Used 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo
Edmunds' Expert Review
With rakish good looks, an Audi-inspired interior and a wailing 10-cylinder engine, the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is the stuff that automotive dreams are made of.
Like its illustrious forefathers, such as the legendary Countach and Diablo, the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is poster-worthy material for the bedroom walls of teenagers everywhere. Unlike those classic models, however, the Gallardo is a supercar that you could actually live with every day. Well, make that most days. If you ever carry more than one passenger and a duffel bag, the Gallardo isn't going to cut it as a daily driver. Yet Gallardo owners will surely have other vehicles to choose from when such needs arise -- and in the meantime, they'll be tickled by how tractable and ergonomically sound this full-on exotic can be during daily use.
But all right, let's cut to the chase. Lamborghinis are fundamentally about face-flattening speed, and the Gallardo LP560-4 -- the "LP560-4" part has been added to the car's name for '09 -- is even more powerful than Gallardos past. A variety of changes made to its mid-mounted V10 engine, including direct fuel injection, have added 40 extra horses, for a grand total of 552. Thanks to a weight reduction of about 45 pounds and quicker shift times from the optional sequential-shift automated manual transmission, the Gallardo is now good for 0-60 sprints in the mid-3-second range.
Other updates this year include revised exterior styling, particularly around the rear fascia and taillight area, which softens the Gallardo's angularity a bit. Chassis rigidity has also been stiffened. Finally, the Gallardo LP560-4 benefits from rear suspension modifications adopted from its Audi R8 platform-mate, which are said to enhance the Gallardo's already otherworldly cornering capabilities.
These updates should make the Gallardo -- now in its sixth year of production -- even more desirable to those with the financial means to make a purchase. Of course, there are a number of worthy competitors at this stratospheric price point, but the Gallardo LP560-4 continues to measure up well. Ferrari's F430, for example, is a wonderfully balanced canyon-carver, yet the Gallardo has more distinctive styling, and its Audi-like interior makes it a uniquely practical proposition among Italian supercars. Porsche offers the tremendously capable trio of the turbocharged 911 GT2, the normally aspirated 911 GT3 and the iconic all-wheel-drive 911 Turbo; however, none boasts the cachet and visual impact of the Lambo. And while the all-wheel-drive R8's performance is perhaps a little too close to the Gallardo's for comfort, Audi hopes that the Lamborghini brand's exclusivity will win over those who might cross-shop the two.
At the end of the day, the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is a very expensive toy. However, while many such toys don't feel at home unless they're on a racetrack, the Gallardo can actually ferry you and a lucky passenger around town in reasonable comfort. Add the Gallardo's distinctive look and sound to the equation, as well as its chest-compressing acceleration, and you've got a highly desirable supercar. Few cars say "I've arrived" as authoritatively as a Gallardo.
2009 Lamborghini Gallardo configurations
The 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 is an exotic sports car. For now, only the coupe body style is available, though one can assume that the Spyder convertible will eventually be produced in LP560-4 guise as well. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels; an automatically extending rear spoiler; bi-xenon headlights; dual-zone automatic climate control; power seats; leather upholstery; a four-speaker stereo with six-CD changer and two auxiliary audio jacks; and a multimedia driver interface similar to Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) system.
Options include an adjustable front suspension that helps avert front spoiler scrapes, upgraded alloy wheels, a back-up camera, Alcantara upholstery, carbon fiber interior trim, Bluetooth and a navigation system. Lamborghini also offers its "Ad Personam" customization program, which gives the buyer extensive input into exterior and interior color combinations.
Performance & mpg
The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 coupe is powered by a mid-mounted 5.0-liter V10 engine that sends a massive 552 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels. A six-speed manual transmission with gated metal shifter is standard, while an automated six-speed sequential-shift manual transmission known as e-gear is optional. The LP560-4 should chop a healthy half-second or so off the previous Gallardo's 4.0-second 0-60 sprint. Fuel economy is said to be improved, but the LP560-4 is still a bona fide gas guzzler.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes, stability control and side airbags.
