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2009 Lamborghini Gallardo
Original MSRP: $198,000 - $198,000
MPG: 12 City / 20 Hwy
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2009 Lamborghini Gallardo Performance

This performance review was written when the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo was new.

Boasting more horsepower, a revised E-gear transmission and lighter weight, auto writers find that the reworked 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is a force to be reckoned with.

  • "The more craven industrialists and seal-beaters among you may be interested to learn that the LP560-4 also makes more power than last year's car - 552 hp, up from 512 hp - and it also weighs 44 pounds less, thanks mainly to a new transmission that's 66 pounds lighter than the unit in the '08 Gallardo." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "There are expectations to be upheld in the world, and Lamborghini hasn't let us down with this newest iteration of the Gallardo. In our Ultimate Track Test, it ranked first in an unexpected upset over the Dodge Viper ACR. The baby Lamborghini is stepping out from the shadows of the bigger, yet less capable, Murcielago, and showing that it's more than just flashy paint." -- Road and Track
  • "The steering is exact. The power extreme. The braking world class. The gas mileage abysmal if you drive it the way you should drive it -- but I don't see anyone purchasing this car because they want to pinch pennies at the pump." -- Detroit News

Acceleration and Power

Reviewers are floored by the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4's powerful 5.2-liter 10-cylinder engine. It produces 552-horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 398 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. While a six-speed manual transmission is standard, an E-gear transmission featuring paddles on the steering column for manual shifting is optional. According to Lamborghini, the new Gallardo has a top speed of 202 mph. What's more, it can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds and from 0 to 124 mph in 11.8 seconds.

The EPA rates the '09 Gallardo's city/highway fuel-economy at 12/20 mpg with the manual transmission and 14/20 mpg with the automatic.

  • "Lamborghinis are fundamentally about face-flattening speed, and the Gallardo LP560-4 -- the "LP560-4" part has been added to the car's name for '09 -- is even more powerful than Gallardos past." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2009 E-gear is new, and it changes gears by way of a rotational selector instead of a fore/aft movement. This, according to Lamborghini, promises smoother gearchanges that take place 40% more quickly. The 2009 edition of E-gear also has a new, more aggressive 'Corsa' program and a 'Thrust Mode' - otherwise known as Launch Control. In Thrust Mode, the computer takes over, optimizing the launch and shifting so that even your grandmother could achieve a 3.7-second run to 62 mph. (This is 0.3 second quicker than last year's car.) The LP560-4 goes on to beat the 2008 Gallardo by a half second to 200 km/h (124 mph), hitting that mark in only 11.8 seconds. And flat out, the LP560-4 will reach 202 mph (up from a measly195 mph)." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The transformation is remarkable. Acceleration is stunning, with 60 mph coming up in the mid-three-second range. The 30/70 front-to-rear torque split facilitates tail-out trickery, especially with the e-gear automated manual transmission set in "Corsa" mode. The most aggressive of its five new selectable settings, it chops shift times by 40 percent and tells the stability-control system to back off. That said, the Corsa shifts are particularly brutal, so that mode is best left to track duty." -- Car and Driver
  • "Half the fun of driving the new Gallardo is unleashing the violence of full-redline throttle blips. The dual exhaust tips emit a bark that demands attention, and one looks for every opportunity to squeeze the downshift paddle of the e.gear system." -- Road and Track

Handling and Braking

At the level of performance in which the Gallardo LP560-4 competes, it handles astonishingly well.  Though Edmunds finds that its primary competitor, the Ferrari F430, cuts curves better, the Gallardo is hell-on-wheels on straight-aways. The '09 Gallardo has not yet been extensively tested, but for now Automobile Magazine complains of oversteer, as well as torque displacement with its standard four-wheel-drive system.

  • "The stable and balanced driving dynamics never feel out of sorts. There is great joy in pushing the new Gallardo around a track because it doesn't feel abused, but rather hungry for more." -- Road and Track
  • "Steering feel is much improved, but the optional carbon-ceramic brakes take finesse to master." -- Car and Driver
  • "[T]he Gallardo LP560-4 benefits from rear suspension modifications adopted from its Audi R8 platform-mate, which are said to enhance the Gallardo's already otherworldly cornering capabilities.  ... As has long been the case, Ferrari gets the nod over Lamborghini when it comes to tossability and razor's-edge handling. The Gallardo feels most content on straights and in high-speed sweepers, whereas a car like the F430 can slice through tight corners like the proverbial hot knife through butter. At this rarefied level of performance, though, that's really splitting hairs." -- Edmunds
  • "While the '-4' in the name refers to the four driven wheels, very little torque goes to the front - 30 percent, most of the time. That means that the front wheels aren't going to pull you out of trouble. The Gallardo likes to oversteer, as I found occasionally on the track and more spectacularly while turning right from Sahara Boulevard onto the Strip.  ... Perhaps, instead of LP560-4, it should be called LP560-two-and-a-half." -- Automobile Magazine
Review Last Updated: 2/10/10

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