30 mph 1.8
    40 mph 2.5
    50 mph 3.3
    60 mph 4.1
    70 mph 5.2
    80 mph 6.3
    90 mph 7.8
    100 mph 9.2
    110 mph 10.7
    120 mph 12.9
    130 mph 15.0
    140 mph 17.6
    150 mph 21.4
    160 mph 25.5
    Street start, 5–60 mph 4.6
    Top-gear acceleration, 30–50 mph 4.0
    50–70 mph 6.2
    Standing 1/4-mile 12.4 sec @ 118 mph
    Top speed (drag limited) 191 mph


    BRAKING
    70–0 mph @ impending lockup 158 ft

    HANDLING
    Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad 1.00 g
    Understeer minimal


    FUEL ECONOMY
    EPA city driving 10 mpg
    EPA highway driving 17 mpg
    C/D-observed 12 mpg

    INTERIOR SOUND LEVEL
    Idle 59 dBA
    Full-throttle acceleration 89 dBA
    70-mph cruising 75 dBA

    Lamborghini Gallardo
    Vehicle type: mid-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe

    Price as tested: $177,200

    Price and option breakdown: base Lamborghini Gallardo (includes $5400 gas-guzzler tax and $1300 freight), $167,200; e-gear transmission, $10,000

    Major standard accessories: power windows, seats, and locks; remote locking; A/C; tilting and telescoping steering wheel; rear defroster

    Sound system: Lamborghini AM/FM/cassette/CD changer, 6 speakers

    [​IMG]

    ENGINE
    Type V-10, aluminum block and heads
    Bore x stroke 3.25 x 3.65 in, 82.5 x 92.8mm
    Displacement 303 cu in, 4961cc
    Compression ratio 11.0:1
    Fuel-delivery system port injection
    Valve gear chain-driven double overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters, variable intake- and exhaust-valve timing
    Power (SAE net) 493 bhp @ 7800 rpm
    Torque (SAE net) 376 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
    Redline 8100 rpm


    DRIVETRAIN
    Transmission 6-speed manual with automated shifting and clutch
    Final-drive ratio 3.08:1, limited slip
    Transfer-gear ratio 1.12:1
    4-wheel-drive system full time with limited-slip center differential, open front differential, and limited-slip rear differential with brake-based traction-control
    Gear Ratio Mph/1000 rpm Max test speed
    I 2.56 8.4 68 mph (8100 rpm)
    II 1.85 11.7 94 mph (8100 rpm)
    III 1.42 15.2 123 mph (8100 rpm)
    IV 1.14 19.0 154 mph (8100 rpm)
    V 0.94 23.0 186 mph (8100 rpm)
    VI 0.81 26.8 191 mph (7150 rpm)

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase 100.8 in
    Track, front/rear 63.9/62.7 in
    Length/width/height 169.3/74.8/45.9 in
    Ground clearance 4.8 in
    Curb weight 3560 lb
    Weight distribution, F/R 43.8/56.2%

    Curb weight per horsepower 7.1 lb
    Fuel capacity 23.8 gal

    CHASSIS/BODY
    Type aluminum tube space frame
    Body material aluminum stampings and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic

    INTERIOR
    SAE volume, front seat 49 cu ft
    luggage 4 cu ft
    Front-seat adjustments fore-and-aft, seatback angle, front height, rear height, lumbar support
    Restraint systems, front manual 3-point belts, driver and passenger front and side airbags

    SUSPENSION
    Front ind, unequal-length control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
    Rear ind, unequal-length control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar

    STEERING
    Type rack-and-pinion with hydraulic power assist
    Turns lock-to-lock 3.0
    Turning circle curb-to-curb 37.7 ft

    BRAKES
    Type hydraulic with vacuum power assist and anti-lock control
    Front 14.4 x 1.3-in vented and cross-drilled disc
    Rear 13.2 x 1.3-in vented and cross-drilled disc

    WHEELS AND TIRES
    Wheel size F: 8.5 x 19 in, R: 11.0 x 19 in
    Wheel type cast aluminum
    Tires Pirelli P Zero Rosso; F: 235/35YR-19, R: 295/30YR-19
    Test inflation pressures, F/R 44/44 psi
    Spare none

    -----

    The First Working Man’s Lambo Didn’t Work

    [​IMG]

    Almost from the day he opened the doors in 1963, Ferruccio Lamborghini spoke of a smaller, cheaper, higher-volume car to bolster his factory’s financial security. Those plans solidified first in the P250 Urraco, unveiled in 1970 at the Turin auto show to compete with the likes of the Porsche 911 and Ferrari Dino.

