The baby Lambo loses its roof

Just five years after it was sold to Audi, Lamborghini realized its vision for a smaller, more accessible complement to the outrageous Murcielago monster. It’s called the Gallardo, and despite being labeled as the “baby Lambo,” it has every ounce of attitude needed to justify the Raging Bull badge placed on its nose. Behind the cockpit, Lambo mounted a V-10 powerplant pushing over 500 horsepower – enough to bless the coupe with a top speed of 192 mph. The car was a smash hit, so two years later, Lambo introduced a convertible variant – the Gallardo Spyder. Framed as a brand-new model thanks to its revised drivetrain, the Gallardo Spyder offered the same thrills as the rest of the Lambo totem pole, but added an unlimited blue-sky headliner. Simply put, it’s high-speed drop-top insanity – Sant’Agata Bolognese style.

What makes the Gallardo Spyder unique amongst its supercar competitors is its AWD drivetrain and high-class cabin, both of which are the result of Lamborghini’s position under the Audi umbrella. But the Gallardo is much more than just a restyled R8 – it leaps towards the horizon with a ferocious character that’s nowhere to be found in its more subdued German counterpart. At the end of the day, the Gallardo Spyder might share the same Audi genes, but it’s still very much a Lamborghini.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.

  • 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
  • Year:
    2006-
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    520@8000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    4500
  • Displacement:
    4961 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    195 mph
  • car segment:
  • Overall:
    6.5/10

History And Background

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 38186

In 1998, Volkswagen bought Lamborghini for roughly $110 million and placed it within the Audi AG family. The arrangement was mutually advantageous for both automakers – Audi benefitted from Lamborghini’s high-octane image, while Lambo got open access to Audi’s sophisticated engineering know-how.

The Gallardo first debuted at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show. Per tradition, the name comes from a breed of fighting bulls (the word means “gallant” in Spanish).

Under Audi, Lambo suddenly found itself with stable financial backing, and consequently, annual sales skyrocketed. This was particularly true for the Gallardo, which holds the record as Lamborghini’s all-time top-selling model, moving 14,022 units throughout its decade-long lifecycle (2003 to 2013) before the Huracan replaced it.

The Gallardo first debuted at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show. Per tradition, the name comes from a breed of fighting bulls (the word means “gallant” in Spanish). Two years after dropping cover on the coupe, Lamborghini introduced the Gallardo Spyder at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show, bringing the marque’s model lineup to four – the Gallardo, the Gallardo Spyder, the Murcielago, and the Murcielago Roadster.

In 2006, Lambo introduced the second-generation Gallardo, once again at the Geneva Motor Show. This time around, it was called the LP 560-4, offering a reduced curb weight, updated transmission, and a new, more efficient (not to mention more powerful) 5.2-liter V-10 engine. The convertible LP 560-4 Spyder was introduced several months later at the 2008 LA Auto Show.

Exterior

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 38194
2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 38192
2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 67481

The original Gallardo aesthetic came from Belgian car designer Luc Donckerwolke, who adapted the look from the Cala concept car that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1995.

Some of the basic elements of the concept are still present, such as a classic speed-wedge profile, but overall, the Gallardo is a significant update over the Cala. Instead of rounded edges and smooth lines, the Gallardo’s aluminum bodywork employs deep cuts and razor-like crispness. Broad, flat surfaces keep it looking technical and futuristic, exuding purpose rather than extraneous beauty. It’s a Lambo for the 21st century.

Instead of rounded edges and smooth lines, the Gallardo’s aluminum bodywork employs deep cuts and razor-like crispness.

The manufacturer says it’s a look that marries “purity, athleticism and sharpness,” as well as a healthy dose aeronautics. I suppose I can get behind that description, but I’d probably add “minimalism” to it as well. Unlike a model like the Countach, which seems to sprout wings and flares from just about every conceivable angle, the Gallardo is withdrawn, almost tame by comparison, especially with the roof down.

Does that make it less of a Lambo? Perhaps. But whatever your opinion on the matter might be, it’s not like the Gallardo Spyder is gonna go unnoticed on the street. This thing is still very much a head-turner, even without a landing strip-sized spoiler on the deck lid.

It’s also surprisingly compact, measuring in with roughly the same overall length as a modern Ford Focus (plus several inches added to the width, of course).

The roof was built by German convertible-top manufacturer Edscha, and is made from a black fabric. It uses electro-hydraulic actuation (six hydraulic cylinders powered by an electric pump) to open and close, with two buttons on the dash for operation. It takes 10 seconds to open and 10 seconds to close.

The roof finds space to hide in a rear compartment located near the engine. When the roof opens, the carbon-fiber engine cover lifts to help it slide away neatly, moving forward while raising a small rear window to help deflect the wind.

The Gallardo Spyder also comes with a lift system to keep the nose safe from speed bumps, plus 19-inch wheels and an electronically activated rear spoiler.

Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase 101 Inches
Length 172 Inches
Width 75 Inches
Height 47 Inches

Interior

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 67517

Audi had a hand in outfitting the Gallardo Spyder’s interior, most noticeably in the switchgear and general fit and finish. And while the Gallardo doesn’t show quite the same focus on comfort as the Four Ring’s equivalent, there are still plenty of amenities to be had.

For starters, there are acres of leather held together by contrast stitching, including on the seats and dash, plus there are polished-metal surrounds for the air vents.

