RE: Lamborghini Gallardo Balboni: PH Fleet

RE: Lamborghini Gallardo Balboni: PH Fleet

Monday 11th December 2017

Lamborghini Gallardo Balboni: PH Carpool

From a prancing horse to a raging bull, this PHer opted for the Balboni variant



Name: Onni Roy aka 'Balb-Onni'
Car: Lamborghini Gallardo Valentino Balboni LP 550-2
Owned since: August ?2017
Previously owned: Ferrari F430, Porsche 911 (997.I) GT3, BMW M3, Audi RS4


Why I bought it:
"Having enjoyed two fantastic years with the prancing horse from Maranello, I thought it was time to move on to their noisy neighbours at Sant'Agata. Filled with trepidation, I finally opted for the flamboyant Valentino Balboni attracted by the combination of a decent price, stellar reviews, rear-wheel drive, astonishingly limited production (only 10 RHD officially made it to the UK) and a full specification (without carbon ceramics, but more on that later) including Balboni stripes and bi-colour leather. I was in luck: Lamborghini Manchester had a stunning white (Bianco Monocerus) Balboni e-gear for sale. Interestingly, there was also an orange manual for sale at the same time from an independent dealer for around £105,000. Yes, manual. However, I decided upon having the safety net of a main dealer, which I don't regret in terms of reliability - my car has not missed a beat. However, in terms of my bank balance it would have been nice with manual versions now commanding an eye-watering £300,000!

"I purchased the car remotely without having seen it in the metal. Lamborghini also threw in a two-year warranty for good measure and a generous coating of G3 paint protection. The memory of the Balboni being reversed out of the transporter onto my driveway in the bright autumnal sunshine will be something I will never forget. It looked absolutely stunning for a four year-old car. My first drive in the car was nerve-wracking. Getting used to the size (well, more the width), the e-gear and the offset pedals was a bit of a challenge initially. A real contrast from the 997.1 GT3 that I owned at the same time. It was such an event driving the car and rather naively I had not really expected all the circus-like attention it attracted both from fellow road users and excited pedestrians."


What I wish I'd known:
"Being a petrolhead and having done my 'Top Gear research', I was already aware of the slightly grabby standard steel brakes (although much better than the ceramics, apparently) and that the e-gear meant slow manoeuvres such as parking would take some practice. The brakes can be mastered with a bit of practice and the outright stopping power is brilliant.

"Also, being a fair-weather car I soon realised that the Lambo-embossed trickle charger was not just for show and regular outings ensured that the engine was kept in fine condition. Finally, I'd wish I known that the manual versions would almost treble in price!"

Things I love:
"I genuinely love this car. The F430 was a slight letdown in terms of power, handling and reliability. The GT3 is a handling god but is not that special in terms of road presence. The Balboni has it all: the looks, the limited-edition supercar status, the sound of that apocalyptic 5.2-litre V10 - rising from a trumpeting bass to a concrete-shredding shriek at 8,500rpm - the performance, the torque, the drama and the Audi-inspired reliability. The handling may not be quite as sweet and dynamic as my pocket-rocket GT4 but that is not surprising. You feel the additional weight of the Balboni but it handles flat and it feels very securely planted to the road. The front wheels having been given freedom from driving the wheels and provide much more clarity to the steering; it feels lighter than in a Superleggera, say. The rear is what can be honestly described as 'playful' and one should respect the 550hp being dispensed exclusively via the rear wheels, particularly in the wet. 'Sport' is my default mode with the fruitier exhaust note as the valves open earlier but Corsa adds a level of ferocity to the gearshifts that surpass even those I felt via the SMG gearbox of my long-departed (but never forgotten) M3. The double-clutch shifts of the Huracan that I drove round Oulton Park were just silky smooth in comparison.

"And so we get to the heart of the matter: the Balboni has an intrinsic rawness to it that is utterly addictive and keeps you engaged and wanting to come back for more, time and time again."