    Named in Spanish slang for “little bull,” the Urraco packed four seats and a mid-mounted, transverse 220-hp, 2.5-liter V-8 into a compact wedge slashed through by overlapping louvers. Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, who also designed the Lamborghini Miura and Countach, drew the shape. Lire were squeezed out with the V-8’s single belt-driven overhead cams, four-corner strut suspension, and all-steel body. Lamborghini confidently predicted sales of 1000 cars per year.

    The company didn’t predict labor strikes, management changes (Lamborghini sold half his stake in the company in 1972, the rest in 1974), and mechanical problems, including cataclysmic failures of the timing belts. It all delayed the Urraco’s launch to 1973, just in time for the first oil crisis and a global recession. From January to April 1974, the company sold just 19 cars.

    Federal emissions regulations kept the later 250-hp, 3.0-liter DOHC (now chain driven) engine upgrade from landing in America, the Urraco’s prime target market. Choking on smog equipment and making just 175 horsepower, the Urraco finally landed stateside in 1975 with a price of $22,500, more than twice the cost of the faster Porsche 911. Worse, the Urraco was a dog, needing 10.1 seconds to reach 60 mph and 17.9 seconds for a quarter-mile, slower than today’s Saturn Ion. Weeds grew at dealers.

    In all, Lamborghini built just 776 Urracos before it was redesigned into the two-seat Lamborghini Silhouette in 1976 (52 built), which morphed into the Lamborghini Jalpa in 1982 (about 300 built). The red 1975 example shown here belongs to Gene Ondrusek of San Diego, California. He rescued what was a worn-out beater in 1983 and spent three years restoring it to near-original condition.

    With a small, deep-dish steering wheel at the end of your reach and the minuscule V-8 buzz-sawing behind your back, the Urraco feels like a Baja bug. Legs cant to the right so feet can cram into the tiny offset pedal box. The rectangular dash is low, the most important gauges pushed out to the edges of your peripheral vision. Ondrusek’s Urraco pulls hard and snarls dangerously, thanks to expert tuning of the four Weber IDF 40 carbs, but the thrust is mild by modern standards and the thin tires and soft chassis limit cornering speeds.

    Once a bold experiment by Lamborghini, the Urraco is now remembered as just a quaint oddball. May the Gallardo fare better. —AR

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. glide

    glide primer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2002
    Messages:
    39,138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA / San Diego, CA
  3. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Hell, Lumberg fucked 'er...
     
  4. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,972
    Likes Received:
    2,994
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    looks fast
     
  5. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    191 mph & 12.4 @ 118 is fast :hs:
     
  6. F=ma

    F=ma Guest

    Very nice car. Probably my #1 pick for a Sub 200 grand car.
     
  7. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I wonder if I could front-engine this shit....
     
  8. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,972
    Likes Received:
    2,994
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    not fast enough! :naughty:
     
  9. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    The Audi Gallardo.
     
  10. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    :eek4: :o

    [​IMG]
     
  11. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,972
    Likes Received:
    2,994
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
  12. F=ma

    F=ma Guest


    AUuuughhhh!!! HAhahahahahah :rofl: :rofl:

    Its the 456 GT Gallardvette!

    No smiley better describes this picture than :eek4:
     
  13. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Official 5 minute job :big grin:
     
  14. lilpbody10

    lilpbody10 Guest

    very nice
     
  15. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,972
    Likes Received:
    2,994
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    do you have a set of photoshop actions mapped to function keys to do it yet? :hs:
     
  16. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    :confused: I only have Photo Editor...:dunno:

    Smudge tool > *


    :o
     
  17. Black Light

    Black Light Guest

  18. dmora

    dmora Guest

    I would make sweet sweet love to that car.
     
  19. Steve Kerr

    Steve Kerr 6 Time NBA Champion OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Messages:
    20,384
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice car.
     
  20. stonedworm

    stonedworm mofo in a supra

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Messages:
    28,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    wow... thats fawking badass:o
     
  21. so its official, ford GT performance>gallardo. i :love: teh gt :)
     
  22. èpic

    èpic aka modernlife

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    15,388
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    australia
    The interior is meh.
     
  23. Normie

    Normie The TBW weight loss plan worked for me! OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Messages:
    95,910
    Likes Received:
    322
    Location:
    Back in PA!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The guy in the dealership asked me to wear a condom the next time I came in :o
     
  24. TheProwler

    TheProwler Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    98,907
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    in limbo
    :cool: but what kind of name is Gallardo?
     
  25. bal

    bal New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Messages:
    5,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    FL
    seems heavy at 3560lbs
     

Share This Page