Lamborghini Gallardo

Audi ownership has brought the baby Lambo into the realms of a usable, reliable supercar. Styling that still snaps necks, performance enough for any human from that 520bhp V10. The only fly in the ointment? The new 540bhp, re-styled version is just about to arrive.

Remarkably comfortable for a car with such huge ability, there’s plenty of vision (for a mid-engined supercar) and plenty of space for both occupants as well as a handy E-gear sequential manual ‘box with auto mode if you’re a lazy bugger. The car itself is much smaller than you might imagine, so even parking the thing is relatively easy.

A five-litre V10 with around 520bhp (a tad more in the Superleggera) and 376lb ft of torque mean that the Gallardo has the go to match the show; 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds and a close enough 197mph top speed. Even better is the fact that these figures are achievable reliably thanks to that four-wheel drive system and strong mechanicals. You will be impressed.

Even though Jeremy Clarkson has owned a convertible, the Gallardo is still enormously, vibrantly cool. Sell a kidney.

Since Audi took over the quality has risen a thousand fold, but you will notice Audi bits inside. Since the bits they used (stuff like the sat-nav, air-con and central dash electronics) are exceptional in their original cars, it shouldn’t be too much of a worry.

Four-wheel drive but with a sublime rear-bias make the mid-engined Gallardo one of the easiest cars with which to access ridiculous speed. The steering is ultra-precise and the car never feels anything less than rock solid, even when flaying the surface from a racetrack in the (even faster) lightweight Superleggera. Even the drop-top doesn’t really suffer – and that’s a real bonus.

You can carry more than you might imagine in a Gallardo – there’s a deep front boot and the normal-opening doors are wide and useful for taller drivers. You can use it everyday, see out of it and park it too. As far as practical supercars go, this is pretty good.

Running costs
Don’t get too excited, the Gallardo isn’t that practical. The inevitable group 20 insurance, down into single figures for mpg if you drive it anywhere near its potential and huge servicing and running costs mean that you need to be aware this isn’t a budget motor. Depreciation will accelerate as the new model comes on line, but at the moment things aren’t too bad.