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2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2010
2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 SuperleggeraHighlights:
  • New model for 2011
  • New cosmetic enhancements
  • 5.2-liter 10-cylinder engine
  • Standard 6-speed, single-clutch automatic gearbox
  • Standard iron 8-piston brake calipers (front) with 4-piston (rear)
  • 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 235/35ZR19 tires (front) and 295/30ZR19 tires (rear)
  • Lamborghini says no other model in its lineup is as close to a race car
Fast Facts:
  • Extensive use of carbon fiber and light alloys to reduce weight
  • Use of titanium wheel bolts to save weight
  • 530 horsepower and 399 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Claimed 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and top speed of 202 mph
  • Ceramic brake discs with 6-piston calipers optional
Lamborghini was founded in 1962 by businessman Ferruccio Lamborghini out of his frustration with finding the perfect sports car-so he decided to create his own. The first car, a Lamborghini 350GTV, arrived in 1963 and was followed by the Miura in 1965.

The Lamborghini Gallardo debuted in 2003 as the smaller, and less powerful, sibling to the Lamborghini Murci_lago. The all-new Gallardo featured a 10-cylinder engine, which was mid-mounted in the chassis, and its power was sent through a full-time all-wheel-drive system. Not intent on leaving a popular design alone (since its introduction, more than 7,100 Gallardo models have been sold, making it the best-selling Lamborghini of all time, says the automaker), Lamborghini launched the convertible Spyder in 2006, and the lightweight Superleggera in 2007. The 2008 model year revealed the LP 560-4, an updated Gallardo with a new and more powerful engine and a refreshed exterior. Further tuning occurred in 2009, when the Italian automaker again bumped the horsepower, stiffened the chassis, reduced weight, revised the exterior styling, and improved the suspension with various modifications.

The 2011 model year welcomes yet another Lamborghini Gallardo derivative-the LP 570-4 Superleggera. The engineered successor to the previous Superleggera ("superlight" in Italian) is 154 pounds lighter that the standard LP 560-4. Not only does the new Gallardo flagship offer improved performance, but it features unique body work and badging to distinguish it from the standard models.

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2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 SuperleggeraOverview
The new 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera is the lightest road-going model in the automaker's lineup. To help accomplish this, Lamborghini replaced many of the heavy materials, including cosmetic items and upholstery components, with lighter materials. The body shell is made from aluminum, including many lightweight extruded components, and lightweight carbon fiber has been used on the rear spoiler, sills, diffuser, underbody panels, and exterior mirrors.

The interior door panels are now almost entirely carbon fiber (overall, the synthetic material is responsible for 88 pounds of the weight loss). Furthermore, the rear window and side windows are now made from polycarbonate (a material that is lighter and stronger than glass). The curb weight is 2,954 pounds-very light compared to other cars with similar power output-and less than a 2010 Volkswagen GTI hatchback.

Motivating the flagship Gallardo is a direct-injected, 5.2-liter 10-cylinder engine rated at 530 horsepower and 399 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mounted longitudinally behind the driver ("LP" stands for "longitudinale posteriore" and refers to the orientation of the V-10 engine), just like every Lamborghini engine.

The standard transmission is the automaker's "e-gear" 6-speed single-clutch automatic gearbox that may be operated in full automatic mode, or via column-mounted, carbon-fiber shift paddles. The numeral "4" in the name refers to the supercar's standard all-wheel-drive system that has been designed to send 70% of the power to the rear wheels for a rear-wheel-biased driving feel. According to Lamborghini, the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera will accelerate to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds. The top speed is 202 mph, the company claims.

The suspension is double-wishbone on all four corners (utilizing aluminum alloy in its construction to save weight), with firm anti-roll bars to keep the wheels planted on the road. Lamborghini says no other model in its lineup is as close to a race car as the LP 570-4 Superleggera. The standard wheels are 19-inch aluminum alloy, wearing 235/35ZR19 tires in the front and 295/30ZR19 tires in the rear. Tires are specially developed high-performance "P Zero Corsa" models from Pirelli. The standard iron front rotors are clamped by oversized 8-piston calipers while the rears have 4-piston calipers. Customers may also order fade-resistant, and much lighter, ceramic disc brakes with 6-piston calipers.

2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 SuperleggeraTechnology
Understanding that every pound removed from the 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera translates to better acceleration, cornering grip, and braking, the Italian automaker went to great lengths to reduce weight. The unique wheels fitted to the LP 570-4 are made of forged aluminum. The forging process places the aluminum alloy under tremendous pressure to allow thin and lightweight-but very strong-wheel designs (forged wheels vs. cast wheels are responsible for saving nearly 29 pounds of weight). In addition, Lamborghini uses titanium wheel bolts. This aerospace-developed material is a very light, strong, and corrosion-resistant alloy of steel. Its use in the automotive industry has only been limited by its extremely high cost.

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