This is the precise tack Lamborghini have taken with their latest creation, the 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera.For those readers whose Italian is not quite up to snuff, the key word in the model name is the last one, which translates to “super light.” Of course, the “570” part is also significant—this car boasts 10 more horsepower than the “base” Gallardo LP560-4. But what do all these words and numbers mean?
In March 2010, Lamborghini announced the release of the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, a lightweight and more powerful version of the Gallardo LP 560-4 in the same vein as the previous Superleggera. The extra weight from the unnecessarily verbose badge probably offsets some of the savings wrought through the extensive use of carbonfibre.
Created by removing approximately 100 kg of weight from the Gallardo Coupe, this model looks like a car designed for racetracks brought straight to the road, boasting an unbelievably low power-to-weight ratio and an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. With a more determined, lightweight design, focus on high performance, and an overall purist look, the Gallardo Superleggera.
A loud starter motor wakes the even louder engine. And what an engine – the tweaks might not liberate much more power, but it was hardly lacking before. A bit of chip tuning was all it took to squeeze an additional 10bhp out of the Gallardo’s direct-injection 5.2-litre V10. Total now? 562bhp at 8000rpm, 42bhp up on the old Superleggera, and incidentally the same output as the Ferrari 458 Italia, whose total includes a 5bhp boost thanks to the ram effect of its intakes. The torque output (398lb ft at 6500rpm) is unchanged, but up 22lb ft on its predecessor.
More important are the weight savings. Those seats, other bits of Alcantara and carbonfibre scattered throughout the cabin, plus polycarbonate rear and side windows, and more black stuff used for the engine cover, rear diffuser, front splitter and undertray trim a total of 70kg from the LP560-4’s kerbweight. All in it’s 1340kg, which is damn good for a four-wheel drive V10 supercar
The Superleggera gets suspension changes to make it even sportier, with firmer shock settings and stiffer anti-roll bars. Switching between the transmission modes has no effect on the suspension, which already is about as tied down as you want in a street car. The steering is precise and extremely sensitive, but the trade-off from the suspension modifications is a harsh ride over small undulations. The Superleggera is certainly a sharper weapon than the regular Gallardo, but it’s also almost too much like a racing car on the street.
As in the Gallardo LP560-4, the extra weight of the all-wheel-drive system at the front end makes the Superleggera understeer more than the 458 Italia on corner entry, but as you feed the power in, the central viscous coupling transfers torque to the rear axle, and it’s possible to get the tail out, provided the stability-control system is switched off. Although the Superleggera is quite compact, outward visibility isn’t that great, and we’d recommend ordering the optional rearview camera (it lives under the spoiler), as it’s certainly cheaper than buying a new bumper.