Two years after the launch of the Coupe version of the Gallardo, Automobili Lamborghini presented the new Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder at the F2005 rankfurt Motor Show. This latest addition brings the marque’s range of supercars to four models.
The Gallardo Spyder is not just an open-top version of the Coupe, but is a completely new model. It has an attractive new design and a unique system for opening and closing the fabric roof that utilizes the engine compartment to store the folded roof.
The Lamborghini Centro Stile and engineers from the Research and Development team have worked in close partnership to develop this new design and to bring these clean and sharp lines on the road.
Gallardo Spyder Design
The original design vision for the Gallardo was created in the year 2000 and this vision continues with the ”open” version.
The dimensions of the Gallardo, combined with its competitive performance targets, ensure the car has an athletic compactness. The long wheelbase complemented by short overhangs dynamise its appearance. The Gallardo Spyder features typical and unique mono-volume proportions, which integrate the Lamborghini design attributes of purism, athleticism and sharpness.
The cab-forward cockpit is integrated in the body by a strongly-slanted front screen and tensed pillars. The complex surfacing is intersected by crisp graphics and its detailing, which is orientated towards optimum cooling, evokes a strong aeronautical influence in its proportions and formal language.
The roof raising/lowering system of the Gallardo Spyder is based on an electronic control system with electrohydraulic actuators. The roof raising/lowering mechanism is extremely simple to operate by way of two push-buttons on the centre of the dashboard. And the whole operation takes just over 20 seconds.
The rear screen moves automatically while the roof is being opened or closed. This automatically-controlled movement always returns the screen to the raised position. The driver can also choose to have the screen in the lowered position (also with the roof raised) by pressing the appropriate button on the dashboard. There is also a "service function" that positions the roof so as to allow access to the engine.
Gallardo Spyder Engine and Performance
The new Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder features a number of important modifications to the original engine and transmission from the Coupe. The 10-cylinder 4961 cc propulsion unit now develops 520 bhp at 8,000 rpm. The six-speed gearbox now has lower ratios (1st gear is 27% lower, 2nd gear is 13%, 3rd / 4th / 5th gears are all 6% lower, while 6th gear is 3.5% lower), which create a more dynamic performance.
The steering is also more direct and precise and the suspension has been recalibrated. Like the other models in the range, the Gallardo Spyder also benefits from aluminum bodywork and features permanent four-wheel drive.
More than simple open-top version of the Coupé, Lamborghini qualifies the Gallardo Spyder as a completely new model, with a new design and a unique system for opening and closing the fabric roof that utilises the engine compartment to store the folded roof.
The dimensions of the Gallardo ensure the car has an athletic compactness with the long wheelbase and short overhangs. The Gallardo Spyder features typical and unique mono-volume proportions.
The hood is made from black fabric with an electronic control system, integrated in the car’s CAN-BUS network. The roof raising/lowering mechanism is simple to operate by way of two push-buttons on the centre of the dashboard, with the whole operation taking just over 20 seconds.
The structural design of the new Gallardo Spyder complies fully with all the relevant safety standards. The space frame has been reinforced in the area of the sills and the A pillars have been strengthened with the adoption of an automatic Roll Over protection system integrated with the air bag system.
In typical Lamborghini fashion, the Gallardo spyder outdoes its Ferrari competitor, at least on paper. Its V-10 is now pumped to 512 horsepower, 29 more than the Ferrari V-8 makes. With its shorter gearing, the Gallardo spyder should improve on the 4.4-second blast to 60 mph that we recorded in the standard Gallardo. It continues to a top speed of 195 mph-2 up on the Ferrari.
The top, built by German roof specialist Edscha, is fully automatic. It opens in about 10 seconds, powered by six hydraulic cylinders pressurized by an electric pump. When you press the button on the tunnel to peel back the cloth roof, the vertical rear window lowers first. Then the enormous but feather-light carbon-fiber engine cover rises and slides backward, exposing the well that will receive the top. With the top retracted, the engine cover slides forward and the rear window rises to act as a wind deflector.
