The 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo features a number of mechanical updates, including shortened gear ratios for quicker acceleration and an extra 20 horsepower courtesy of revised intake tuning and a new exhaust. Lamborghini has also revised the suspension tuning, added Pirelli Corsa tires, and quickened the steering for a claimed improvement in handling response and ride quality.The Lamborghini Gallardo serves as this Italian sports-carmaker's most "affordable" product. In years past, this might have been cause for concern. But the Gallardo is the first Lamborghini to fully benefit from the stewardship of Audi/Volkswagen, which purchased Lamborghini in 1998. Audi's mission for the car's development was to keep the style and attitude of V12-powered cars like the Countach, Diablo and Murcielago but make the car much more usable and livable for daily use. Since the Gallardo's debut in 2004, it has been greeted with very positive reviews and strong sales.
The Gallardo packs a midmounted, aluminum V10 engine. Power, which has been upped slightly for 2006, tops out at 520 hp at 8,000 rpm and 376 pound-feet of torque at 4,500. The V10 features an 18-degree offset crankshaft for even firing, continuously variable valve timing, dry-sump oiling and a variable-length induction system. Suspension front and rear is a double-wishbone design, and all that V10 power is fed to the pavement through an all-wheel-drive system that can vary torque front-to-rear as necessary. Beefy Brembo brakes handle the stopping duties, with eight-piston calipers clamping things down up front. The chassis is a mix of alloy stampings, extruded elements and castings. Except for the doors, which are made of steel and swing out conventionally instead of upward scissor-style. The handsome furnishings deftly blend form and function -- the Gallardo's interior looks great and is comfortable to boot.
The 5.0-liter V10 engine positioned amidships develops 520 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Power is fed through a six-speed manual transmission and an all-wheel-drive system. An automated, sequential-shifting manual transmission is also available. Dubbed e-gear, it can be placed in an automatic mode or shifted via steering wheel-mounted paddles. Lamborghini claims a 0 to 100 km/h time of 4 seconds and a top speed of 315 km/h. This year's suspension updates help the car to be a more willing handling partner and the shorter gearing makes one more inclined to rev the V10 to its absolute limit. At full throttle, the V10 produces a sweet soundtrack truly befitting a Lamborghini. With 520 hp on tap, the Gallardo is capable of warp speed from any gear...