Things I hate:
"Given my review so far you will have guessed that I do not hate anything about this car. The attention it attracts can be wearing sometimes but at the end of the day if you are fortunate enough to drive one of these wonderful machines, you shouldn't really complain. The embarrassing burst of revs on a cold Sunday morning usually has the neighbours peering out of their curtains with disdain. You also should take care to ensure that the parking brake is fully engaged when parking on any incline; invest in some car wheel chocks to avoid any expensive, unsupervised excursions... A few Audi bits have crept into the cabin but overall it is a lovely, cosseting place to be in and wears extremely well; the condition of the interior is not far off brand new. An obvious point too, but with a collectable car I do have to keep an eye on my annual mileage; that's a pity as I just want to go out and drive it most of the time!"


Costs:
"The real surprise for me is that I have not had to auction any of my organs to maintain the Balboni. It has not suffered any of the histrionics of my 430 and been a pleasure to own. The Audi influence is clear. The servicing costs have been surprisingly manageable, particularly with the fixed-service plans on offer nowadays from the main dealers. In comparison, my classic 360 Spider is far more expensive to maintain. The only additional costs over and above the annual service items have mostly been consumables such as brake discs and a fresh set of Lambo-approved tyres recently set me back less than £900. Plus a new specially treated powder-resistant rear grille cost just over £200 from Lambo Sevenoaks - bargain! And while it's not the most economic vehicle I can get 14-15mpg even after a spirited drive. Insurance is around £1,000 (group policy) from First Point with all the bells and whistles and the annual Vodafone tracker subscription is £217. Road tax is a steep £515 per annum but only if you wish to use the car all year round of course. Also, when you factor in the steady capital appreciation, the Balboni is not a bad investment at all and much more fun than an ISA!"


Where I've been:
"I would like to say the Stelvio Pass but I have to confess that despite a few shows and car meets, the Balboni spends more time than I would like in the garage. I do enjoy detailing the car and keeping it pristine. However, I try to stretch its legs on most Sundays - particularly in the summer - and I am sometimes joined by my friends' Superleggera and Turbo S for some supercar frolics."

What next?
"Two words: Huracan Performante!"


Want to share your car with PHers on Carpool? Email us at carpool@pistonheads.com!

Author
Discussion

givablondabone

Original Poster:

2,666 posts

91 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
Love it. Drove a Superleggera last year on a track day. It was too big and heavy for the small track and liked to understeer but I still loved it. This must be immense but I'd prefer manual.

Enjoy.

Gameface

5,909 posts

13 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
One of the great supercar shapes.

jeremyc

17,020 posts

220 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
Glad to hear you are enjoying it. thumbup

Balb-Onni in the article said:
Getting used to the size (well, more the width) .... A real contrast from the 997.1 GT3 that I owned at the same time.
I think you'll find that they are almost exactly the same width - the Gallardo may even be a little narrower. It does seem wider because it is lower than the Porsche. smile

Oh, and the orange manuals are faster. wink


yonex

12,680 posts

104 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
A truely lovely car. Very jealous.

crusty

530 posts

156 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
With the difference in price being so great, would it be worth giving this car back to Lamborghini and getting the correct gearbox fitted?
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Dblue

2,872 posts

136 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
Loved my LP550-2 on many levels , and a lot of what you say resonates with me. Personally, I have never had a car that gets so much positive attention before or since.
Lambo being Lambo of course the moment the Balboni limited run had been sold they pretty much kept it in production shorn of the plaque and stripe (and contrast leather) as the 550-2
Although it's a little less four-square in feel than the 4WD versions its not the most delicate or sharp of chassis. On it's original Pirellis it was seriously lacking in traction and grip, the transformation after fitting Michelin SS was amazing. Personally, I wouldn't fit P Zeros in preference to Michelins regardless of whether they were original fit or not based on my experience.
The engine is a work of art and a joy to use and listen to.the manual box is delightful and as one of the very last open gate manuals made I can understand why its so desirable.

Mine was an Orange Manual and was pretty much a pleasure to own throughout. Build quality is far more Audi than Fiat, there's a feeling of rattle free solidity that reassures most of the time though mine wasn't entirely perfect. Costs were acceptable but still well north of the equivalent cost on it's sister car , the Audi R8 V10 Plus I now have.Servicing on , lets face it, a very similar set of components, is double even if you shop around with specialists. And the R8, 4WD or not is a far more incisive and composed car to drive in nearly every situation. Shame Audi don't let you hear the V10 as clearly as Lamborghini do.




