The car is named after a famous breed of fighting bull. The Spanish word gallardo (/ɡaˈʎaɾðo/) translates into "gallant," and from Italian into "striking".
The Gallardo was designed as a competitor to the Ferrari 360, and now competes with its replacement, the Ferrari F430. The Gallardo has a rear-biased all-wheel drive system which differentiates it from its rear-wheel drive competitors. Lamborghini's parent company Audi is renowned for its quattro 4WD system, however Lamborghini uses a system of its own.
The Gallardo offers two choices of transmissions, a conventional (H-Box) six-speed manual transmission, and an advanced six-speed electro-hydraulically controlled 'semi-automatic single-clutch sequential manual', which Lamborghini abbreviates to "E-gear". The "E-gear" allows the driver to make shifts much faster than a manual transmission would. The driver shifts up and down via paddles behind the steering wheel, and does not need to manually actuate the clutch.
For the 2008 model year, an onboard computer, iPod connectivity with USB, heated mirrors, Q-citura stitching that originally could only be found on the Nera model, and a beige soft-top on the Spyder, were added to the Gallardo.
In late 2005, the Gallardo SE (Special Edition) was introduced. The SE is distinguished from the regular Gallardo externally by having a black-roofed two-tone color scheme as well as specially-designed "Callisto" rims shod with Pirelli tires. Note that the Gallardo SE could only be ordered in a very small selection of exterior colors: two grey shades as well as white (Balloon white), yellow (Giallo Midas), Orange (Arancio Borealis) and green (Verde Ithaca)
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The Gallardo SE comes with a two-tone interior. All piping and stitching on the ultra-quality leather are executed in the same color as the bodywork of the car. The mid sections of the seats are finished in color-coded upholstery and even the black floormats have a color coded borders.
A rear-view camera is also standard issue on the Gallardo SE, as is a multimedia system and a navigation system. The sport suspension and an exclusive cover also came with the car but there are still several other options available, like the E-gear, which featured a 'thrust' mode to offer even more impressive acceleration by improving the gearchange through the different gears.
This "thrust" mode automatically revs the car to 5,000 rpm, drops the clutch engaging all four wheels in a controlled burnout, and ensures the car performs maximum acceleration. This "launch" only requires the driver to engage the "thrust" mode and step on the gas pedal, similar to the launch technology in pre-2008 Formula 1 race cars.
The Gallardo Nera (Special Edition) was introduced at the Paris Motor Show. The Nera has a top speed of 315 km/h (196 mph), and it accelerates to in 3.9 seconds, as the engine and drivetrain are identical to the standard Gallardo. The car is meant to showcase the customization options available to the customer in the Ad Personam program. The Nera features special matte black body panels, and is only available in black -- actually a combination of Nero Serapis and Nero Noctis. Brake calipers are painted a special silver, and the taillights are smoked to match the darker paint scheme. The interior is stiched from high-contrast black and white leather in the Q-Citura (lozenge shaped) fashion. Only 185 units of the Gallardo Nera were produced and 60 were destined for the American market. Note that the glass engine cover remained an option, even on the Nera.
The intake, exhaust and ECU have been upgraded to release an extra for a total of 530 hp (395 kW). The lightening and extra power result in a 0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds, 0.1 seconds faster than the base Gallardo. The 6-speed e-gear transmission, usually a US$ 10,000 option, now comes as a standard. The full price for a Superleggera with everything on it runs for over $200,000. Lamborghini began offering the Gallardo Superleggera in June 2007. In March 2008, Lamborghini announced that they had ceased production of the Gallardo Superleggera.The use of the 'Superleggera' brand was effectuated in agreement with Zeta Europe BV, which acquired the trademark from Carrozzeria Marazzi in 2006.
The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 was revealed at the 2008 Geneva Auto Show. It is powered by a new 5.2L V10 with FSI direct injection, generating and of torque. The engine is heavily based on the new Audi RS6 V10. Unlike the precedent engine, this engine no longer has split crankpins, so it is not even firing, but Lamborghini says that due to the stiffer crankshaft it has less vibrations than the previous engine. Also, a revised transmission and four wheel drive system as well as a weight loss are expected. The 4 at the end of the name refers to the Gallardo's permanent four-wheel-drive system. It also incorporates a new front bumper heavily influenced by the Lamborghini Reventón. Pricing of the Gallardo LP560-4 will start at around US$222,000.
|2004, 2005||SE, Nera and 2006-2008||Superleggera||LP560-4|
|Top speed||309 km/h (193 mph)||314 km/h (195 mph)||315 km/h (196 mph)||325 km/h (203 mph)|
|0 to 100 km/h (60 mph)||4.1 s||4.0 s||3.8 s||3.5 s|
|0 to 200 km/h (124 mph)||14.5 s||N/A||12.5 s||11.8 s|
|1/4 mile||12.4 s @||N/A||11.7 s @||11.4 s|
|Displacement||5000 cc||5200 cc|
In December 2004, two Gallardos were donated to the Italian police in honor of the force's 152nd anniversary, one came from Automobili Lamborghini SpA while a second was donated by an independent organization.
The Gallardo Police Cars are used by the traffic police (Polizia Stradale) during emergencies and alarm situations on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria highway, also under the powers of the special safety operative which is already being employed along that tract of highway and above all, for the transport of body organs destined for transplantation.
Yellow Gallardos have been "temporary" police cars for the Metropolitan Police in London, one in 2005 and one in 2006, for specific publicity events. The 2006 vehicle was seen at the start of the 2006 Gumball Rally. Both vehicles were lent by Lamborghini London and were fitted with yellow and blue Battenburg markings, police logos and a small blue lightbar.