"Amor non conosce travaglio": This is an Italian saying which reads "Love never tires" and it couldn't be more true. The Lamborghini Gallardo came to the world back in 2003 and since then, with the help of one ultra-complex facelift (2009) and a sea of special editions, it's been showing a relentless power of seduction that has made about 13,000 people fall to this day, with the number still increasing.
You simply have to hear one on the street and you'll instantly fall in love with it - this has also happened to us a long time ago and we've been trying to be rational ever since, but we recently succumbed to its charms. Now we feel guilty, we're journalists and we should not let such emotions take over, so maybe if we share our Gallardo adventure with you we'll feel better.
Since we took a walk on the wild side, we thought we could at least choose a rebel version of the supercar. Thus, we worked our way to the keys of an LP550-2 Spyder. This is not just an open-top Gallardo, simply choosing that could have had us accused of a middle age crisis, it's also one of the very few rear-wheel drive vehicles Sant'Agata Bolognese released since it was taken over by Ingolstadt. When we realized that the choice actually shattered any remaining doubts about us going through a middle life crisis, it was too late, we were already enjoying the sun in our RWD Lambo, so we threw the prejudice away, kept the pride and floored it.
As the V10's voice climbed higher and higher, a lot of thoughts were going though our heads. Lamborghini was all about rear-wheel drive supercars until 1993 when they built the Diablo VT, their first all-wheel drive speed machine, and when Audi grabbed the wheel in 1998, subsequently releasing the Gallardo as the first project of the new Lamborghini, the Germans made one thing clear: AWD only.
The Raging Bull was cunning and showed a false obedience, but in 2010, after 10,000 4WD units of the Gallardo has been sold, it pulled out a special weapon, Valentino Balboni.
He is the one that manhandled every Lamborghini prototype since 1973 and the Italians opened the Audi head office door, pushed Balboni inside and explained "C'mon, let's built a limited edition of just 250 RWD Gallardos, what harm can that do? We'll call it the LP550-2 Valentino Balboni edition!"
The German executives gave it a thought and finally said "yes", but they didn't know what they were signing up for. The car was a big hit, so Lambo pushed on and released more examples without the famous test driver's name after the limited edition was sold out. Heck, the man even retired meanwhile, but the gates had already been burst and the Bull was Raging now. The next episode in this rear axle story? Our LP550-2 Spyder, of course.
We're not sure that this is how things actually happened, but we can confirm that we are now driving the first rear-wheel drive convertible Lambo since the 1998 Diablo SV roadster and that's all we care about.
You can't even call the LP550-2 absurd, after all it is a Gallardo and Lamborghini hadn't built a car with anything smaller than a V12 for a few decades, so we could actually say that this is a reasonable proposition. Or... could we? Allow us to gently bash your head against the seat by using the Corsa mode of the E-gear transmission to move on in order to find the answer.Continue reading