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Gallardo: The long goodbye

  • One Lamborghini, a decade of faces

    The end is nigh for the Lamborghini Gallardo. The bestial, all-wheel-drive, 10-cylinder machine that helped create the archetype of the livable, everyday supercar, will soon be replaced after a decade-long run. The “entry-level” Lamborghini, which launched as a coupe and was accompanied by a Spyder counterpart, was known by many guises, whether as a totem of success in rap videos or as a police squad car. At the Frankfurt motor show, the Gallardo’s successor – rumoured to be called Cabrera – is expected to bow, signalling a new chapter for the macchinisti of Sant’Agata, Italy.

    To maintain interest a fundamentally unchanged car over its 10-year lifespan, Lamborghini kept the faithful on their toes by offering special editions, which expanded the car’s portfolios of power, performance and visual presence (not to mention giving Lamborghini license to extract a few extra thousand euros from aficionados).

    Here, then, on the eve of the Gallardo’s demise, is a visual history of the limited-edition bulls that have come to occupy valuable garage space over the past 10 years. (All photos: Lamborghini)

  • 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo SE

    The premiere special-edition Gallardo was essentially the base car with an appearance package. The car could be configured in any of six colours, against a contrasting black roof, engine cover, spoilers and mirrors, with interior trim to match the exterior hues. The base car’s V10 engine had been tuned for 20extra horsepower for the 2006 model year, also bringing shorter gear ratios and a marginally higher top speed.

    Price when new: $193,370; number produced: 250

  • 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo SE

    The premiere special-edition Gallardo was essentially the base car with an appearance package. The car could be configured in any of six colours, against a contrasting black roof, engine cover, spoilers and mirrors, with interior trim to match the exterior hues. The base car’s V10 engine had been tuned for 20extra horsepower for the 2006 model year, also bringing shorter gear ratios and a marginally higher top speed.

    Price when new: $193,370; number produced: 250

  • 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Nera

    Like the SE, the Gallardo Nera brought no additional upgrades to the Gallardo’s mechanical bits, but the limited-edition bull was clearly designed to satisfy the sybarite with a dark streak. Black – and not just any black, but nero serapis or nero noctis – paint was complemented by mirrors, spoilers and other body elements with a matte finish. Inside, a black-and-white interior was enlivened and made more decadent by diamond-pattern leather upholstery.

    Price when new: $196,000; number produced: 185

  • 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Nera

    Like the SE, the Gallardo Nera brought no additional upgrades to the Gallardo’s mechanical bits, but the limited-edition bull was clearly designed to satisfy the sybarite with a dark streak. Black – and not just any black, but nero serapis or nero noctis – paint was complemented by mirrors, spoilers and other body elements with a matte finish. Inside, a black-and-white interior was enlivened and made more decadent by diamond-pattern leather upholstery.

    Price when new: $196,000; number produced: 185

  • 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni

    The Balboni was conceived as a debt of gratitude paid to Lamborghini’s renowned test driver, for whom it was named. The only rear-wheel-drive Gallardo, the LP 550-2 Balboni received performance upgrades to satisfy the strict likings of the company’s harshest critic, including a 30hp bump and a crash diet to reduce weight. Each model also featured Balboni’s signature below the left side window, in addition to a series-production number plate.

    Price when new: $219,800; number produced: 250

  • 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni

    The Balboni was conceived as a debt of gratitude paid to Lamborghini’s renowned test driver, for whom it was named. The only rear-wheel-drive Gallardo, the LP 550-2 Balboni received performance upgrades to satisfy the strict likings of the company’s harshest critic, including a 30hp bump and a crash diet to reduce weight. Each model also featured Balboni’s signature below the left side window, in addition to a series-production number plate.

    Price when new: $219,800; number produced: 250

  • 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Blancpain Edition

    Theo Blancpain was conceived as a homage to Lamborghini’s success in racing. This model was also a marketing tie-up with watchmaker Blancpain, and sported menacing exterior accouterments to match. While not a full-blown racing car for the streets, the LP 570-4 Blancpain featured an engine kicked up to 570hp – the same level as the Gallardos competing in the one-model Gallardo Blancpain Super Trofeo race series, as well as matching output of the lightweight Gallardo Superleggera street model. The Blancpain was more than 150lbs lighter than stock, as well as the first factory Gallardo to creep close to the $300,000 mark.

    Price when new: $283,650; number produced: 12

  • 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Blancpain Edition

    Theo Blancpain was conceived as a homage to Lamborghini’s success in racing. This model was also a marketing tie-up with watchmaker Blancpain, and sported menacing exterior accouterments to match. While not a full-blown racing car for the streets, the LP 570-4 Blancpain featured an engine kicked up to 570hp – the same level as the Gallardos competing in the one-model Gallardo Blancpain Super Trofeo race series, as well as matching output of the lightweight Gallardo Superleggera street model. The Blancpain was more than 150lbs lighter than stock, as well as the first factory Gallardo to creep close to the $300,000 mark.

