The Lamborghini Gallardo celebrates its 10th birthday this year. A decade old. A year for each cylinder. Quite old, when there are newer, more shiny things around, such as the McLaren 12C and Ferrari 458. Alongside them, Lambo's bread-and-butter supercar looks a bit, well, bread-and-butter. An old bruiser, no longer to be taken seriously. A battle-scarred veteran of the supercar wars.
And that's precisely why you shouldn't underestimate it. Lamborghini knows how to make an exciting sports car, always has done, and hopefully always will do. But, yes, in essence, the latest Gallardo hasn't progressed forward so much as sideways. No engine or chassis upgrades, the interior is entirely familiar, all that's new is a pair of bumpers fore and aft and some even more spangly 19-inch ‘Apollo-polished' alloys. These look similar to the ones on our TG Garage Citroen DS5.
These mods, it will not surprise you to learn, do not fundamentally change the way the Gallardo drives. It does look a sight more aggressive at the front, and the way the trapezoidal shapes splay out does add visual width to the car. However, it is now almost completely outclassed in most quantifiable areas, having neither the technology nor the outright speed of its closest rivals.
But since when exactly did anybody judge a Lamborghini along quantifiable lines? You can't - it would be like picking Sports Personality of the Year based on the neatness and precision of their haircut. Wiggins would never have won. What the Gallardo has massively in its favour is not ability or speed or technology, but passion, heart and sheer malevolent intent.
Where the McLaren is a sensible sophisticate and the Ferrari a little bit prancy, the Lambo bellows and charges about. I'm not suggesting I'd have it over either of them, because unfortunately I wouldn't, but I am suggesting that it still has a place, a role. And, being 4wd, it's pretty tremendous at this time of year, blessed with supreme traction and good natural balance. It hurls itself out of corners without a seeming care for self-preservation, but has such good feedback that you're always clued in to what's going on.
And that old 5.2-litre V10 is still a proper bobby-dazzler, so crisply responsive and heartily potent. Masses of thrust there. It's only available with the E-gear six-speed sequential manual transmission these days, which is clunky unless you remember to back off the throttle between shifts, but otherwise this is a powerpack you can really engage with and deploy regularly to mighty effect.
Overall, then, it's a fun car that knows how to show its driver a whale of a time, and for this we should be thankful. But I'm not sure that's enough any more. A new Gallardo is needed, Lamborghini. Just make sure it doesn't lose the essence of this one.
5204cc, V10, 4WD, 552bhp, 397lb ft, n/a mpg, 330g/km CO2, 0–62mph in 4.0secs, 201mph, 1550kg
Outclassed in almost every way nowadays, but this is still a bull that knows how to rage. Angry car, fun car