The last Superleggera from Sant’Agata Bolognese

Lamborghini’s entry-level model, the Gallardo, received an end-to-end restyling procedure in 2008 and, two years later, a track-focused version of the car arrived. It again bore the name ’Superleggera’ and, like the original, was lighter than the standard version and featured some pretty aggressive aerodynamic appendages front and back. It was to be the last Superleggera as the Huracan’s special versions never visited this nameplate again.

I know it’s hard to believe, but the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera - yes, that’s its full name - is an 8-year-old car by now. Does it look that way? Well, not really, and it surely still drives like a modern car. That’s because it’s light at just 2,954 pounds and, with 562 horsepower from that magnificent V-10, delivers just enough oomph. By comparison, the Huracan Performante LP640-4, the sportier version of the Huracan, develops 70 more horsepower but is also 88 pounds heavier.

The LP570-4 Superleggera was considered a great driver’s car upon its launch although some pundits were displeased that Lamborghini decided to keep the RWD system to the LP550-2 Balboni special edition only while the Superleggera came with the heavier AWD system. Some also argued that the increased price, up by over $30,000 compared to a standard Gallardo LP560-4, was somewhat unsubstantiated.

  • 2011 - 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera
  • Year:
    2011- 2012
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V10
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    570@8000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    398@6500
  • 0-60 time:
    3.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    202 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

  • Only available in one of six exterior colors including the classic Verde Ithaca and Grigio Telesto
  • The ’Superleggera’ name pays tribute to the Carrozzeria Touring coachbuilding company that built the first production Lamborghini, the 350 GT
  • Bigger nostrils up front, side skirts, a protruding rear diffuser and a carbon fiber fixed rear spoiler completes the sporty package of the car
  • Brand-new 19-inch multi-spoke wheels were designed specifically for the second Superleggera
  • Walter Da Silva is the man behind the Gallardo’s mid-cycle redesign and is also the one who designed the modifications that were applied to create the Superleggera
  • The Superleggera was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show by Stephan Winkelmann, at the time the CEO of Lamborghini, who’s currently at the helm of Bugatti

The Lamborghini Gallardo was named in honor of a famous breed of fighting bulls that created the Miura line in the 19th century. It debuted in 2003 as the more affordable option to the company’s flagship, the mighty V-12 Murcielago. Unlike the Murcielago, the Gallardo came with no scissor doors and it also shed two of the cylinder sporting a 5.0-liter even-firing V-10 that developed 493 horsepower. Luc Donckerwolke, the man that led the design team of the Gallardo, took inspiration from the Italdesign Cala concept, a car that’s familiar to anyone who’s played the Need For Speed II racing game of the late ’90s.

Three years after introducing the Gallardo, Lamborghini showed up at the 2007 Geneva Auto Show with an angry-looking Gallardo. It was gray with carbon inserts, black wheels and a spoiler hanging at the tail end. Its name was ’Superleggera’ as a tribute not to the O.Z. Racing wheels, but to the first-ever Lamborghini that was built by Carrozzeria Touring which used the Superleggera building technique.

It was lighter than any other Gallardo, losing 220 pounds compared to the standard model, and had 10 more horsepower. Three more years passed and, as the Gallardo had an appointment with a plastic surgeon in 2008, a new Superleggera was made on this restyled base. It was publically unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show and immediately became the lightest car in Lamborghini’s range of supercars.

For the second Superleggera, Lamborghini went the extra mile and made the car more aggressive than its predecessor. Up front, the large, recessed intakes integrated into the front bumper have a protruding lower edge that’s been painted black to stand out from the rest of the bodywork. Almost anything around the front is angular. The grilles themselves are trapezoidal in shape, the lower lip has razor-sharp edges and even the small central opening in the nose has a pointy lower element that echoes the V-shaped front bumper. The Superleggera comes with LED daytime running lights placed within the narrow, vertical headlights that sit in the lower corners of the front fascia. The front-mounted trunk has 3.9 cubic feet of cargo space which is basically the same as its sibling, the Audi R8 but half that of a Ferrari 458 Italia.

From the side, you’ll notice the dark stripes that stretch between the edge of the front wheel wells and the side air vent towards the rear. The dark-tinted stripe features the ’Superleggera’ name in cursive writing as well as a subtle Italian flag along its top edge. Beyond the humongous air vent that opens up with a huge horizontal crease immediately above it, there’s another opening before the front wheel wells that faces towards the back. This is why the front overhangs widen slightly, to make way for some of the air that’s not going towards the brakes to get out.

