2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Review

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Lamborghini Gallardo model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Phenomenal V10 power, ferocious all-wheel-drive traction, seductive engine and exhaust noises, Spyder's top-down fun, look-at-me styling.
  • Not quite as nimble as some of its competitors, at-the-limit brake feel could be better, choppy ride even by exotic car standards.

Balanced all-wheel-drive handling and a great Audi-inspired interior make the 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo a surprisingly livable exotic.

Vehicle overview

The 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo does not appear to have been designed for "Star Wars" by Industrial Light & Magic. It isn't wider than a Chevy Silverado. The doors don't slice and dice and make julienne fries. Yet these characteristics have been some of Lamborghini's calling cards for the past 30-something years, applied to a wild sports car bunch that took the word "exotic" to even higher levels. Cars like the Countach, Diablo and most recently, Murcielago, were not only wildly expensive but also often cumbersome to drive.

The Gallardo, by comparison, is only really expensive, versus wildly so. And with saner dimensions, traditional doors and a more habitable cockpit, it's the first Lamborghini in decades to be considered actually livable. And what a fun life it must be for those who purchase one of the three Gallardo variants: the standard coupe, Spyder convertible and the lightweight performance edition known as the Superleggera. New for 2008, the latter's more aggressive suspension tuning and weight reductions (about 150 pounds) make it less livable than the other two, although the Superleggera does increase the Gallardo's handling and performance prowess significantly.

As for the higher-volume 2008 Gallardos, they feel surprisingly similar -- the Spyder's 250 additional pounds of structural reinforcement bless this topless Lambo with unyielding integrity that the coupe manages to only slightly surpass. As such, both versions display prime composure, taking to twists, turns and dips like Fred and Ginger -- or Jason Taylor and that brunette girl from "Dancing with the Stars," if you have no idea who Fred and Ginger are.

It's important to note that the Sant'Agata factory has already begun production on the coupe's successor, next year's improved Gallardo LP560-4. The Spyder will carry over unchanged, but the Superleggera will be sold for only this year. As such, coupe buyers might want to wait a bit until the '09 model arrives. Either way, however, it's hard to describe the Gallardo as anything but Lamborghini's best car ever. True, it's not the brand's most memorable model, nor will it likely be a timeless classic. But in terms of actual driving enjoyment and daily functionality, it can't be topped.

2008 Lamborghini Gallardo models

The 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo comes in two body styles: a coupe and a convertible known as the Spyder. The coupe is also available in a lightweight, higher-performance edition called the Superleggera. Standard equipment on all models includes 19-inch wheels, an automatically extending rear spoiler, bi-xenon headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a four-speaker stereo with six-CD changer and two auxiliary audio jacks, and a multimedia control interface virtually identical to Audi's MMI system. The Spyder adds a fully powered soft top and integrated tonneau cover.

Options include a suspension lift system to prevent front spoiler scrapes, carbon-ceramic brakes, a rearview camera, heated seats and side mirrors, and a navigation system. Lamborghini also offers a variety of special-order "Privilegio" options, most of which involve specialty colors and trims.

2008 Highlights

The Lamborghini Gallardo coupe and Spyder remain unchanged for 2008, although a new higher-performance edition known as the Superleggera makes a one-year appearance.

Performance & mpg

The all-wheel-drive Gallardo coupe and Spyder are powered by a 5.0-liter V10 that produces 512 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission with gated metal shifter is standard. A six-speed automanual transmission known as e-gear is optional. The sprint from zero to 60 mph should take around 4 seconds.

The Superleggera receives an upgraded version of the 5.0-liter V10 good for 522 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. E-gear is the standard transmission. Although that power gain may seem insignificant, combined with a 150-pound weight loss, it gives the car an estimated time of about 3.7 seconds from zero to 60 mph.

Safety

The Gallardo comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control and side airbags. A rearview camera is optional, while the rear spoiler on the regular coupe and convertible deploys at 75 mph for added downforce.