If you don't get a kick out of piloting the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, you should have your automotive enthusiast card revoked. At wide-open throttle, the lusty V10 plays a veritable mechanical symphony befitting the car's Italian heritage. As has long been the case, Ferrari gets the nod over Lamborghini when it comes to tossability and razor's-edge handling. The Gallardo feels most content on straights and in high-speed sweepers, whereas a car like the F430 can slice through tight corners like the proverbial hot knife through butter. At this rarefied level of performance, though, that's really splitting hairs. For those who have the means to procure one, the Gallardo surely won't disappoint.
It's clear from the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4's interior that parent company Audi is calling the shots. There are leather and soft-touch materials galore, as one might expect, but the switchgear, gauges and multimedia driver interface are all Ingolstadt. Some might bemoan this distillation of Lamborghini's traditional Italian character, but most will appreciate Audi's injection of ergonomic know-how into the Gallardo's cockpit. Further advancements can be found in the fundamentally sound driving position and the comfortable and supportive seats.
However, the aforementioned multimedia interface leaves something to be desired, 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 to their liking -- par for the course in this segment, perhaps, but some competing models provide supercar performance without requiring contortionist antics to get behind the wheel.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
More About This Model
Look at me. Don't touch. Chase me. That's enough. Good-bye. Like the biggest tease you've ever met, a Lamborghini has stunning lines that irresistibly attract your attention, yet it's expressly designed to run away from just about anyone and anything in a heartbeat.
And so it remains with the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, only more so. Cruise slowly, troll the cityscape, be seen, sneer at the gawkers and pretend you don't love it. This is a car that displays a raging V10 engine under a hatch that's inset with glass, and yet it can get away from the rabble at a top speed of 202 mph.
First, Some Italiano
The 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 replaces the apparently alphanumerically deficient Gallardo coupe in the Lambo lineup. The LP part stands for Longitudinale Posteriore, Italian for "the engine is back there, mounted longways" and accompanied by the appropriate thumb jerk over the shoulder. No surprise here.
Next in the sequence comes 560, the horsepower rating in CV or Cavalli Vapore: literally "steam horses." In American, this translates to 552 SAE horsepower, about 40 more than the weakling Gallardo coupe had last year. Credit goes to an all-new 90-degree 5.2-liter V10 engine.
Finally, the "dash four" part refers to Lambo's favored viscous traction all-wheel-drive system that directs all of that equine fury to the pavement. As the name implies, a viscous-type center differential divides the torque between front and rear: 30 percent front and 70 percent rear in this case. Apparently the wacky Lamborghini LM001 4x4 had more of an effect on the company's engineers than any of us could imagine at the time.
So, of Course, Las Vegas
What better place, then, to introduce this mechanically invigorated Gallardo, a fantastic high-speed driving machine that can peel your skin off, than the Strip in Las Vegas?
Surely Vegas is a mecca for enthusiast drivers and is known for its world-class driving roads. Umm. How about, no?
Las Vegas is all about seeing things and being seen. It's about neon lights, outrageous hotels, unashamed displays of wealth, artful inebriation and sins of the flesh. In short, Vegas is the epicenter of Lambo country.
Don't laugh. Lamborghini has leveraged this image into a business plan that has resulted in a 1,000 percent increase in sales over five years. Last year, Lamborghini sold 2,406 cars worldwide, an increase of 15.3 percent over the year before, and its overall revenue increased 34.0 percent. In the U.S., 1,001 cars were sold, a new record for the company. And this increased cash flow in recent years has funded the development of the improvements we see in the 2009 Lamborghini LP560-4.
They Do Have a Racetrack Here
Sure, Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a NASCAR oval track, but it contains a passable interior road course for Gallardo-flogging. Here we finally get to see if the 2009 LP560-4 is more than a pretty face with high, Euro-style cheekbones.
The V10 engine roars to life and rumbles patiently while it waits for us to shift the reworked e-gear six-speed automated manual transmission out of Neutral. As before, there's no console-mounted shift lever in sight: just a trio of flat buttons labeled "Sport," "A" (for automatic) and "Corsa," plus a pair of shift paddles on the steering wheel and just two pedals.
The Sport setting tightens up the shifting and liberalizes the electronic stability control. Corsa, newly added to the LP560, takes both a step further toward the full-race mode by making shifts 40 percent quicker than last year. Thrust launch control can be enabled for demon standing starts, and a stability control defeat switch exists for the highly skilled (or highly stupid).
After selecting 1st gear by tugging the "+" paddle, the car doesn't move until we squeeze the throttle gently. They say this thing can achieve zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds. Let's see if they're riiiigghht....
