FrontRunners: Sant’Agata Charger

<< Back to Robb Report, September 2003
  • Patrick C. Paternie

I consider it miraculous that while driving the new Lamborghini Gallardo near Rome, I survived the suicidal lunges of oncoming Fiats as they peeled around blind curves. However, Lamborghini’s accomplishment is even more amazing: The folks at Sant’Agata have created an exotic sports car that can be driven daily.

To this end, Lamborghini (www.lamborghini.com) installed traditional doors in the $165,900 Gallardo instead of its signature scissor doors. They open wide for easy access to an interior that features plenty of head and shoulder room. All-wheel drive and optimum weight distribution (42/58 front/rear) for the mid-engine sports car make the 192-mph Gallardo far less jittery when driven near the limit than Ferrari’s self-described “user-friendly” 360 Modena. Several laps around the sinuous Vallelunga racetrack demonstrated more understeer than is desirable, but a sport suspension option for track use is in the works.
 
It may be the baby Lamborghini, but the brashly styled Gallardo’s 500-hp, 5.0-liter V-10 bellows like a full-grown bull under acceleration. An even sweeter sound is the gruff, high-rpm snort the engine emits when flicking off a downshift with the optional E-shift system, Lamborghini’s paddle-driven electronic gearbox. No clunks, no thunks—it is by far the surest, easiest-to-use paddle-shifter on the market. “This is the chance we have always wanted,” says Giuseppe Greco, Lamborghini vice-chairman and managing director, “to show the world the best that we can do.” Their best is good enough.

From Around the Web...
Robb Report's Car of the Year contest ended in a tie between the Lamborghini Huracán Spyder and the Porsche 911 Turbo S.
The results mark a first in the annual event’s history and bode well for the industry…
More than 150 Robb Report readers convened in Napa Valley to judge 13 extraordinary automobiles…
Watch video profiles of each of the Car of the Year 2017 contenders...
Robb Report Car of the Year 2017
During Robb Report’s annual competition to determine which sport or luxury car best deserves to be...
The Giulia Quadrifoglio, the high-performance variant of Alfa Romeo’s new sedan, went on sale in December with a starting price of $72,000.
The top-of-the-line sedan is powered by a biturbo V-6 that churns out more than 500 hp…
The 2018 Porsche 911 GT3
Next year, the model comes with a new engine, a revised chassis, and plenty of performance…
The 2017 Ruf CTR at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show.
With 700 hp and a top speed of 223 mph, this two-door tears it up…
If the DB11 were less of a looker, it might earn more attention for being the Best-performing, best-handling Aston Martin yet
The company’s first all-new car in 13 years was worth the wait…
The Lexus LC 500 will arrive at U.S. dealerships this spring sporting a bold new look for the brand…
The Lamborghini Aventador S
The head of Lamborghini for the Americas talks about why the car and company are cruising…