Behind the wheel, the Gallardo spyder has the same mix of unique touches and Audi-based switches and central console seen in hardtop Gallardos. The only item exclusive to Lamborghini is the carbon-fiber-trimmed transmission tunnel that hThe Gallardo spyder fits the driver like a pair of tight, tailored jeans, with its comfortable seats and superb driver position. Like the coupe, the short nose drops so sharply downward that it offers just four cubic feet of luggage space and is invisible from the driver seat.
Like the other models in the range, the Gallardo Spyder also benefits from aluminium bodywork and features permanent four-wheel drive.
The Spyder features a 5.0-liter V10 capable of producing 520 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Both versions can hotfoot it to 60 mph in a shade over 4 seconds, thanks in part to lower gear ratios (compared to last year’s Gallardo) in the first five of the "e.gear" transmission’s six speeds. Despite these lower ratios, throttle response remains a bit lackadaisical at speeds below 15 mph, though hitting the "Sport" button on the center console partially resolves this. Braking ability also maintains the high expectations set by the coupe, with a 60-to-0 stopping distance of 104 feet. Initial pedal feel can be a bit heavy, but once those eight-pot front calipers clamp down on the 14.3-inch Brembo vented rotors, this baby bull stops right now. These numbers are particularly impressive when considering the roughly 250-pound weight gain for the Spyder over the coupe.
The more powerful engine feels rough and reacts sluggishly below 2500 rpm. But once you rev it up, the V-10 crackles with enthusiasm as flaps retune the intake manifold at 3500 rpm and the camshaft timing moves to a deeper-breathing setting, unleashing enough thrust to vigorously motivate the all-aluminum, 3550-pound spyder.
Keep your foot in it, and the tachometer needle sweeps to the 8000-rpm mark in a few blinks, accompanied by a guttural trumpet blast from the tailpipes. The combination of noise and speed generates an incredibly visceral experience.
Although the Gallardo spyder has markedly forward-leaning styling, it in fact carries about 58 percent of its weight on the rear axle. Even with all-wheel drive, this weight bias produces a bit of oversteer when you really fly through a curve. That’s when you’ll appreciate the spyder’s sensitive rack-and-pinion steering and the predictable way it responds to throttle changes. With the top down, it’s an exhilarating sports car on a fast country road, where it engages its driver with its performance and quick reflexes and the wonderful sounds made by the wind and engine.
A raucous environment is expected in almost any open-air vehicle, but with the Gallardo the noise actually seems to get louder when the top goes up, as if the fabric roof serves as a low-tech amplifier. This is likely a nonissue for the majority of potential Spyder customers, but if you are thinking about a cross-country jaunt in an open-top exotic, one with the ability to settle the cabin’s atmosphere by simply erecting the soft top, don’t buy the Gallardo Spyder. Or do, and plan on bringing your noise-canceling headphones.
The Gallardo is actually quite compact at just under 170 inches between the bumpers, but with its hood and tail almost completely hidden from the driver’s view there’s little confidence during parking maneuvers. An optional rear camera somewhat addresses this concern, but our relatively loaded test car didn’t have that particular feature.
The Gallardo justifies its $200,000-plus price tag by displaying one of the most striking exterior forms in automobiledom. Or you could argue that having a 0-to-60 time of just over 4 seconds, a top speed of 196 mph ("only" 192 when the top is down), and a superbly stiff open-top structure makes it a worthy candidate to replace that summer home you’ve been eyeing. Or you could decide that, with its sumptuous interior and all-wheel drive, the Gallardo Spyder represents a unique offering in the exotic-car world - one you must possess.
Lamborghini expects to build 600 Gallardo spyders for worldwide distribution. With the strong appeal of top-down cars in this segment, you might want to place your order early.as pushbuttons for activating the fully automatic mode of the automated manual transmission, tuning the suspension for sport mode, and deactivating the stability program.