There are a number of carbon fiber elements around the exterior of the Superleggera including the exterior rear-view mirrors, the added side skirt and, most importantly, the big rear diffuser. Carbon fiber was also employed in the construction the car’s belly and inside.

The diffuser of the Gallardo Superleggera features six vertical strakes that work in tandem with the fixed rear spoiler. The standard spoiler is narrow, not extending all the way to the car’s extremities but, back in 2010, a higher and wider variant was also available as an option. The spoiler is yet another element that’s all carbon fiber. Above the diffuser, there’s a rectangular frame with three slots: two outboard that house the four circular exhaust tips, two on either side and one in the middle for the number plate. The equally rectangular taillights sit in the upper corners of the rear fascia with the rear air intake covering the whole width of the back.

Dimensions

Wheelbase 100.61 inches
Length 172.37 inches
Width 74.67 inches
Height 45.78 inches

Interior

  • To boost the car’s track-oriented persona, the Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera received an overdose of carbon fiber on the inside as well
  • The Stitching of the Alcantara upholstery matches the color of the bodywork
  • Through the Ad Personam program, the customers were able to personalize their Gallardo further by choosing different types of leather, stitching colors, and more
  • New bucket seats found their way inside the Superleggera and they were also available with four-point harnesses
  • Another interesting optional extra was a fire extinguisher that would’ve been placed in the passenger’s footwell
  • A full-on roll-cage was also an option, one that would’ve cut more of the neigh-on inexistent rear visibility

The Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera comes with a sporty interior that’s wrapped in fine Alcantara leather mated with carbon fiber inserts. The door panels are also made out of carbon fiber. What’s more, the cover of the transmission tunnel is also covered in the same lightweight fiber.

By today’s standards, the interior actually looks dated. ’Where’s the infotainment screen?’ you may ask. ’And what’s up with those old-school analog dials?’ Well, this is, you must remember, an 8-year-old car, a car that arrived before connectivity and in-car entertainment became a must even in supercars. Plus, Lamborghini’s aim with this car was to subtract weight, thus cutting some amenities along the way - although a navigation system with a screen was available as an option.

Indeed, behind the leather-and-carbon-wrapped steering wheel with its flattened bottom part, there is an analog odometer and tachometer. You get your warning lights in the middle above the only digital screen that’s inside the car. There are two more, smaller gauges within the main gauge cluster behind the wheel, one for the water and another for the fuel level. Extra gauges are placed on top of the center console within a recessed housing. Below, there are three air vents with tasteless plastic covers that undermine the quality feel inside the car. There are more of these vents on the sides of the dash. The cheap feeling is only compounded when you move towards the bottom of the center console and you find the myriad of plastic buttons that control the A/C. At least the knobs in between that control, among others, the ESP and the lights are nicer-looking.

The car came in standard with Lamborghini’s E-gear semi-automatic transmission which means you only get a set of buttons in the middle, no shifter, as you got flappy paddles behind the wheel. The seats of the Superleggera wrap neatly around you and could be equipped with four-point harnesses at the customer’s request. A full-blown roll-cage was also available as was an onboard fire extinguisher.

Drivetrain

  • The Superleggera came with 10 horsepower more than the standard Gallard LP560-4 for a total of 562 horsepower
  • The engine was the same 5.2-liter uneven-firing V-10 that was introduced with the redesigned Gallardo LP560-4
  • Purpose-made Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires wrapped around the Superleggera’s rims
  • The car’s 154 pounds lighter than a standard Gallardo but this doesn’t make it quite feather-like since Lamborghini decided to keep the AWD system in place
  • The sprint from 0 to 62 mph takes just 3.2 seconds aboard a Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera while the top speed is a spirited 204 mph
  • The Superleggera has 100 horsepower over the 997 GT3 RS but the Porsche was also $90,000 cheaper back in 2010

This ’Raging Bull’ featured the 5.2-liter DOHC, 40-valve, odd-firing V-10. This unit, with its variable intake geometry, put out 562 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 398 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. The engine was placed in plain sight underneath the glassed carbon fiber engine cover, nestled by the aluminum spaceframe of the car. The engine came with an aluminum crankcase and dry sump lubrication.

The power reached all four wheels -with a limited-slip differential at the back - through a 6-speed E-gear semi-automatic transmission, although a 6-speed manual was optional. The E-gear had three operating modes, two of which available in automatic. The "Thrust mode" delivered maximum off-the-line performance and was programmed to manage starting revs of around 5,000 rpm with minimal wheel slip.

