Full 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo Review
What's New for 2013
New front- and rear-end styling debuts for the 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo, but only for the 560-4 coupe and Spyder roadster. An LP570-4 Edizione Tecnica also replaces the outgoing Trofeo Stradale edition.
The V10-powered 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo might be the little brother to the V12-powered Aventador supercar. But it'd be wrong to see the Gallardo as a major step down from all-out road-going supremacy because in some ways it's actually better than the Aventador, and not just in terms of performance.
In all likelihood, the Gallardo will turn just as many heads as any supercar. It's also a valid assumption that the so-called baby Lambo will deliver similar thrills behind the wheel, unless you have regular access to a racetrack. Where it figuratively pulls away is in how it behaves under normal conditions. With a smaller footprint, better visibility and conventionally hinged doors, the Gallardo is comparably easy to live with on a daily basis.
Much of this can be attributed to parent company Audi, which managed to exorcise many of the demons of Lamborghinis past without diluting the potent solution that makes Lamborghinis so wildly desirable. This year sees only a few changes, as rumors point to a replacement model for 2014. The Gallardo lineup receives a styling update to the front and rear of the LP560-4 models, and last year's Trofeo Stradale special edition has been replaced by the LP570-4 Superleggera Edizione Tecnica.
So if you have a quarter-million dollars to spend on a car, there's no reason to overlook the 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo. Even as it approaches the end of its production, we find it just as desirable as the Aston Martin Virage (or for that matter, almost any Aston), Ferrari 458 Italia and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Mild exotics like the Audi R8 and higher-end Porsche 911 models provide comparable thrills, but are notably less distinctive. In any case, if you're considering any of these exotics, consider us jealous.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo is a midengine exotic sports car that is offered as the LP550-2 coupe and Spyder roadster, LP560-4 coupe and Spyder roadster and LP570-4 Superleggera Edizione Tecnica coupe and LP570-4 Spyder Performante Edizione Tecnica roadster. The "-2" indicates rear-wheel drive while "-4" indicates all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment on the LP550-2 and LP560-4 models includes 19-inch wheels, an automatically extending rear spoiler, bi-xenon headlights, power-folding outside mirrors, a nose-raising suspension for curb clearance, dual-zone automatic climate control, power seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a multimedia driver interface similar to Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) system and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player. The Spyder has a full power-operated soft top, while coupes receive a transparent engine cover and LED accent lights.
Options include upgraded alloy wheels, faux suede upholstery, fitted luggage, heated seats, a navigation system, a rearview camera and upgraded audio with iPod integration. Available packages include the Travel package (which adds a cupholder, a luggage net behind the seats and a small storage compartment near the steering wheel) as well as a pair of interior Carbon packages. The latter bathe the cabin in carbon-fiber trim -- you get less with one package and more with the other. Lamborghini also offers its "Ad Personam" customization program, which gives the buyer extensive input into exterior and interior color combinations.
The LP570-4 Superleggera Edizione Tecnica coupe and Spyder Performante Edizione Tecnica roadster get carbon-fiber exterior and interior components, a more powerful V10, a standard automated manual transmission, polycarbonate rear and side windows, lighter 19-inch wheels, a fixed and larger rear spoiler, carbon-ceramic brakes, faux suede upholstery and special colors. Most, but not all, of the regular Gallardo's options can be added.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering all 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo models is a midmounted 5.2-liter V10. A six-speed manual transmission is fitted to the Gallardo LP550-2. All other Gallardos receive a six-speed, single-clutch automated manual transmission (known as "e-gear"); it is optional on the "550" models.
The Gallardo LP550-2 models produce 550 horsepower and 397 pound-feet of torque and send all power to the rear wheels. More power is available with the LP560-4, which makes 560 hp and 397 lb-ft of torque that powers all four wheels. Lamborghini estimates that these models will reach 60 mph in the mid-3-second range.
Finally, the LP570-4 Superleggera Edizione Tecnica coupe and Spyder Performante Edizione Tecnica squeeze even more power out of the 5.2-liter V10, with 570 hp and 397 lb-ft of torque on tap. All that thrust should be enough to get the car up to 60 mph in the low 3-second range.
EPA-estimated fuel economy checks in at 12 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined with the traditional manual and 13/20/16 with e-gear. Spyder models with the manual transmission drop by about 1 mpg in combined driving.
Standard safety features on all 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo models include antilock brakes, stability control and side airbags with head protection. A rearview camera is optional.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Gallardo provides a fairly livable cabin. Leather and soft-touch materials adorn much of the interior, as one might expect, and the switchgear, gauges and multimedia driver interface are essentially pulled from the Audi parts bin. Some might bemoan this dilution of Lamborghini's traditional Italian character, but most will be thankful that everything actually works. Further advancements can be found in the fundamentally sound driving position and the comfortable and supportive seats.
The aforementioned multimedia interface leaves something to be desired, however, as the control knob and accompanying buttons are placed next to the screen rather than near the shifter, requiring altogether too much driver attention given the Gallardo's fearsome capabilities. Furthermore, storage space is negligible, and only the most limber drivers will find ingress and egress an easy task. The latter is par for the course in this segment, perhaps, but some competing models provide supercar performance without requiring contortionist antics to get behind the wheel.
The 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo's performance is just as otherworldly as one would expect from any exotic sports car. The V10 power plant shrieks off the line as the revs climb toward redline. Compared to the 458 Italia from archrival Ferrari, the Gallardo is slightly less nimble. It is, however, perfectly at home blasting down the highway and carving through high-speed sweepers. The LP570-4 models represent a further refinement of the Gallardo's capabilities, as these lightweight special editions are perfect for those who want to squeeze every drop of excitement possible from this lithe Lamborghini.