Lamborghini Gallardo LP-550-2 Valentino Balboni

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What’s going on lately? All sorts of cars are appearing with nose to rump stripes of various colours and iterations. Is this a cheap way of creating some glitz and media coverage for the price of a pot of paint? Or is there a genuine fashion thing going on? We haven’t seen the like since BMW’s Mini waved the union jack on it’s roof or chequered it. Smart gave us some funky designs for a while before going all mainstream with it’s panels. Even the humble Fiat 500 sports special stripes.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 500-2 Valentino Balboni

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 500-2 Valentino Balboni

OK so this hot Lambo is endorsed and refined by Lamborghini’s longtime test driver Valentino Balboni, but is this just marketing spin? Judge for yourself. We certainly can’t resist any excuse to flaunt some drop dead goregeous pix on our yellowwheels pages.
But wait: look beyond the paintwork, and be prepared to gasp!

Where’s the 4-wheel drive gone? This is the only Gallardo to transmit it’s V10 fury to the tarmac via two rear tyres! Driving character and driftability are the reasons. “A Lamborghini must always combine the precision of a race car with the reliability of a good friend”, says Balboni. He should know; he just retired after 40 years as Lambo test driver, and this model honours that achievement. Only 250 of these special models will be made. Look also at the model number 550-2 = 548? No = 550 horses and two-wheel-drive.

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From Lamborghini:
In order to shape this unique character that combines driving fun and safety, the engineers at Sant’Agata Bolognese have incorporated extensive modifications into the LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni. It was not simply a question of moving the transmission to the rear axle, the vehicle had to be adjusted and tuned in every element of its driving dynamics. This includes springs, dampers, stabilisers and even the tyres. The aerodynamics were also adjusted to take account of the change to the power flow.

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The rear axle differential, with a 45 percent limited slip, was also redeveloped, as was the calibration of the e-gear transmission. One significant point was the adjustments made to the ESP system. While the standard program is focused on high stability, the CORSA program permits greater drift angles, thus enabling drivers to enjoy the dynamics of the LP 550-2 to their full extent.

Adjustments have also been made to the very heart of the Gallardo, the 5.2 litre ten-cylinder: the perfect synthesis of hi-revving pleasure, pulling power, a constantly exuberant temperament and a powerful symphony played in all keys. In the Valentino Balboni, the compact and lightweight power unit generates 405 kW (550 hp). At a dry weight of only 1,380 kilograms, this guarantees outstanding performance: the LP 550-2 is catapulted from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62mph) in a breathtaking 3.9 seconds, while the top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph) guarantees its place among the ultimate in super sports cars.

prices: Europe: 162.000 € UK: 137.900 £ USA: 219.800 $ + taxes

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