The suspension was by aluminum double wishbones at both ends, anti-roll bars being part of the deal as well. Meanwhile, the steering was power-assisted rack and pinion. Behdin those gunmetal-gray 10-spoke rims sat some hefty ventilated disc brakes with aluminum 6-piston calipers up front and 4-piston calipers at the back. The spring rates have been adjusted on this model for track use and the same goes for the dampers.

WIth Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires in place, the Superleggera rushes to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds, 0.6 seconds quicker than the standard Gallardo LP560-4, and has a top speed of 204 mph. 0 to 124 mph is achieved in just 10.2 seconds, 1.6 seconds faster than the LP560-4 which is also 154 pounds heavier. The fixed-back interior seats save the most weight although the forged rims are also 40 pounds lighter.

Chris Harris drove the car back in its day for Evo Magazine and said that "the chassis is sharper, it does change direction better and the motor is supreme," although he reckoned " the Superleggera doesn’t feel like a huge leap over the standard machine on which it is based" which is why his view is that "you’ll need to be an addict to pay the extra [$90,000 over a standard Gallardo]."

Specifications

Engine: 5.2-liter, DOHC, 40-valve, naturally-aspirated, 90-degree, V-10
Output: 562 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 398 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm
Performance: 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds, 0-124 mph in 13.1 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph
Steering: Assisted rack & pinion
Suspension: Aluminium double wishbones front and rear suspension system, front and rear anti-roll bar
Brakes:
Ventilated discs front and rear. Power vacuum, aluminum alloy calipers: 6-piston front calipers and 4-piston rear calipers
Weight: 2,954 pounds

Pricing

As mentioned above, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera - I think I’m getting lost in its long name by now - had a steep MSRP. For the U.S., it was advertised at $237,600 in 2010 which is $275,550 today. That didn’t include the $3,000 destination charge or the added $2,100 or $3,000 gas-guzzler tax. A standard Gallardo in 2009 had an MSRP of $198,000 - talking about the LP560-4, not the less potent LP550-2 that was launched in 2011.

Nowadays, an LP570-4 Superleggera usually sells for around $100,000 less than its original MSRP adjusted for inflation. So you can get a 2010-2013 Superleggera for anywhere between $155,000 and $175,000. It all depends on optional extras, mileage and the general condition of the vehicle. To put into perspective, the price of an Audi R8 GT of the same vintage hovers in the $120,000-$150,000 ballpark while a Vantage V12 S costs anywhere between $130,000 to $180,000.

Competition

Audi R8 GT

The Audi R8 GT was unveiled in 2010 and featured a plethora of aerodynamic upgrades meant to bring it closer to its race-going sibling, the R8 LMS that had debuted in 2009. The R8 GT was powered by the same 5.2-liter V-10 engine but power was increased to 552 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 398 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. Given it was also 220 pounds lighter than the standard Audi R8 V-10 with a curb weight of just 3,362 pounds, the R8 GT reached a top speed of 199 mph and accelerated from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds.

The Audi shared its engine with the Lamborghini Gallardo but the Gallardo always held the upper hand in terms of performance. This can be seen in the case of the R8 GT as well: the Lamborghini reaches 62 mph 0.4 seconds quicker and goes 5 mph quicker while also having 10 extra horsepower. What is more, the Audi is almost 400 pounds heavier

As in the case of the Superleggera, the GT received plenty of exterior modifications. Winglets are placed on the corners of the nose, the rear spoiler, the exterior rear-view mirrors, and the side air vent cover are all covered in carbon fiber. Only 333 R8 GTs were made (in both Coupe and Spyder body styles) and 90 were sold Stateside. It had an MSRP of $240,000 back in 2012 without the addition of other taxes.

Aston-Martin V12 Vantage

Aston-Martin first experimented with a V-12 engine in the rather tight confines of a Vantage with the V12 Vantage RS concept that was exhibited at the 2007 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The production version arrived in 2009 equipped with a modified version of the V-12 that powered the DBS. It was a 6.0-liter naturally-aspirated unit capable of 517 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 420 pound-feet of torque at 5,750 rpm.

With a curb weight of 3,704 pounds, over 700 more than the Superleggera, one can argue there’s little to compare between the two. The V12 Vantage is a more laid-back grand tourer of the classic kind with its engine in front of the driver and 10.6 cubic feet cargo space in the trunk. However, it can still reach 62 mph in 4.2 seconds and 124 mph in 13.8 seconds. It would keep going all the way to 190 mph.