Driving

At full throttle, the V10 produces a sweet soundtrack truly befitting a Lamborghini. With 512 hp on tap, the 2008 Gallardo is capable of warp speed from any gear. It's true that the big V10 and all-wheel-drive system do make the Gallardo a bit portly for this class of car, and it has been hyperbolically described as feeling like "a faster, more expensive Audi TT." Therefore, it doesn't quite provide the same razor's-edge responsiveness that one can get from, say, a Ferrari F430. Additionally, the brakes, though immensely powerful, can be inconsistent in feel when pushed to their limit.

There's still plenty to like about the Gallardo, particularly the Spyder, which provides the thrilling combination of Lamborghini thrills and top-down sunshine. Then there's the Gallardo Superleggera, which provides more of that razor's-edge responsiveness. By going on a lightweight carbon-fiber diet -- and by producing a more visceral (read: loud) exhaust note -- the Superleggera offers a more agile, lively feel.

Interior

The Audi influence is obvious inside the 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo, with plenty of properly fitting leather and soft-touch materials. The cockpit features comfortable seating that won't leave you reaching for the painkillers after a long trip, while the driving position is a big improvement over past Lambos. The Lamborghini version of Audi's MMI electronics interface is a bit counterintuitive, as the control knob and accompanying buttons are placed next to the screen rather than near the shifter. Essentially, it takes the driver's eyes off the road for too long -- and in a car that can go 195 mph, that's never a good thing.

Though not as flamboyant as the exterior, the interior styling is still suitable for a vehicle that commands such a high price of admission. Like everything Audi touches, build and materials quality is excellent. Storage space is minimal; just a bit of room is available behind the seats of the coupe and in the nose-mounted trunk. The Superleggera is practically identical in terms of design, but differs by featuring lightweight racing seats and Alcantara upholstery covering most surfaces.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.63 out of 5 stars
Wonderful Car
Bonvillain,05/30/2009
2dr Coupe AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6AM)
The 2008 is the last year of the original Gallardo, several deficiencies from earlier years were addressed and overall it is the greatest car I have ever owned. The e-gear is great (although not quite as good as the 09 560-4 that i recently drove) and I was always a 6-speed guy. Only real issue I have is all the attention it draws....but it's a Lamborghini, so I suppose it comes with the territory. I am surprised by the one negative review, cause ultimately calling a 200k car a 'good deal' seems flawed from the start...gas mileage stinks, they are largely impractical and wicked extreme in nearly every way...but it's a Lamborghini!!! and it's wonderful.
5 out of 5 stars
OMG Lamborghini-)) Thank you Italy
Zach Gallardo,06/20/2016
Spyder 2dr Convertible AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6AM)
I have owned many cars shelby saleen gt bmw! They do not COMPARE to Lambo. Incredible acceleration pure beast! Fun factor 10+. I have Tubi exhaust it sounds like NASCAR-) Every place you go feel like celebrity & its a Photo shoot!! Worth every penny. No going back im hooked on ITALY
5 out of 5 stars
Love the Lambo
Paulie Anthony,07/18/2018
Spyder 2dr Convertible AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6M)
Absolutely beautiful automobile. So easy to drive. Accelerates really well. Sounds more amazing with the V10. Quite when you are idling and BARKS when you accelerate-best of both worlds. Interior is very comfortable - but this is a bare bones, exotic automobile. No AC, little storage room, you feel every bump in the road and YOU DON'T CARE. The steering isn't as nimble as a Ferrari, but the all-wheel drive makes up for it--sticks like glue.
5 out of 5 stars
Spectacular Vehicle!
Perform2,06/16/2008
Spyder 2dr Convertible AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6M)
Beats the Ferrari...I've owned 2--no question about it. Improved horsepower, AWD and very exotic lines--a real head turner. Frankly, more fun to drive and the e-gear is a must! Design allows to be a daily driver if that's what you want. And last...the sound--there is nothing else like it and you'll have to hear it to understand.

More about the 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo

Used 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Overview

The Used 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo is offered in the following submodels: Gallardo Coupe, Gallardo Convertible, Gallardo Superleggera. Available styles include Superleggera 2dr Coupe AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6M), Spyder 2dr Convertible AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6AM), Spyder 2dr Convertible AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6M), Superleggera 2dr Coupe AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6AM), 2dr Coupe AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6AM), and 2dr Coupe AWD (5.0L 10cyl 6M). Pre-owned Lamborghini Gallardo models are available with a 5.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 523 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automated manual.

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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