Produced by the prestiged maker of luxury and super sports cars, Lamborghini, the Lamborghini Gallardo was named after a well-known breed of fighting bull that were bred to exhibit energy, strength, stamina, and aggression. Over 10,000 of the model were produced during its seven years of existence. Ever since it has been a popular choice among sports car enthusiasts and it has been a stable sales leader for the company.
When first released, the Gallardo was equipped with a 5.0 liter, 90 degree V10 engine with the option of either a six-speed manual transmission or an electro-hydraulically controlled semi-automatic robotized manual; abbreviated to "E-gear." This allows for faster shifting than your standard manual transmission by utilizing either the paddles behind the steering wheel or simply using a fully-automatic transmission.
With each new release, Lamborghini has responded to previous criticisms of the vehicle and has made adapted changes to assuage the both the press and owners. Currently, the exhaust system is now more sport-directed and is fitted with a flap to decrease noise output when driving in urban areas. Also, the suspension, steering rack, and engine power have all been updated ending up with a total of 520 metric horsepower that handles much more smoothly. Perhaps the most potent change was the lowering of the gearing, namely from 1st to 5th resulting in an overall faster car.
Aside from the more common Coupe, Spyder, and Superlegarra models (each with a top speed of 196 mph), there have been numerous limited edition releases such as the SE, the Nera and the Bicolore with variations in specifications, appearance, and features. Some of the limited releases are indeed quite exclusively limited, such as the LP 560-4 Gold Edition came out with only 10 units and was produced solely for a specific market (the Chinese market in this instance). Other limited editions were slightly more populous such as the LP 550-2 Balboni were 250 units strong and produced for the global market.
In 2006, the BBC television series "Top Gear" named the Gallardo their "Dream Car of the Year," and in 2009 named the limited additions LP 550-2 Balboni (named after one of the company's premier test-drivers) their choice for "Car of the Year."One last thing you should know: in 2004, a pair of Gallardos were donated to the Italian traffic police to commemorate the forces 152nd anniversary. If you are planning on getting into a high-speed chase while in Italy, you might want to think again.