Turns out that we were spot with our estimates on the technical specs of the all-new Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 (okay, okay, we simply used Lambo’s naming strategy) that was officially revealed today after the first photos of the supercar were leaked into the net yesterday. Named after Lamborghini’s best known test drivers, Valentino Balboni who retired after 40 years with the company, the Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni ditches the Gallardo’s four-wheel drive system for a rear-drive setup while power comes from a 550HP 5.2-liter V10 engine.
Lamborghini said that the conversion from all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive only was not simply a question of moving the transmission to the rear axle as the vehicle had to be thoroughly adjusted and tuned. The company’s engineers performerd changes on the supercar’s springs, dampers, stabilisers and the tyres as well as adjusting the aerodynamics to take account of the change to the power flow.
Other changes concern the redevelopment of the rear axle differential, with a 45 percent limited slip, the recalibration of the e-gear transmission and a series of adjustment to the ESP system which now permits greater drift angles.
The only current Lamborghini that delivers its power to the road via its rear wheels alone is 30kg or 66-lbs lighter than its all-wheel drive equivalent, the 560HP Gallardo LP560-4. Weighing at 1,380kg or 3,042 pounds, the LP 550-2 launches from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62mph) in 3.9 seconds or 0.2sec slower than the LP 560-4, while it achieves a top speed of 320 km/h or 199 mph (LP 560-4: 325 km/h or 202 mph).
On the outside, the Balboni Gallardo features color strip in white and gold running from the front panel all the way back to the rear spoiler, a transparent engine cover and Scorpius alloys in dark grey finish while the brake callipers come in black, orange or yellow, depending on the exterior paint finish. Customers can choose from a palette of eight exterior colors.
Inside, the special edition Gallardo comes equipped with a full leather upholstery is black with the seats featuring a white color strip. The centre console is completely upholstered in a contrasting Polar white leather while a badge below the left side window bears the signature of Valentino Balboni and the production number of the car.
The Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni will be produced in a limited series of 250 units with suggested retail prices without taxes set at €162,000 for Europe, £137,900 for the U.K. and $219,800 for the U.S.