The Vantage S that succeeded it became available in 2013 and boasted 566 horsepower, 457 pound-feet of torque and a top speed of 205 mph. All thanks to a modified version of the AM11 6.0-liter V-12. While the original V12 Vantage came with a 6-speed manual, the S version could only be equipped with the 7-speed Sportshift III semi-automatic transmission.

Conclusion

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera is one of the purest Gallardos ever made, a car destined to be driven - and driven hard! It has the appearance of a car that can go fast and twist your mind in the process which it actually is capable of doing if you take it to a track.

While its sub-600 horsepower output might seem little nowadays when we’re literally being flooded by cars with engines that develop at least 700 horsepower, you have to remember that this car weighs 400 pounds less than the monster Aventador SV. You can also enjoy some good-old analog driving if you manage to find one of the (rather few) examples that have the 6-speed manual.

  • Leave it
    • Still quite expensive in comparison to a Gallardo LP560-4 that’s an awesome car in its own right
    • Performance figures that haven’t aged pretty well in just 8 years
What do you think?
Show Comments

29 comments:

  (488) posted on 02.7.2012

Lamborghini Gallardo has a more desirable look than any other sports car. I like the fact that it is lighter than a standard car and the car engine is pretty awesome.

  (428) posted on 08.11.2011

I thought they will create the Super Veloce Gallardo. Too bad! I’ve been waiting for that time. By the way, in exchange to that VS, I hope this Lamborghini Gallardo LP will be a powerful one. Well, it is a good thing that they are now in focus with the weight of the car.

  (463) posted on 08.10.2011

The car has an impressive styling and performance. Well, it seems that the Gallardo has finally built its final production vehicle and it will be debut in the Frankfurt Motor Show! BTW, I think this is the most loved vehicle in the production of Lamborghini.

  (466) posted on 08.10.2011

What else to say but the speed performance of the car is quite awesome! I would say that this is one of the best production vehicle from the Lamborghini. I really love the sportiness and aggressiveness of the car as well.

  (692) posted on 06.14.2011

I think this production is already outdated for Lamborghini offers a v12 technology on their engine. And it really makes the car more powerful and performs well.

  (474) posted on 06.14.2011

As expected the performance of this car is quite impressive! And I think it has a better figure compare to the Porsche 911. And i bet its torque is just enough to make this car run like a rocket.

  (211) posted on 06.10.2011

The speed specification is outrageous! And 540 Nm for the torque is just enough to make this run like a rocket in the road! I like the sexiness of this car and its awesome aerodynamic package.

  (368) posted on 06.10.2011

The awesome part is that no matter what happen Lamborghini still have an awesome performances!BTW, I think this model is not available anymore.

  (402) posted on 02.15.2011

The most obvious shortcoming, then, is a suspension that leaves you cursing when the winding stuff inevitably finishes and then you’re back on normal roads with normal traffic.

  (528) posted on 02.15.2011

This car would stop even better with a softer suspension, though, and on most corners, it would have more grip, too. At the very least, it would make you less worried, because the bumps would throw you around a lot less mid corner.

  (25) posted on 10.3.2010

it is incredible, they have put so much effort into it. its has an amazing top speed of 325km. The Gallardo is pushing over to a very high standard

  (2) posted on 05.10.2010

original gallardo superleggera was one of fav exhaust notes

  (765) posted on 04.26.2010

I hope someday the Lamborghini can overtake the Ferrari on the road since both have the same horsepower and light weight.

  (780) posted on 04.21.2010

Meet the new improved Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera. The interiors are pretty amazing and cool. My mate told me it weighs around 33 pounds lighter than a Porsche Boxster.

  (708) posted on 04.4.2010

A big no for this one, the color is really disgusting.

  (858) posted on 03.30.2010

Audis and Lambos are s. Even with extensive carbon composite usage, its still at 3500...thats pitiful. Ferraris will out handle these lambos easily.

  (461) posted on 03.18.2010

You call 3153 pounds light? My 2008 Subaru WRX weighs 3147 Pounds and its a STEAL car with 4 wheel drive and 4 doors! It’s not made out of unobtanium aluminum and carbon fiber like this Lamborghini that is more then a foot shorter!

  (442) posted on 03.14.2010

The color is marvelous. Even the exterior design is cool. The concept were nice and its a total classy.

  (702) posted on 03.9.2010

I’m slightly disappointed on its color.

  (647) posted on 03.2.2010

Dang lime green for a super car? well like ferrari they’ve also created a lime green car. I guess the competition are still going on until now.

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