• 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4

The baby Lambo comes of age

Although critics initially derided the Gallardo as a copout for the Italian automaker, offering two fewer cylinders and a smaller on-road presence than the rest of the lineup, the “baby Lambo” quickly silenced the naysayers by selling well over 7,000 units in its first five years of production. Its performance was so impressive, the higher-ups from Sant’Agata Bolognese decided to usher in a new go-faster version for 2008, upgrading the Gallardo with fresh aesthetics and improved performance. The result was dubbed the LP560-4, and once again, customers flocked to dealers, catapulting the nameplate to the top of Lambo’s list of all-time bestsellers.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2008 - 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Exterior Styling

  • Wider, deeper intakes than before
  • New aero components at both ends
  • New Xenon headlights with LED DRL’s
  • 19-inch wheels
  • Rear spoiler extends at 75 mph
2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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Lamborghini said it sought to do away with “ornaments or embellishments of any form” with the updated LP560-4.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the LP560-4’s new styling. Lamborghini said it sought to do away with “ornaments or embellishments of any form” with the updated model, but the LP560-4 still obviously comes with oodles of performance cues from front to back.

Let’s start with the nose, which gets updated intakes with wider, deeper dimensions than the outgoing Gallardo model. There’s also a new splitter element added between the fresh intakes, while higher up, you’ll find reshaped headlight housings.

While the headlights still get the same sharp, parallelogram-esque shape as before, the LP560-4’s units are a bit wider and shorter than the preceding model. The headlights were also updated with new daytime running lights and Bi-Xenon lighting elements with a number of LEDs arranged in a Y graphic design inside the housings.

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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Moving around to the profile, the LP560-4 reveals its low, wide stance, offering an aggressive speed wedge style that just screams bedroom poster.

Moving around to the profile, the LP560-4 reveals its low, wide stance, offering an aggressive speed wedge style that just screams bedroom poster. Taking up residence in the corners is a quartet of 19-inch wheels, which Lambo offered from the factory in a variety of designs, both standard and optional.

Stepping around to the rear, we find a clean design for the tail of the vehicle. The look also incorporates the same brake light graphics as those found on myriad other Lamborghini models, including the Miura Concept, the Murcielago LP640, and the Reventon, with multiple LEDs added in a Y-shaped graphics structure, similar to what was done for the headlights.

Complementary details include accentuated engine cover components, an aluminum cap for the fuel filler tube and engine oil tube, and a special grille surround for the exhaust pipes. The engine cover on top is also made from glass to show off that burly V-10 powerplant underneath.

While impressive to look at, the LP560-4’s styling is definitely also functional, with optimized aerodynamics adding even more to the performance side of things. All told, Lamborghini says the LP560-4 gets a 31-percent increase in downforce compared to the preceding Gallardo model.

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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All told, Lamborghini says the LP560-4 gets a 31-percent increase in downforce compared to the preceding Gallardo model.

Assisting in this respect is an updated rear diffuser, which offers enhanced efficiency and adds greater steering stability at speed. Additionally, the LP560-4 deploys a functional rear spoiler when accelerating over 120 km/h (75 mph), throwing extra downforce onto the rear axle in the process.

The Gallardo LP560-4 was also offered with a variety of optional equipment and aesthetics treatments via Lamborghini’s personalization program, including matte exterior paint like Nero Nemesis (black), Bianco Canopus (white), and Marrone Apus (brown).

On the safety front, the front end features a Pedestrian Protection system, with the design of the nose incorporating a unique combination of materials and geometry to help “absorb any impact energy.”

Finally, the exterior dimensions are close to those of the standard Gallardo, with the overall length measured at 4.34 meters (170.9 inches), the overall width measured at 1.90 meters (74.8 inches), and the overall height measured at 1.16 meters (45.7 inches).

2008 - 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Exterior Dimensions
Overall Length 170.9 inches
Overall Width 74.8 inches
Overall Height 45.7 inches

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Interior Design

  • Technical control scheme and layout
  • Seven instrument dials
  • Two passengers max
  • Some cargo room up front and behind the seats
  • Full array of infotainment and comfort features
  • Optional carbon trim
  • Nose-lift feature
2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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Step inside the Gallardo LP560-4, and you’ll find Lamborghini’s characteristic fighter jet aesthetic in full force.

Step inside the Gallardo LP560-4, and you’ll find Lamborghini’s characteristic fighter jet aesthetic in full force, with the dash sporting a smorgasbord of buttons, dials, and knobs.