Oily76

46 posts

47 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
jeremyc said:
Glad to hear you are enjoying it. thumbup

Balb-Onni in the article said:
Getting used to the size (well, more the width) .... A real contrast from the 997.1 GT3 that I owned at the same time.
I think you'll find that they are almost exactly the same width - the Gallardo may even be a little narrower. It does seem wider because it is lower than the Porsche. smile

Oh, and the orange manuals are faster. wink
Google says the Lambo is 12cm wider. The photos make it look more like a foot!

2 GKC

432 posts

41 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
A Lovely collection of cars there by the sound of it. Just need to lose that awful reg plate on the GT3

hondansx

3,258 posts

161 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
Can't help but poke at this a little....

"I would like to say the Stelvio Pass but I have to confess that despite a few shows and car meets, the Balboni spends more time than I would like in the garage. I do enjoy detailing the car and keeping it pristine..."

Is it really a case of "more time than I would like", or do you really just like seeing it in the garage? Because you've contradicted yourself somewhat by highlighting your desire to keep it pristine (i.e. not driving it will help you achieve that goal).

When you look at the average mileage of Ferraris and Lambos, clearly you are not alone. I just hope you don't do the same for your whole fleet; seems a crying shame.

Dblue

2,872 posts

136 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
jeremyc said:
Glad to hear you are enjoying it. thumbup

Balb-Onni in the article said:
Getting used to the size (well, more the width) .... A real contrast from the 997.1 GT3 that I owned at the same time.
I think you'll find that they are almost exactly the same width - the Gallardo may even be a little narrower. It does seem wider because it is lower than the Porsche. smile

Oh, and the orange manuals are faster. wink
The hips on a 997 GT3RS are 1860mm, the Gallardo is 1900mm. But a GT3 is 44mm less wide than the GT3RS so 4 inches or so less.

Murphy16

222 posts

18 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
Great write up of a great car and i envy your position, but that 911 plate is criminal! Is it supposed to say bad toy or bad boy?

Edited by Murphy16 on Monday 11th December 17:52

ZX10R NIN

12,292 posts

61 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
Very nice OP glad you're enjoying the car.

SturdyHSV

6,184 posts

103 months

Monday 11th December 2017
quotequote all
Murphy16 said:
Great write up of a great car and i envy your position, but that 911 plate is criminal! Is it supposed to say bad toy or bad boy?

Edited by Murphy16 on Monday 11th December 17:52
Neither, the clue is in his name thumbup

Murphy16

222 posts

18 months

Tuesday 12th December 2017
quotequote all
SturdyHSV said:
Neither, the clue is in his name thumbup
Bad roy? biggrin Is it just me or have the pictures been amended with blank plates? It was a good write up and they probably don't want the thread getting detailed.

NDA

15,104 posts

161 months

Tuesday 12th December 2017
quotequote all
One thing I wished, wished, and wished again, was that I had taken my Lambo to Italy.... I never did and really regret it. The Italians go mad for Lamborghinis and it would have been so much fun.

cookie1600

1,034 posts

97 months

Tuesday 12th December 2017
quotequote all
Blimey, I know Lamborghini wanted to keep the Balboni light, but did they remove the handbrake assembly and supply you with a handy brick, to stop it rolling away?


sjc

10,390 posts

206 months

Tuesday 12th December 2017
quotequote all
Cracking car.
It says you've had it since August 2017, and at the time or purchase there was an orange manual at 105k, but they're now fetching 300 grand??
I know the car market has gone made but that's some appreciation!!!

Dblue

2,872 posts

136 months

Tuesday 12th December 2017
quotequote all
sjc said:
Cracking car.
It says you've had it since August 2017, and at the time or purchase there was an orange manual at 105k, but they're now fetching 300 grand??
I know the car market has gone made but that's some appreciation!!!
Not a Balboni I would have thought, a manual 550-2 for that money but a Balboni would be a lot more

lamboy

2 posts

28 months

Wednesday 13th December 2017
quotequote all
Thank you for your (mainly) positive comments. Typo in that I have owned the Balboni from 2014. And so that some can sleep easier, the GT3 plate is now on a retention certificate! The Peformante has now arrived so it will be an interesting comparison ....

2 GKC

432 posts

41 months

Thursday 14th December 2017
quotequote all
that looks lovely!