    Price when new: $283,650; number produced: 12

  • 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante

    The same year it re-introduced the term “superleggera” into the Lamborghini-fan hive mind, the brand hit with the Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante, a soft-top variant of the LP 570-4 Superleggera coupe. Like a boxer dropping a weight division, the LP 570-4 Spyder Performante lost 143lbs in the name of performance, compared to an unmodified 570-4 Spyder, thanks to increased use of carbon fibre.

    Price when new: $248,000; number produced: N/A

  • 2010 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante

    The same year it re-introduced the term “superleggera” into the Lamborghini-fan hive mind, the brand hit with the Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante, a soft-top variant of the LP 570-4 Superleggera coupe. Like a boxer dropping a weight division, the LP 570-4 Spyder Performante lost 143lbs in the name of performance, compared to an unmodified 570-4 Spyder, thanks to increased use of carbon fibre.

    Price when new: $248,000; number produced: N/A

  • 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Bicolore

    Lamborghini’s North American fans were disheartened that the two-tone, 2011 Gallardo LP 560-4 Bicolore was not intended for sale outside of Europe and Asia. To mollify the faithful, Lamborghini exported a second Bicolore model, the LP 550-2, to the United States. Underneath its contrasting paint job, the 542hp LP 550-2 was a reskinned version of the limited-edition Balboni, and the only other Gallardo to be made available with rear-wheel drive. In a related case of forbidden fruit, Lamborghini later produced the LP 560-4 Tricolore: produced to celebrate 150 years of a unified (red, white and green) Italy.

    Price when new: $196,995; number produced: N/A

  • 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Bicolore

    Lamborghini’s North American fans were disheartened that the two-tone, 2011 Gallardo LP 560-4 Bicolore was not intended for sale outside of Europe and Asia. To mollify the faithful, Lamborghini exported a second Bicolore model, the LP 550-2, to the United States. Underneath its contrasting paint job, the 542hp LP 550-2 was a reskinned version of the limited-edition Balboni, and the only other Gallardo to be made available with rear-wheel drive. In a related case of forbidden fruit, Lamborghini later produced the LP 560-4 Tricolore: produced to celebrate 150 years of a unified (red, white and green) Italy.

    Price when new: $196,995; number produced: N/A

  • 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale

    Adhering to the mantra that there can never be too much of a good thing, the product planners in Sant’Agata sought again to capitalise on the success of the LP 570-4 Blancpain while making it more widely available. Offered in red, grey or white, the LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale also featured a carbon-fibre hood and massive rear spoiler that helped distinguish it from lesser Gallardi.

    Price when new: $256,300; number produced: 150

  • 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale

    Adhering to the mantra that there can never be too much of a good thing, the product planners in Sant’Agata sought again to capitalise on the success of the LP 570-4 Blancpain while making it more widely available. Offered in red, grey or white, the LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale also featured a carbon-fibre hood and massive rear spoiler that helped distinguish it from lesser Gallardi.

    Price when new: $256,300; number produced: 150

  • 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-2 50th Anniversario

    As a margin note to the introduction of the Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 50th Anniversario, which commemorated the Italian automaker’s golden jubilee, the company also announced a special Gallardo, to boot. While details on the Gallardo LP 560-2 50th Anniversario remain scarce even four months after its official debut at the 2013 Shanghai motor show, , the stripped-out, white LP 560-2 has the honour (or shame) of being the last Lamborghini to be available with a 6-speed gated manual transmission.

    Price when new: N/A; number produced: N/A

  • 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-2 50th Anniversario

    As a margin note to the introduction of the Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 50th Anniversario, which commemorated the Italian automaker’s golden jubilee, the company also announced a special Gallardo, to boot. While details on the Gallardo LP 560-2 50th Anniversario remain scarce even four months after its official debut at the 2013 Shanghai motor show, , the stripped-out, white LP 560-2 has the honour (or shame) of being the last Lamborghini to be available with a 6-speed gated manual transmission.

    Price when new: N/A; number produced: N/A

  • 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse

    The ultimate, limited-edition Gallardo, as the model nears the end of its run, is set to bow at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show in early September. The LP 570-4 Squadra Corse improves upon the two racing-biased, limited-run models that preceded it, with standard carbon ceramic brakes, but is neither substantially faster nor different in most ways. Those realities, however, will matter little to the 50 Lamborghini cognoscenti who snap these models up – likely before the name “Cabrera” is uttered in any official capacity.

    Price when new: $259,100; number produced: 50

  • 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse

    The ultimate, limited-edition Gallardo, as the model nears the end of its run, is set to bow at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show in early September. The LP 570-4 Squadra Corse improves upon the two racing-biased, limited-run models that preceded it, with standard carbon ceramic brakes, but is neither substantially faster nor different in most ways. Those realities, however, will matter little to the 50 Lamborghini cognoscenti who snap these models up – likely before the name “Cabrera” is uttered in any official capacity.

    Price when new: $259,100; number produced: 50