The wide dash design is also beset with classic flip switchgear along the center console, a feature that always manages to bring out the little kid in you no matter how old you are. Because after all, who wouldn’t want to feel like they’re arming the missile launchers?

A set of seven rounded instrument readouts are spread both high and low, with the LP560-4 offering new graphics compared to the older model. There’s also a multifunction display mounted between the tachometer and speedometer, plus a secondary screen on the center console, just above the swath of switches.

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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A maximum of two passengers will find spots to strap in, with both seats mounted rather low in the cabin.

A maximum of two passengers will find spots to strap in, with both seats mounted rather low in the cabin. The duo of sports seats come covered in either leather or Alcantara upholstery, and offer electronically adjustable backrests. There’s also a little space behind the seats for luggage or cargo, while as much as 110 liters (3.9 cubic feet) of cargo room is offered in the front trunk (remember, the Gallardo is mid-engined).

In addition to the small storage spots inside and outside the cabin, the Gallardo LP560-4 also gets traditional street car goodies to up its daily driving cred. These include things like dual-zone air conditioning and a full infotainment system. There’s also a rear-facing camera mounted in the rear spoiler and USB inputs for your various mobile devices.

When it was first introduced, the Lamborghini offered options features like a navigation system, TV reception, Bluetooth phone support, and an anti-theft system.

The optional front suspension lift system allowed drivers to go over bumps and steeply angled sections of driveway without scratching the nose.

Critically, there was also offered with an optional front suspension lift system that allowed drivers to go over bumps or steeply angled sections of driveway without scratching the nose.

Rounding out the interior bits, customers were offered a variety of colors and stitching options for the cabin. Carbon fiber interior pieces also made the options list, with composite bits added to the air vent surrounds, control panel, hand-brake lever, and shifter surround.

Even more personalization could be had with Lamborghini’s signature personalization program, also known as Ad Personam, which tossed in tons of extras for a bit more outlay. Indeed, many Gallardo LP560-4’s out there really are quite unique.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Drivetrain And Performance

  • New 5.2-liter V-10 powerplant
  • 552 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, 398 pound-feet at 6,500 rpm
  • Almost 40 horsepower more than the preceding Gallardo
  • 0 to 60 mph in roughly 3.5 seconds
  • Top speed over 200 mph
  • Longitudinally mounted, mid-ship platform
  • More fuel efficient as well
  • High-spec AWD
  • Six-speed manual, six-speed automatic
2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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The biggest headline is behind the cabin, where Lamborghini stuffed in a 5.2-liter V-10 as replacement for the older model’s 5.0-liter unit.

Per tradition, the Gallardo LP560-4 comes with several upgraded engine components to go with the new styling stuff. The biggest headline can be found just behind the cabin, where Lamborghini stuffed in a new odd-firing 5.2-liter V-10 powerplant, which was added as a replacement for the older model’s even-firing 5.0-liter V-10. The new lump was tuned to produce upwards of 552 horsepower at a head-spinning 8,000 rpm. That’s a 39-horsepower increase compared to the preceding Gallardo’s 513 horsepower. Torque figures come to 540 Nm (398 pound-feet) at 6,500 rpm.

Properly applied, it’s enough to complete the run from 0 to 100 km (62 mph) in a claimed 3.7 seconds, although Motor Trend managed to hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds during its own test sessions. Lambo also claims a time of 11.8 seconds when running from 0 to 200 km (124 mph), plus a top speed of 325 km/h (202 mph).

With 560 metric horsepower on tap, we’ve got half the nomenclature sorted, but what about the initials “LP”? Welp, that happens to stand for “longitudinale posteriore,” which in Italian means longitudinally mounted (or something like that). Basically, it’s a reference to the way in which Lambo managed to fit the engine behind the cabin, as it’s mounted lengthwise just ahead of the rear axle.

Standout features for the LP560-4’s engine include 90-degree cylinder banks, tumble flaps in the intake manifold runners, and a dry sump lubrication system, plus a relatively high compression ratio of 12.5:1 and quad cams with a variable valve control system. The ‘10 also comes with an aluminum crankcase, and Lambo says it didn’t need to separate the cylinders with individual cylinder sleeves. Rather, the engine utilizes a hard silicone crystal material during the production phase, and the cylinders were bored directly out of the block.

The connecting rods are made from wrought steel, but the pistons are also made from aluminum. Providing the go juice is a direct fuel injection system, something which Lambo calls “Iniezione Diretta Stratificata.” Standout features here include laterally positioned injectors, which provide “higher gasoline density around the spark plug” and a “leaner mixture close to piston and cylinder liners.”

