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Lightweight: Exotic materials helped shed 100kg for Superleggera.

Order books open as ‘Super’ Gallardo stuns Geneva

7 Mar 2007

LAMBORGHINI Australia has ordered eight examples of the ultra-light Gallardo Superleggera, which was unveiled to the world last night (Australian time) at the Geneva motor show.

The Superleggera is the fastest version of the Gallardo ever built and will arrive in Australia in May with a price tag of around $450,000.

Even rarer on Australian roads will be the Gallardo Nera, which is on show for the first time in this country at the Melbourne International Motor Show.

Only 185 examples of the car are being built and only two of them are coming here, priced at $444,000. One has already been sold to an anonymous local collector who takes one of almost every Lamborghini model sold here. One-third of Nera production has been earmarked for the US.

Powered by the same 382kW 5.0-litre V10 as the standard Gallardo, the Nera is essentially a styling exercise, with eye-catching paintwork that includes matt black paintwork on the side mirrors, rear spoiler, rear body panels, roof, front guards and door sills, set off by matt black wheels.

The new Superleggera (which means "lightweight" in Italian) gets a small boost in power to 395kW at 8000rpm, but is some 100kg lighter than the standard Gallardo, resulting in a 0.2-second reduction in the 0-100km/h sprint time to 3.8 seconds. It retains AWD for traction, despite the obvious weight penalty.

Lamborghini achieved its 100kg target weight reduction by using carbon-fibre extensively – including the rear underbody, door panels, central tunnel covering, the seats and even the rear wing mirrors – while certain glass surfaces were replaced with polycarbonate. The Superleggera is one of the first cars in the world to be homologated with a four-point racing-style harness.

If you are lucky enough to consider purchasing one of the eight Superleggeras coming to Australia, you can choose from four body colours – yellow, orange, grey and black. Lamborghini sales have been increasing rapidly in the last three years. In 2006, Lamborghini sold 38 cars here and spokesman Andrew Smith said the target for 2007 was between 45 and 50 cars.

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