Overall, the look and feel is actually quite reserved, with a panel center stack and button-free three-spoke steering wheel (complete with a flat-bottom shape). Models equipped with an automatic gearbox get paddle shifters mounted to the steering column, while three-pedal pilots get a gated shifter. There’s also carbon fiber adorning the transmission tunnel. And since rear visibility is virtually non-existent, Lambo offered a backup camera as an available option. In front, there’s an after-thought storage compartment offering up a meager 4 cubic feet of space.

It’s the right sort of package for a convertible supercar like the Gallardo Spyder. This was a machine created for frequent use, which means it’s complete with all the basic comforts, plus enough sporting cues to keep it honest.

Drivetrain

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 38183

The Gallardo Spyder uses a mid-engine, AWD drivetrain layout, with an all-aluminum 5.0-liter V-10 powerplant placed longitudinally behind the cabin and cylinders mounted at 90 degrees. Lamborghini extracted more power from its V-10 for the 2006 model year (including the Spyder), adding 20 additional ponies for a peak output of 513 horsepower at 8,000 rpm. Torque is rated at 376 pound-feet at 4,250 rpm.

The transmission was also revised with shorter ratios for improved acceleration. First gear is 27 percent lower, second gear is 13 percent lower, while third, fourth, and fifth gear are 6 percent lower. Sixth gear is 3.5 percent lower. This also effectively lowered the car’s top speed, but given the Spyder’s designation as a more accessible open-top road car, it makes perfect sense.

A run to 60 mph takes 4.1 seconds, while 0-to-120 mph is done in 14.3 seconds. A pass down the 1320 is completed in 12.2 seconds at 122 mph, while the standing kilometer is dispatched in 22.5 seconds. Top speed is rated at 196 mph (192 mph with the top down).

In a nod towards civilized behavior, there’s also an active exhaust flap for quiet around-town cruising.

Chassis And Handling

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 67485

To keep the Gallardo razor-sharp without the rigidity of a metal roof, the Spyder received reinforcements around the sills. The A-pillars were also beefed up to help protect against rollover accidents.

But of course, the extra strength comes at the cost of extra weight – 300 pounds, to be exact, with the Gallardo Spyder tipping the scales at 3,820 pounds compared to the hardtop’s 3,520 pounds.

Still, even with the added mass, the Gallardo Spyder is a beastly machine when it comes to attacking corners. The weight distribution is tipped towards the rear in a 42/58 split. Lambo also quickened the rack-and-pinion steering, and retuned the suspension (double wishbones with anti-roll bars) for more aggressive handling. Even though it’s AWD, this thing will definitely kick out its tail if pushed.

Electronic aides include multiple driving modes, as well as ABS and electronic stability control (although more enterprising drivers can turn off the nannies if so inclined). Making the stop are 8-piston calipers in front, which bind sizable 14.3-inch rotors. The wheels are 8.5-inches wide in front and 11-inches wide in the rear. Around the rollers are Pirelli’s P Zero Rosso ultra-high-performance street tires, measured at 235/35R19 in front and 295/30R19 in back.

Prices

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 38180

When it was first released, the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder carried a price tag of roughly $200,000. Originally, only 600 were slated for production, but Lambo ended up making 2,646 before updating it to the LP 560-4 (25 late 2005, 1,025 in 2006, 1,015 in 2007, and 581 in 2008).

These days, you can sift through the used market and find examples ranging between $105,000 and $140,000, depending on condition and specification.

Competition

Ferrari F430 Spider

2006 Ferrari F430 Spider
- image 47645
Ferrari F430 Spider

It’s probably safe to assume that there’s a Ferrari target for every model Lamborghini has ever produced. When it comes to the Gallardo, the crosshairs are clearly leveled at the F430. Just behind the driver sits 483 horsepower from a howling all-aluminum 4.3-liter V-8, which dumps all the ponies to the rear axle for a 0-to-60 mph sprint on par with the Gallardo. Meanwhile, a six-speed semi-automatic gearbox lets you play F1 driver.

Read the full review here.

Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
- image 167669
2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

Of course, ze Germans can’t help but mix it up with the Italians when it comes to a little drop-top performance fun. Framed as a much more accessible alternative to the Ferrari and Lambo, the 911 Turbo Cabriolet still brings the noise thanks to 444 horsepower from its rear-mounted, 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. It’s also got AWD and a lighter curb weight, matching the Gallardo blow-for-blow when it comes to max thrust off the apex.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- image 38179

You’d be forgiven for calling the Gallardo a bit too sane for a Lamborghini. It’s got the underpinnings of an Audi, with AWD and a square exterior. Yes, you’d be forgiven, but you’d still be wrong.

The influence of the Raging Bull can be seen everywhere. The V-10 engine was tuned to deliver more power than its Prancing Horse rival, and the track-oriented suspension was modified for maximum grins. It’s got it where it counts, and there should be no doubt that the core of what makes a Lambo unique remains intact.

  • Leave it
    • Not as crazy looking as some would like
    • AWD may dilute the experience
What do you think?
Show Comments

5 comments:

  (2) posted on 05.2.2012

This 2006 is 200+ mph top speed.

  (397) posted on 01.17.2012

this one is amazing on its yellow paint. the design and style also suits the appeal.

  (392) posted on 04.20.2010

This model of Gallardo is so cool. I like model more than the latest model of the Gallardo.

  (6023) posted on 11.12.2006

michelle has crabs!!!

  (6023) posted on 06.1.2006

This car is hott..

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