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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Although the LP560-4 is more powerful than its predecessor, Lambo says the upgraded V-10 manages an impressive 18-percent increase to efficiency.

Although the LP560-4 is more powerful than its predecessor, Lambo says the upgraded V-10 manages an impressive 18-percent increase to efficiency with regards to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, with around 13.7 liters of fuel burned for every 100 km. Calculated out, that comes to an average of 17.2 mpg.

“The engine of the Gallardo LP560-4 is a completely new development. All that remains of the original V10 is the number of cylinders which, in this performance category, create a perfect and unique synthesis of torque, force of movement, sporty nimbleness, compact size and low weight,” the automaker claims.

Putting it all down to the pavement is an updated AWD system. To help it route the right levels of output to the right corner at the right time, the drivetrain comes fitted with a four-wheel Viscous Traction system, a tech that Lambo first introduced with the Diablo VT back in 1993.

Essentially, this uses a viscous-coupling in the transmission, with no electronic control required. Torque is normally distributed in a 30:70 front-to-rear ratio, although that can vary depending on the driving conditions and inputs. A mechanical differential is used in the rear axle, with up to 45 percent limited slip, while an electronic differential lock is used in front.

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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As for the cog swaps, the LP560-4 offered both a manual six-speed and an automatic “e-gear” six-speed.

As for the cog swaps, the LP560-4 offered manual gear changes with a gated six-speed transmission and short shift stick. Alternatively, buyers could get an automatic “e-gear” transmission with paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel.

Updated for the LP560-4, the model’s new automatic six-speed managed to reduce shifting times by up to 40 percent, plus it offered a variety of driving modes, including Corsa, normal, and sport. Corsa (or “Race”) is obviously the one to use for max attack, with the most aggressive shift patterns and the most slip angle for the handling system. To help you get off the line, there’s an aptly named Thrust Mode as well.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Chassis And Handling

  • Upgraded suspension over preceding model
  • Double wishbones and custom tuning
  • Enormous 8-pot calipers
  • Optional carbon ceramic brakes
  • Pirelli tires (P Zero)
  • 40 pounds lighter than before
2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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Despite a sharper attitude, the suspension once again sought a balance between road-worthy sports machine and racing car.

As a complement to the updated engine package, the LP560-4 also got a newly upgraded suspension setup. Despite a sharper attitude, the suspension once again sought a balance between road-worthy sports machine and racing car.

To that end, Lambo sourced its handling tech directly from the world of motorsport. Under the skin is a double wishbone design made from aluminum, plus specially tuned shocks and springs. There’s also an additional track rod for the rear axle, and a set of rubber-metal bearings to keep it all nice and tight.

Drivers will also notice less assistance through the steering rack compared to the preceding model, even though the LP560-4 still gets standard power steering support and a separate steering cooling system.

Throwing the anchor on the base model LP560-4 is a set of eight-pot calipers for the front axle, which clamp down on 365 mm (14.4 inch) brake discs. Meanwhile, the rear utilizes four-pot calipers and 356 mm (14 inch) brake discs.

Unsurprisingly, the LP560-4 was offered with an optional carbon brake package from Brembo, which ditches the standard components and adds in 380 mm (15 inch) composite front discs and 356 mm (14 inch) composite rear discs. Not only do these high-tech brakes make for an extremely impressive stopping performance, but they lower the car’s overall unsprung weight as well.

From the factory, the Gallardo LP560-4 came equipped with tires from Pirelli, specifically the brand’s P Zero compound, measuring in at 235/35ZR19 in front and 295/30ZR19 in the rear.

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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The LP560-4 is also quite a bit lighter than before, with as much as 44 pounds cut thanks to the inclusion of additional aluminum in the body

That’s a lot of rubber, which undoubtedly helps the Gallardo LP560-4 grip the road with tenacity. However, the model is also quite a bit lighter than before, with Lambo managing to cut as much as 20 kg (44 pounds) overall thanks to the inclusion of additional aluminum in the body, replacing the preceding model’s steel components.

All told, the car tips the scales with a dry weight of 1,410 kg (3,109 pounds), which is spread across the axles with a weight distribution that looks like 43 percent up front and 57 percent in the rear. It also brings the cars power-to-weight ratio down to 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds) per metric horsepower.

Under the panels, the Gallardo LP560-4 utilizes a spaceframe chassis that’s both low on heft and high on stiffness.

