Few things look more striking than the 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. With the top down, it’s sports car heaven – open air driving without compromise. So fast, it will restyle your hair from updo to tangle (or in man’s terms, from 0-62 mph) in 4.2 seconds!
By Tara Weingarten
The Big Picture
When I was a kid, I remember my step brother had a poster of a lime-green Lamborghini Countach (pronounced Koon-tah-sh) hanging in his bedroom. “I’m going to drive one of those one day,” he’d always say. Guess what? He became a race car driver and, in fact, drives Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches all over the world. Yay for Cort Wagner! But I didn’t exactly come away unscathed either from all those years staring at that poster. That incredibly exotic Countach obviously had an effect on me, too. Look what I do for a living…I edit VroomGirls!
There’s something about the extreme design of Lamborghini that’s at once mesmerizing, enchanting and just a little bit frightening. Even standing still, it appears as if it could go faster than any driver can handle. And nothing else looks like a Lambo. Certainly not understated, it is completely unforgettable.
I took this crazy-fast sports car up to Mulholland Drive, a winding ribbon of road that hugs the Santa Monica Mountains overlooking Los Angeles. It is not a forgiving road, with seriously sharp corners accented with dips and climbs of elevation. What an ideal spot to see how this Lambo plays. The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder has a center of gravity that is so low, it hugs the road like few others. Just look at it – poised just inches above the pavement, wide and flat. Like a knife slicing through the air. Indeed that’s what it feels like. Swift, with incredibly sharp steering. Just a slight movement on the steering wheel produces enough input to make a turn. And the brakes are blisteringly capable, able to stop the Lambo’s locomotion on command.
The 2013 Gallardo Spyder, also called the LP 550-2, has rear-wheel drive, which gives it an incredible ride feel, loads of power to the back wheels for great handling. Adding to its extraordinary handling is its mid-engine placement (the engine is placed before the back wheels, which puts the majority of weight in the center of the car) making the Gallardo Spyder’s balance nearly even front and back, again helping it to handling predictably and surely in corners.
The Lamborghini folks describe the Gallardo Spyder as having an “exuberant temperament.” I say that’s an understatement. It streaks from a standstill to 62 mph in a chills-inducing 4.2 seconds, and has a top speed of 198 mph, though I’m sure it goes faster than that. Not that I tried. The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder tapped into all of my senses. I felt strong G-forces push my body into the seat, I heard and felt the engine’s elegant rumble, which alone made my heart race, and I saw the landscape blur by me, a mosaic of color but without shape. Truly fantastic.
And forget about the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder being a beast to control. It just looks scary. Indeed, it is a delight, with no particular experience with sports cars needed to drive it well. Of course, anyone who buys a Gallardo Spyder owes it to herself to take a performance driving class or two, just to learn the nuances of getting the most out of a car like this. That said, the Gallardo Spyder feels so well-engineered, it was a confidence-inducing ride. “I’m such a good driver!” kept rolling through my head, as if on a taped loop. Ha, gotta love that.
An Inside Job
Driving the 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder is such a unique experience, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. Did the car have an interior? Just kidding. There are cool, nubby aluminum toggles throughout the cabin to control the windows, the gas tank lid, and the lights. And because Lamborghini is part of the VW Group of cars, which includes Audi and Bentley, there are some shared design elements. The electronic gauge cluster is Audi-esque, with an uber-contemporary colorful animated display and digital readout.
The dashboard is stitched leather and super sleek, with the overall interior in two-tone leather. My tester was elegant and masculine in cream and black. And the soft, grippy perforated-leather steering wheel felt thick and substantial. The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder has a soft top that goes up and down at the touch of a button in just 20 seconds. It disappears into the trunk, making the Gallardo Spyder look so gorgeous and tailored.
Three buttons on the center console control the Gallardo Spyder’s heart. One for “Sport” makes the car’s gears shift later, allowing each gear to reach its maximum power (but also devouring gasoline – so it should only be used for spirited driving when the road calls for it, and not as a default mode – unless you own a gas station.) The “A” stands for automatic, which is self-explanatory. And then there’s “Corso” which is Italian for “Oh My God!” No, actually, it’s for the race course, or for sport-plus driving. If you buy this sweetie of a car, and if you take those performance driving classes, then you owe it to yourself and to the car to take it on the racetrack. And then, you’d hit the “Corso” button, which will tighten the car’s shocks, boost the car’s power and let it slip a bit so as to slide around corners.
Just 250 of the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder will be sold worldwide, so it reeks of exclusivity. Call me crazy but I say it’s the perfect ride to buy as a reward, say, after you sell that internet start up or fashion brand.
This Lambo has excellently engineered ESP, an electronic stability control that intervenes when the system senses you’ve lost control of the car and it’s about to skid or spin. The program is so finely tuned, at the first sign of danger, the ESP will activate and get the car out of trouble. It also has front airbags, and anti-lock brakes. The best safety equipment, however, is between the driver’s ears. Using your best judgement and not driving beyond your capabilities will always be the best bet when it comes to safety.
Sure, it's usually considered a guy's car. But why? Women love Italian design, sporty driving dynamics and a sun-worshiping convertible. C'mon gals, let's show the guys we can rock a shockingly fast exotic, too!
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