WOW! We'll have no trouble matching that back in the lab.
Where the 560 Comes From
The new V10 engine develops this massive wallop by way of a displacement bump from 5.0 liters to 5.2, a compression ratio raised from 11:1 to 12.5:1, the addition of direct fuel injection and revisions made to the variable valve timing system.
The VVT acts on the intake and exhaust cams as before, but reductions in bearing friction and inertial mass enable it to respond much more quickly to demands from the onboard engine computer.
In addition to the extra horses, the LP560-4 gains a flatter torque curve that peaks at 398 pound-feet instead of 376. It's likely that the impressive 18 percent increase in fuel economy will pass unnoticed by Gallardo owners, but a similar decrease in CO2 emissions will doubtless make good cocktail party chitchat: "Hey baby, I'm doing my part."
A dry-sump lubrication system provides superior oil pickup on racetracks and allows lower placement of the engine in the chassis for a lower center of gravity without fear of grinding a hole in a big oil pan. Following this theme is a 3,109-pound overall weight for the new Gallardo LP560-4, some 44 pounds less than before.
Entering Turn 1
Our sample Gallardo is equipped with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes (CCB), a $10,000 premium that replaces the 14.4-inch ventilated and drilled steel front rotors with humongous 15-inch carbon ceramic ones and swaps eight-piston front calipers for slimmer six-piston units. The rear brakes change, too, but the sizes remain the same.
When the CCBs get up to temperature on the track, they bite like mad and haul the Lambo down to a stop in a hurry, but on the street they run cooler and tend to feel a bit erratic. The lightweight rotors reduce unsprung weight by a pound or so at each corner, but the big payoff is a heroic resistance to brake fade with track use.
The chassis turns into corners crisply and the road talks to us through the front 235/35ZR19 Pirelli P Zero tires and lightly assisted steering, but as we gain confidence and increase cornering speed, an undeniable trend toward understeer creeps into low-speed corners where the aerodynamic downforce from the revised front bodywork is in short supply.
Even so, altered geometry in the double-wishbone rear suspension and huge 295/30ZR19 rear meats contribute to an overriding impression of immense grip and poise. Profilers will be happy to learn that this car isn't a kidney-rattler, as the thoughtfully tuned springs and dampers filter out more of the impacts than we expected on the open road.
Inside the Leather Cocoon
The overriding theme inside the revised Gallardo is one of leather — lots of it. In addition to power-adjustable leather-upholstered seats, our LP560-4 had leather covering the dash and the center console — even the headliner was smothered in the stuff. Sumptuous? Yes, but such an interior is a bit monochromatic.
The navigation system, climate control interface and certain switches look like pieces from the Audi R8, because they are. The same goes for the flat-bottom steering wheel and the main instrument binnacles. All this is well integrated into the Italian architecture, but in the end it's still recognizable as Audi stuff. There are far worse parts bins to dip into, we suppose.
A display between the main instrument dials clearly tells us what gear we're in, but up and down gearchanges with any appreciable steering input are hampered by the shift paddles, which are fixed to the steering column and too short to reach. Parking this Gallardo is a bit of a trick, too; you must pull back both paddles together to engage Neutral and remember to set the parking brake so the Gallardo doesn't roll over the valet.
The Other Nine-Month Wait
If you haven't already put down a deposit on a 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, you're looking at a nine-month wait, minimum. At the end, the lucky few will be obligated to fork over $212,600, including $2,600 in gas-guzzler tax. If you choose the traditional six-speed manual transmission with a conventional clutch pedal (a version not presented to us in Vegas), you'll part with only $203,000.
They'll sell every one they can make, too. From a business standpoint, Lamborghini is making all the right moves. Despite a weak economy, Lamborghini's sales and profit are higher than they've ever been and the brand has never been stronger.
But from the point of view of the dedicated enthusiast (who incidentally will never be able to afford one), the 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 seems like a crime against engineering. All that outrageous performance, locked away and relegated to a life trolling for phone numbers and teasing the unwashed masses. Sigh.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo Overview
The Used 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo is offered in the following submodels: Gallardo Coupe. Available styles include LP560-4 2dr Coupe AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6M), and LP560-4 2dr Coupe AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6AM).
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Should I lease or buy a 2009 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.