“Integrally moulded node elements and extruded parts create its frame, and sheet metal plates made out of aluminum have been neatly and securely integrated to form the body,” the automaker explains. “The body is not only extremely light but also torsionally stiff and displays the highest safety characteristics,” Lamborghini adds.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Pricing

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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When new, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 carried a price tag of $198,000. These days (08/2018), you can pick one up on the used market for numbers that range between $80,000 and $140,000.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Competition

Ferrari F430

2006 Ferrari F430 High Resolution Exterior
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In the history of great automotive rivalries, the competition between Lamborghini and Ferrari has to be some of the fiercest. Such is the case with the Gallardo and F430, which often went head to head for Italian super sports car supremacy. As you’d expect, the F430 brings the heat direct to Lambo’s front door, packing a rear-/mid-mounted 4.3-liter V-8 making as much as 483 horsepower. Output is sent to the rear axle by way of a either a six-speed manual or an F1-style six-speed automatic. Outside, the styling pulls from the preceding Ferrari 360, while a computer-controlled electronic differential makes any driver feel like a racing superstar.

Read our full review of the 2006 Ferrari F430.

Audi R8

2008 Audi R8
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Although the Gallardo and R8 eventually became rebadged twins, the two models are still worth comparing, especially the earlier versions. When it was first introduced in 2006, the R8 came equipped with a mid-mounted 4.2-liter V-8 making 414 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque, and it was only later on that the R8 gained the Lambo’s odd-firing 5.2-liter V-10. Still, if you want to fly under the radar, the Audi might be the better option compared to the Lambo, as its exterior is definitely a bit more understated, while the interior is befitting of a luxury cruiser compared to the Lambo’s jet fighter attitude.

Read our full review of the 2008 Audi R8.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Final Thoughts

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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Not not only did the Gallardo offer breathtaking performance and a head-turning presence, but its AWD powertrain and drivability lent it a broad appeal.

When Lamborghini first released the Gallardo LP560-4, Car And Driver had this to say about it - “Lamborghinis have always been rare, fast, and exciting. But they haven’t always been good cars. The new Gallardo LP560-4 - and, to a large extent, its acronym free Gallardo predecessor - is a very good car, however, pretty much any way you slice it. Well built, well equipped, and generally reliable, the Gallardo is a car one can actually drive each and every day.”

And that’s really why the Gallardo was so successful - not only did it offer breathtaking performance and a head-turning presence, but its AWD powertrain and easy-drivability lent it a surprisingly broad appeal.

“It will outclass its predecessor in every aspect; its dynamics are distinctly breathtaking and its design sets new standards,” said Lambo’s former President and CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, when the LP560-4 was first released.

Based on the sales numbers, we’d say that’s a big mission accomplished.

  • Leave it
    • Plenty of alternatives on the table
    • AWD makes it less vicious than RWD Lambos
    • Big sales mean it isn’t exactly exclusive or unique

Brief Vehicle History And Background

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo
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Note: Original Lamborghini Gallardo pictured here.
The Gallardo hit the scene as a smaller, V-10-powered super sports car that balanced top-shelf performance with daily driver manners.

First introduced as an alternative to Lamborghini’s line of big and bad V-12 models, including the Murcielago and, eventually, the Aventador, the Gallardo hit the scene as a smaller, V-10-powered super sports car that balanced top-shelf performance and thrills with a little extra in terms of daily driver manners.

Produced between 2003 and 2014, Lamborghini sold an incredible 14,022 units of the Gallardo, which made for the brand’s highest ever selling model.

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
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Midway through the Gallardo’s lifecycle, Lambo introduced the face-lifted LP560-4, officially dropping cover in 2008 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Midway through the Gallardo’s lifecycle, Lambo introduced the face-lifted LP560-4, officially dropping cover in 2008 at the Geneva Motor Show. Making it stand out against the outgoing Gallardo was a new, more-powerful engine package, less weight, and extra visual attitude to boot.

A few months later, at the 2008 L.A. Auto Show, Lamborghini introduced the LP560-4 Spyder, a drop-top iteration that replaced the outgoing Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. As you’d expect, the face-lifted convertible offered the same upgrades as the hardtop model, with more power, less weight, and new body components.

Following the debut of the Gallardo LP560-4, Lamborghini released a succession of special edition models, such as the Japan-bound Gold Edition, the China-bound Noctis, and the racing-inspired Edizione Tecnica.

After 11 years on the market, Lamborghini shelved the Gallardo nameplate, evenutally replacing it with the Huracan.

Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
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