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Rear-drive Gallardo slips under $400K

Toro trimmed: Lamborghini's rear-wheel-drive Gallardo can hit 320km/h and 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds.

Lamborghini announces a sub-$400,000 price for its rear-drive Gallardo LP550-2

31 May 2010

IT EMERGED last July as the only current Lamborghini model to drive its rear wheels, and now the ‘house of the raging bull’ has confirmed that the Gallardo LP550-2 will arrive in Australian showrooms in June as the only Lamborghini model to be priced under $400,000.

The Gallardo LP550-2 was first seen last year as a limited-edition model bearing the name of Lamborghini’s now-retired test driver Valentino Balboni – eight of which were earmarked for Australia from a total global production run of 250 vehicles.

Now Lamborghini Australia has announced a price of $399,000 plus on-road costs for the standard LP550-2 version of the Italian supercar maker’s most successful model, making it the new entry-level model for the brand.

Just 20 examples of the LP550-2 will be released Down Under, where it will undercut both Lamborghini’s own more powerful, all-wheel-drive Gallardo LP560-4 ($475,000) and Ferrari’s upcoming new 458 Italia, which will carry a much higher pricetag here of $526,950.

Lamborghini Australia managing director Andrew Smith said the release of the Gallardo LP550-2 signalled new and exciting times for Lamborghini.

“In Australia, the vehicle will retail for $399,000 making it an extremely competitive addition to the market,” he said.

“It presents an excellent opportunity for buyers and with only 20 units allocated to Australia we expect them to go very quickly.”

51 center imageTen exterior paint colours and an array of optional extras will be available for the LP550-2, which is powered by a less powerful 405kW (550hp) version of the (AWD) Gallardo LP560-4 coupe’s 412kW/540Nm 5.2-litre V10. However, the LP550-2 still improves on the 382kW/510Nm outputs of the standard Gallardo’s 5.0-litre V10.

Apart from featuring a rear-mounted transmission and a significantly lower dry weight of 1380kg, the LP550-2 features a host of spring, damper, anti-roll bar, tyre and even aerodynamic changes to ensure that “controlled oversteer is no problem – making the Gallardo LP550-2 an exceptionally safe sports car to drive”.

As we’ve reported, the LP550-2 also comes with a redeveloped rear differential with 45 per cent limited slip, revised e-gear transmission calibration and retuned electronic stability control system.

The latter comprises a ‘Corsa’ setting with a higher intervention threshold that “permits greater drift angles, thus enabling drivers to enjoy the dynamics of the LP550-2 to their full extent”.

Lamborghini’s new entry-level model still has a top speed of 320km/h and accelerates to 100km/h in a claimed 3.9 seconds – two-tenths slower than the Gallardo LP560-4.

Ferrari says its new (rear-drive) 458, which also weighs 1380kg, can sprint to 100km/h in just 3.4 seconds – the same pace Porsche claims for its latest (AWD) 911 Turbo ($360,100), in which we’ve hit 100km/h in just 3.2 seconds.

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