This is the (deep breath) Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante. Think of it as a drop-top version of the Gallardo Superleggera, with the same weight-saving measures and the same 562bhp V10 engine. And with the Murcielago now dead, it’s the most expensive Lamborghini currently on sale. Read on for CAR’s first drive review of the new Lamborghini Performante.
How do you turn a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera into a Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante?
Cut the roof off and reinforce it, for a start. The basis for the Performante is the LP560-4 Spyder, which is a hefty 140kg heavier than the equivalent coupe thanks to lots of stiffening around the sills and floor. Add (or rather subtract) the Superleggera weight savings and you end with a Performante that weighs 1485kg, 145kg more than the Superleggera, and still 75kg more the a normal Gallardo coupe, but 65kg less than its lesser Spyder sibling. Thank carbonfibre, which is used for the side sills, diffuser, rear spoiler, door mirror casings, parts of the flat underbody, the huge rear clamshell engine cover, the transmission tunnel cover, the door panels, and the shells of the manually adjustable sports seats.
A set of lightweight 19in alloys save another 13kg, and Alcantara trims helps trims yet more kilos; the only Superleggera savings the Performante doesn’t benefit from are the polycarbonate rear and side windows. The engine, thanks to ECU tweaks, receives an extra 10bhp, taking the total to 562bhp at 8000rpm. And the weight savings mean the Performante is one-tenth quicker to 62mph, 3g/km cleaner, and 0.6mpg more efficient.
Why are we worrying about fuel economy on a supercar?
We’re not. So let’s get on with how the Performante drives, which is wonderfully. Okay, around town it’s not absolutely wonderful, and the suspension is too stiff – the front axle especially spends too much time bouncing up and down. But it does a pretty good job of posing (like first gear at 6500rpm for mile after mile), and because it’s a Lambo and not a Ferrari everyone loves it.
It’s even better away from the crowds, with sublimely quick steering that fills you with confidence to chuck the Performante into corners. There’s brilliant body control too, and one amazing engine. The 5.2-litre V10, hooked up to four-wheel drive, absolutely flings the Performante down the road, bellowing and barking behind you – it’s even louder and more glorious with the roof down. We may also curse the automated manual E-gear transmission for its slow changes around town in the Auto mode, but take control yourself with long steering column-mounted paddles and the shifts are quicker. There’s still a pause as each gear engages, but the little thump in the back adds to the experience, and the pause is a welcome break before your constant collision course with the next corner begins again.
Downsides? The packaging still leaves a lot to be desired – it’s cramped with the roof down, there’s nowhere to put anything, and the fixed-back seats are far from the last word in comfort, or support. And the optional carbon-ceramic brakes still have a few inches of dead travel before the calipers grip the discs, so you first few dabs of the brake pedal make you look like a learner. Thankfully they’re good enough to be forgotten about as the pace increases.
The Performante is what Lamborghini does best: a loud, extrovert and over-the-top supercar that everyone looks at, everyone loves, and really delivers dynamically. You will, of course, lose a little of the Superleggera’s upmost ability, but the upshot is a more amazing and interactive car.