The New Gallardo LP 560-4

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 9:57am

Carmakers like to crank out words like powerful and dynamic to describe their vehicles. Lamborghini prefers descriptors such as aggressive, extreme and forceful.

In fact, the carmaker says its New Gallardo LP 560-4 looks even more aggressive, extreme and forceful than its predecessor, although that's debatable - the Gallardo never looked touchy-feely.

Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September, the New Gallardo is now making a noise in Hong Kong.

Lamborghini says the model's facelift includes larger front air intakes. But these wind tunnels are now masked by triangular and trapezoidal sculpting, in a neat exercise in geometry. At the rear, more triangles and a trapezoid replace the previous straight, horizontal lines.

It's a striking makeover of this flying wedge, and the New Gallardo LP 560-4 (an engine output of 560PS, or 552hp, and four by four drivetrain) looks much less raw and more sophisticated. But it still screams "Look at me!" and is still noisy enough to wake the dead.

The nips and tucks are more or less cosmetic and don't alter the car's already high performance. You get the same 5.2-litre, 10-cylinder engine that produces 540 Nm of torque to catapult the car from zero to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds. The top speed is 325km/h. It's also the same solid suspension that channels the smallest bumps to the driver, giving the feeling of riding a supersonic go-kart.

And it's still great fun sitting in the low-slung bucket seat of this little raging bull, inches from the road, taking advantage of straight stretches of road for the thrill of a short burst of speed. And as it powers up with the flick of a paddle shift, it's easy to forget that it can't fly under the radar of a speed camera.

The Gallardo is a car you probably wouldn't want to drive every day, but it would be a fun weekend diversion if you had HK$3,688,000 to spare.

The LP 560-4 debuted in 2008 and was 40 PS more powerful than the previous Gallardo. The smallest car Lamborghini has ever made, it has also been the company's most successful model. More than 13,000 Gallardos have been sold since it was launched. Lamborghini reported a strong 2012, with sales growth of 36 per cent in Hong Kong and 70 per cent in Macau.

Eyes will be on the carmaker at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Lamborghini turns 50 this year and may mark the milestone with a few surprises. It is reported to be previewing a four-seat GT version of its flagship Aventador in Geneva. But it is also expected to replace the Gallardo in the near future.

Will it unveil a prototype of the successor? Or a full production model of its mould-busting SUV, maybe?