Lightness. It’s one half of the performance equation. The other is power. And with 70kg taken out of its body and an extra 10bhp squeezed from its V10 engine, the Lamborghini LP570-4 Supperleggera is the leanest and meanest Gallardo yet.
Standing there in alien green paint, it’s a real head-turner, even by Lamborghini standards. There’s carbon fibre everywhere: the sills, wing and diffuser are all made out of the stuff. With no inner door skins – the door is easier to fling open, and you close it with a little strap instead of heavier handle – you’re greeted by carbon racing seats complete with four-point harnesses. As a result the car weighs in at an impressive 1,340kg which, importantly, is less than a Ferrari 458 Italia.
So that’s the lightness dealt with. But what about the power? Turn the key and the 5.2-litre engine barks into life with added ferocity thanks to a new sports exhaust. Put the paddleshift gearbox into race mode, select first and then floor the throttle. For a split second there’s a brief pause as the transmission figures out exactly what to do with 562bhp. Then you’re off.
In an instant you’re shot forward and fumbling for second. It engages with a bang. Compared to the seamless shifts from the dual clutch systems in Porsches and Ferraris, it feels very brutal – but somehow though, this adds to the Lambo’s charm.
Whatever the conditions, the engine is very flexible, capable of pulling strongly from low revs and screaming to the redline. The 0-62mph benchmark takes just 3.4 seconds – that’s 0.3 of a second quicker than in the LP560-4. Top speed, however, is the same 202mph. And, ultimately, that begs the question as to whether at £180,136 the Superleggera is really worth the extra £25,000 it costs over the normal Gallardo.
Well, handling, braking and acceleration are all amazing. Conceived for the track, the Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres are designed to maximise grip in every direction. And in the dry they are incredible. Wth 70kg less to transport, Superleggera feels much more immediate than the regular car – there’s little or no suspension travel, just a direct connection with the road surface, which you feel through your hands, seat and feet. The six-pot caliper brakes are incredible too.
Despite its track focus, the Superleggera still comes with air-con and is even available with satnav. In fact, on a smooth road it’s great fun. On bumpy, rutted tarmac the stiffness of the suspension will have owners slowing down to avoid back pain, though.
So who is going to buy a Superleggera? Simple. Those who think a regular LP560-4 is just not enough. The Supperleggera - it’s for the Gallardo owner who never wants to be upstaged.
Rival: Porsche 911 GT2 RS
The most extreme 911 is the closest thing to a race car for the road you can get. Essentially a lightweight, more powerful rear-wheel drive version of the Turbo, it’s a mighty driver’s car. With 620bhp thrusting it from 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 205mph, the £164,107, it delivers pulse-quickening thrills at whatever speed you’re traveling.
* Price: £180,136
* Engine: 5.2-litre V10, 562hp
* Transmission: Six-speed semi-automatic gearbox, four-wheel drive
* Top speed: 202mph
* 0-62mph: 3.4 seconds
* Econ: 19.6mpg
* CO2: 319g/km
* Equipment: Air-con, uprated brakes, carbon racing seats, lightweight 19-inch alloy wheel, sports exhaust
* On sale: Now