2013 Lamborghini Gallardo review

* Face-lifted version of baby Lamborghini * 552bhp from 5.2-litre V10 engine * E-gear model costs 155,280...

2013 Lamborghini Gallardo review

The Lamborghini Gallardo is the four-wheeled equivalent of an ageing rock star. Its 10 years old now, and its had a few lifts to smooth the wrinkles, but people still wave and point cameras as it passes, it can still make a proper noise when it wants to, and it makes (most of) the right moves when you ask it to.

In a world of ever-smoother and more sophisticated young upstarts such as the Ferrari 458 Italia and McLaren MP4-12C, the Lamborghini Gallardo is growing old disgracefully.

Whats the 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo like to drive?
The Lamborghini Gallardo is one of lifes performers not only in empirical terms, but also in a look at me way. From the moment you turn the key the show begins with a blaring idle from the 552bhp 5.2-litre V10. Pull the right-hand paddle, tickle the throttle and the show is on the road.

Very quickly you realise that the Gallardo is a very quick machine indeed. The dash to 62mph passes in just 3.7 seconds, and the top speed is a couple of miles an hour the far side of the double ton. The Gallardo most certainly has not lost its mojo.

Traction from the four-wheel-drive system is strong, and if you manage to find the limits of grip on the road youll end up in either hospital or prison. Probably for a long time. The semi-auto e-gear transmission isnt a patch on modern double-clutch gearboxes, because the Gallardo cuts the power every time it changes cogs, giving your progress a decidedly lurchy feel. Even in manual mode its simply too slow.

Another slight problem is that the Gallardo is a bit on the portly side, and doesnt like changing direction in a hurry. Its fine turning into a corner, but if the next twist makes you turn the other way in a hurry, the Gallardo feels just slightly lethargic. This is where it shows its age over hyper-nimble rivals such as the Ferrari.

The Gallardos suspension does a great job of keeping the cars mass moving in the right direction, but there is a down side; the ride is utterly, unremittingly hard. Its so firm, especially in town, that you actively end up looking to avoid bumps and ripples, which makes your progress a little like that of a slalom skier at times.

Whats the 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo like inside?
Much of the interior switchgear is the same as that in some Audis. Unfortunately, those Audis have been housed in a museum for some years now.

The dials are tricky to read at a glance, the centre console looks old, and the infotainment system seems like it was designed at around the same time as the original Playstation.

There isnt much space for your feet either, and the inside of the front wheelarch forces you to sit slightly skewed towards the centre of the car. Still, theres a decent amount of headroom and the seats are properly supportive, whether youre crawling in town or hooning round a track.

The view out is also typical old-school supercar you can see whats in front and to the side, but reverse parking requires judicious use of The Force because the rearward view is somewhat compromised.

Should I buy one?
We can understand why you would. The Lamborghini Gallardo makes every journey into a fun event. It shouts, it waves its arms, and it loves to be the centre of attention. Its also a (relative) bargain compared with its two main rivals.

However, it is starting to feel decidedly long in the tooth, both in the way it drives and in its old-style interior. We cant help feeling that its time for the Gallardos farewell tour.

What Car? says

Ferrari 458 Italia
McLaren MP4-12C

Read the full Lamborghini Gallardo review >>

Engine size 5.2 V10 petrol
Price from 155,280
Power 552bhp
Torque 398lb ft
0-62mph 3.7sec
Top speed 202mph
Fuel economy 19.2mpg
CO2 g/km 351g/km

By Euan Doig