Test-Drive: Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder

The current generation of Lamborghini Gallardo, nearing the culmination of a staggeringly successful run since it was introduced in 2003, has diverged into two opposite variants: the Super Trofeo Stradale, a racecar-inspired spin-off whose $258,400 price tag makes it the priciest Gallardo on the planet, and the LP 550-2 Spyder, equipped with a $211,600 premium that lends it the distinction of being the most attainable open-air Lamborghini currently available.

A test-drive of the LP 550-2 Spyder through Malibu’s menacingly serpentine hills suggests there’s nothing cut-rate about how this Gallardo addresses the road. Since only the rear wheels, not all four, are driven by the 550 (metric) hp V-10 power plant, the resulting 80-pound weight reduction means there’s less mass to hustle around. More crucial, though, is the wild card introduced by the rear-wheel-drive setup: unlike the relative security of the standard all-wheel-drive Gallardo, this particular strain feels livelier and more willing to dance across tarmac, turning in and sliding the tail out more eagerly than its heavier counterparts.

While the swan song for the Gallardo is not official, if Lamborghini deemed the LP 550-2 a conclusion to the current Gallardo lineup, we’d find it an apt and entertaining way to make room for whatever magic the Italian manufacturer will conjure next. (www.lamborghini.com)

Only seven of the themed Continental GT Speed models will be made, and owners get to ride in a jet...
Lufthansa allows first-class fliers to drive a Porsche 911 or Panamera while waiting for wheels up...
These hard chargers from the world’s premier automotive masters are fast, furious, and the future…
Unconstrained by convention, today’s top builders produce motorcycles that set new benchmarks…
Photo by James Lipman
Bentley proves that luxurious amenities and raw speed make fine bedfellows…
The Range Rover Sport SVR is the first in Land Rover’s new ultrapowerful lineup…
Robb Report Spain named the 2015 GTA Spano supercar to 2015's Best of the Best...
Though its power is electronically limited, the bike still puts its road-going competitors to shame…
Vintage formula 5000 cars will make their debut at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion...
The new specification for the Flying Spur V8 includes 20-inch alloy wheels for a sportier stance…