2006 Private Preview: Lamborghini Gallardo SE

It takes just four seconds—the amount of time a Ferrari F430 requires to reach 60 mph—to understand why Lamborghini created a special edition of the Gallardo. In the spirit of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s eternal rivalry with Ferrari, the Gallardo SE uses shorter ratios on five of its six gears to shave two-tenths of a second from the standard baby bull’s zero-to-60 time and match the F430’s performance.

Continue to prompt the throttle, and the Gallardo SE’s 10-cylinder engine will produce enough extra cavalli to reach a top speed of 196 mph—again matching the F430 stride for stride. Revised steering, a sports suspension, and sticky Pirelli P Zero tires should deliver handling superior to that of lesser Gallardos, while permanent four-wheel drive and a winter option package (heated seats, heated mirrors, and heated windshield washer jets) underscore the Gallardo SE’s everyday usefulness. Also, a new rear-view video monitoring system makes the low-slung demon easier to park without curbing those 19-inch Callisto wheels.


The Gallardo’s performance may equal Ferrari’s, but when styling the SE, Lamborghini evidently determined that bolder would be better. A unique two-tone color scheme makes it impossible to mistake the Gallardo SE for a member of the plebeian ranks. The roof, engine cover, and front and rear spoilers all will be painted black to contrast with the six available exterior colors. The two-tone motif extends to the hand-sutured leather interior.


But the true measures of exclusivity are numeric, and in addition to being among the swiftest cars and the priciest (an estimated $190,000), the Gallardo SE will be one of the scarcest. Of the 250 examples set for production, only about 100 will be delivered to the States, beginning in December 2006.


Lamborghini, www.lamborghini.com

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