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Actually, there’s a fancier name for the Superleggera’s colour, but focus on the ‘arrow’ part. It’s just like one

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This is the lighter, quicker version of the Lamborghini Gallardo. The Gallardo, as we all know, is the baby of the bull pack from Sant’Agata Bolognese, home of the legendary Italian marquee. And it was born to teach a thing or two to another fabled Italian marquee.

The first Gallardo broke cover almost a decade ago, just a couple of years before Lamborghini officially made an entry into India through a private importer. But just a year after its launch, it got an updated model that remained more or less similar until the 2013 model broke cover – the LP 560-4. This too is more or less similar except for performance updates. Visually, the clear giveaway is the front bumper and wider air dam.

Nevertheless, the car you see here is the final lightweight version of the Gallardo, which is due for replacement next year. But despite that, Lamborghini has made sure that those who do take home this Rs 3 crore car have enough to brag about.

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Under the hood is the same 5.2-litre V10 unit that powers all Gallardos. For those not familiar, the Superleggera is rated at 570 CV, which is the Italian way of denoting power in tandem with its CO2 emissions. For us, the car is capable of churning out just over 561bhp when the engine is hovering at 8000rpm. That’s approximately 10bhp more than the regular four-wheel-drive Gallardo. Peak torque kicks in around 1500rpm below peak power. And the 540Nm greatly helps in propelling the car from standstill to 100kph in 3.4 seconds – that’s 0.3 seconds faster than the 560-4. Obviously, in the real world, that doesn’t sound like much unless, like us, you hit the track.

This Superleggera is in one of the three colour combinations you can get the car in. It has some fancy names, (nothing fancier to hear than ‘Lamborghini’, of course) but for the sake of simplicity, let’s say it’s a shade of orange with matt black pillars and front air intakes. Visually, that and that mighty fixed rear wing are a clear giveaway that this is not your ‘regular’ (for want of another word) Gallardo. A closer inspection, at standstill, reveals carbon-ceramic brakes behind those massive 19-inch alloys and a subtle Edizione Tecnica badge under the not-so-subtle rear quarter glass.

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As is tradition with the Superleggera, the Gallardo was put on a massive weight-reducing diet. So a major portion of sheet metal has been replaced with lightweight carbon-fibre panels. A lot of the everyday electronics has gone – power mirrors, power seats. Even the door grab handles have been replaced by alcantara leather tugs – of course, all stylishly done. Life-saving tech like ABS with EBD and airbags stay. This means, in 570-4 guise, Lambo has managed to trim the Gallardo by a further 70kg – very important when you are on a track with a car that can touch 325kph.

If you want to hear some proper roaring from a 5.2-litre petrol engine, come to the Superleggera. If you thought sportscars growl with the same anger as tigers, for the Lambo, think T-Rex. Sure, no one has ever heard a T-Rex growl, but we’ll take Spielberg’s Jurrasic Park as reference here. The Dolby version, of course. Inside, however, you are not privy to the acoustic mayhem. Damn you, cabin insulation.

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And as with all Lambos, you sit low. Don’t try to get comfortable, that’s a pointless exercise. There are three madness modes to chose from – Sport, A and Corsa. ‘A’ lets you get to grips with the car, or if you’re stuck in slow traffic. ‘Sport’ gets rid of part of the driving aids. ‘Corsa’ is for when you haven’t entirely got to grips with the car and want to commit suicide. To get the Gallardo to move, you first need to flick both paddle shifts, it gets into first gear but move it will only when you dab the throttle.

Surprisingly, for a car whose sole aim is to be wilder than its sibling, the Superleggera is a taut piece of machinery. Even when you drive it in anger. Yes, the steering is heavy and so are the pedals. And even in automatic mode, every time the gearshifts hit home, it feels as if you’re being rear-ended. But drive it in anger is what you need to do to enjoy this machine’s true capability.

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On the BIC, we could take long turns at three-digit speeds without worrying about disconnecting with the black surface; we could stop the car at will, absolutely sure that it would hold. Strangely, it felt a safer place to be in at 250kph than the rear-wheel-drive 550 that we drove just before that.

Talking about ride quality here would be digressing. The 570-4 is the flagship Gallardo that does burnouts around the myth that the Lamborghini is not a track car – this lighter, quicker version definitely is.

(Words: Girish Karkera, Photos: Nitin Rose)

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