Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder (2012) unveiled

Published: 22 November 2011

As predicted earlier by CAR, here is the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder – essentially an open-top Balboni.

It’s a rear-wheel drive Gallardo roadster and will cost £158,797.60 in the UK. We love that 60 pence bit of the price tag!

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder: the lowdown

This is an entry-level Gallardo, and therefore the cheapest open-top Lambo on sale. It's around £4000 less than the 560-4 Spyder.

Those numbers are the giveaway: it has 550 horsepower – let’s call that a nice round 543bhp – and it’s two/rear-wheel drive. Not forgetting the LP bit: longitudinale/posteriore, for a mid-mounted longitudinal engine in front of the rear axle.

Sant’Agata has redeveloped the ESP stability control, retuned the dampers and altered the aero balance to cope with the Gallardo’s rear-wheel drive set-up.

There’s also a 45% locking rear differential and a different Corsa setting on the electronic safety systems, allowing ‘larger drift angles’.

End result? The LP 550-2 Spyder sprints to 62mph in just 4.2 seconds and your rug might be a little tussled if you close in on the claimed 198mph top speed. That performance is boosted by the loss of four-wheel drive, bringing dry kerb weight down to 1520kg.

The Lambo boss on the rear-wheel drive Gallardo Spyder

‘With the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder, we are expanding the Lamborghini line-up with a purist model that adds yet another dimension of driving fun,’ said Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini.

‘This will appeal in particular to a very special group of customers that enjoy a spirited driving style and also like to experience the sheer pleasure of open- air driving. This special model with rear-wheel drive is a logical expansion of our line-up of spyder models with all-wheel drive.’

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet