After ten years of production and more than 13,000 units sold since its initial run, the iconic Lamborghini Gallardo the most popular supercar the prestigious Italian manufacturers have ever made will soon be speeding off into the sunset, as the very last edition is prepared for launch.
In keeping with the explosive way it burst onto the scene a decade ago and the lasting impression it made on everyone who has witnessed it on the road, the Gallardo will not be going quietly. The LP 570-4 Squadra Corse, which makes its debut at the September motor show in Frankfurt, will not just be a footnote to the Gallardo: it will be one of the most exciting versions yet.
2009 saw the release of the Super Trofeo race car. Described as the fastest one-make series in the world, this souped-up, incredibly powerful take on the previous year’s Gallardo LP 560-4 took the supercar industry by storm and reinforced Lamborghini’s reputation for delivering vehicles of increasingly astounding speed and overall performance; according to reports, the LP 570-4 Squadra Corse will essentially be a road edition of this extraordinary model.
Previews suggest that the Squadra Corse will have the same V10 engine as its racing sibling, as well as sharing other specifications such as its massive 5.0-litre engine; four-wheel-drive; a carbon-fibre rear wing; ‘e-gear’ six-speed transmission with controls on the steering wheel, and a quick-release removable engine cover. All this means that the Squadra Corse will pack a punch that even seasoned supercar drivers will find impressive, especially as the integration of aluminium and carbon-fibre elements will help to minimise its weight and therefore optimise its domestic roadworthiness.
Other specs include being able to reach 62mph from standing in just 3.4 seconds, ultra-responsive carbon-ceramic brakes, and a choice of colour schemes and bucket or ‘comfort’ seats. It is thought that this swansong to the Gallardo range, which has been amazing so many drivers and observers for so long, will be priced at around £190,000 – a fair amount, given the esteemed place in prestige car history that the model will hold.
Although production of the Gallardo will be drawing to a close after the Squadra Corse is wound up, there is still much to look forward to from this most respected of supercar marques as we look towards 2014 and beyond. Details of the Gallardo’s replacement series, rumoured to be called ‘Cabrera’, are now starting to emerge, and the buzz being generated is as intense as ever.
Two ‘spy shots’ of a prototype of the Cabrera – which can be seen here – have emerged in the automotive press recently, and the article which accompanies these pictures states that it is likely to be made available as both a roadster and a coupe, and with either rear or four wheel drive. Inspiration for this new model is said to come from the limited edition Sesto Elemento, which debuted in 2010 at the Paris Motor Show to great acclaim and of which just 20 track-only examples were produced.
Similarities to the Sesto Elemento range from the purely aesthetic, like its sharply sloping roof, to performance-based specifications like a 5.2-litre V10 engine. If anything, the Cabrera is expected to be even more powerful than the car it is based on, with a speculated power output of around 600bph, compared to the Sesto Elemento’s 570bph.
Despite all this exciting news, however, the day that we say goodbye to the Gallardo for the last time will undoubtedly be a sad one; a worthy flagship model for 10 successful years, its shape was instantly recognisable and the car was a pleasure to watch accelerating up to mind-blowing speeds of 200mph-plus. The two Top Gear awards it received – Dream Car of the Year in 2006 and Car of the Year in 2009 – are a reminder of the grip the Gallardo held on our imaginations for so long, and the absence of any new, upcoming versions is something that will be sorely missed by all serious supercar fans.
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