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Geneva show: Lambo gives Gallardo the LP treatment

More power, less weight: LP560-4 coupe jets to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds.

Lamborghini's smallest model borrows RS6 power for the wicked new Gallardo LP560-4

7 Mar 2008

LAMBORGHINI has unleashed a faster, more powerful and lighter version of its entry-level Gallardo super-coupe at this week's Geneva motor show.

Called the Gallardo LP560-4, it looks similar to the existing model, but carries subtle revisions to the headlights and front bumpers, as well as new tail-lights, a new rear fascia and a more prominent rear air-diffuser.

While the external changes are mild, a lot of work has been done under the skin.

There is a new engine to drive its permanent four-wheel drive system, an upgraded gearbox and new suspension.

As seen in Audi's RS6, the new 5.2-litre V10 now has FSI direct-injection from its Volkswagen Group parent, and pumps out 29kW more power for a whopping total of 412kW (or 560hp, which explains the name) and 540Nm of torque.

51 center imageFor the record, the "4" in the LP560-4 name indicates that all four wheels receive power. Lamborghini says the LP560-4’s engine is completely new and that the only thing it shares with its 5.0-litre predecessor is the number of cylinders.

Adding direct-injection technology was central to boosting power and reducing fuel consumption, as well as reducing knock sensitivity and enabling the high compression ratio of 12.5:1.

The cylinder-heads have been optimised for the new injection set-up and the variable valve control system on all four camshafts improves charge efficiency across the entire engine speed range.

Maximum power is delivered at 8000rpm, while the maximum torque comes in at 6500rpm. Weight-saving revisions have also been made, including a new aluminum alloy crankcase, while the block no longer needs cylinder liners due to a new production process that sees the alloy exposed to hard silicone crystals. The engine is still a 90 degree V-design. While Lamborghini customers are not traditionally concerned with the cost of fuelling their supercars, the Gallardo’s fuel consumption has been cut by 18 per cent to 13.7L/100km on a combined city/highway cycle.

Numbers that are far more important to most Lamborghini owners and fans are the sprint times.

The LP560-4 can blast from 0-100km/h in an eyeball-popping 3.7 seconds and it only takes 11.8 seconds to hit 200km/h. Top speed is 325km/h.

This is aided by the fact Lamborghini engineers also managed to shave 20kg off the kerb weight of the little Lambo, which now weighs just 1410kg.

Lamborghini has also upgraded the automated E-gear manual transmission, which had been criticised for being too slow.

The revised transmission is lighter and changes gears 40 per cent quicker in “Corsa” (race) mode.

The new Gallardo continues with the same Viscous Traction (VT) AWD system.

Its brakes have been improved with a new Brembo set-up that includes eight-piston callipers at the front gripping 365mm discs, while at the rear four-piston callipers grab 356mm discs.

For ultimate braking performance in race conditions, Lamborghini offers the LP 560-4 with optional carbon-ceramic discs.

Styling revisions are numerous, with Lamborghini also improving the aerodynamic efficiency of the underside of the car.

At the front, there are new LED daytime running lights, consisting of 15 diodes arranged in a Y-shape, which are integrated beneath the bi-Xenon headlights.

A similar shape made from LED lights also appears in the rear tail-lights.

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