Car: 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale (1 of 150 units worldwide).
Owned since: I have owned the car for a little over a year.
Previously owned: Fiesta XR2, Audi RS4, Audi RS6, Mercedes C63, Porsche 911 (997), Ferrari 612.
"There comes a time in almost every car lover's life when the craving for a fast red sports car becomes too difficult to resist. I have had my fair share of useable exotics, Audi RS4, RS6 and most recently a Mercedes C63. But with a few months in sunny southern Europe planned for later in the year, I came to the decision that it was now or never. The 458 was my first thought, but a Speciale, my preferred derivative, was simply out of reach. The Lamborghini equivalent, the Superleggera was, however, priced more sensibly. And a short test drive left me in no doubt that this carbon-clad street racer was for me. Many internet research hours later, I had made life very difficult for myself having decided the extremely rare Super Trofeo Stradale variant was the model I should try to find. [For the full geek out see the press release reproduced below! - Ed.]
"Lamborghini UK politely informed me that only three came to the UK and at least one of those was now in Hong Kong! As I spend some time in Spain the idea of LHD was an option. So many more hours of research later, I had managed to find just one car in the whole of Europe that was currently for sale. A phone call, followed by a flight, followed by an offer of the full asking price (there was no room for negotiation), and it was mine!
"The importation was as smooth as it could get, but the six-week wait until the car was on UK plates and ready to go seemed like an eternity! But eventually the day came...
"My first trip was straight to Portsmouth and the ferry to Bilbao. Once in Spain I felt as close to motoring nirvana as I think it's possible to be. Every road was smooth and sinuous, every roundabout was an opportunity to blip down through the 'box before caning the lightly silenced V10 back to where it belonged. Absolute heaven."
"How addictive the experience would be. I wish I could drive it every day, but it's just too precious. I didn't fully appreciate just how special this car is, and everyone knows it. You feel as though you are in a fishbowl. I'm not an attention seeker, I'm a car enthusiast, and there are days when I wish I could just go about the business of driving without cameraphones being zeroed in on me!"
Things I love:
"Contrary to common understanding, I feel the transmission is one of the strongest points of the car. By the end of Gallardo production, Lamborghini had perfected the automated manual. It's far more refined than the early cars, but still raw and addictive when you're 'on it'. That, and one of the most sonorous exhaust notes I've ever heard, makes it one of the most entertaining driver's cars money can buy."
"One of the things that makes the Super Trofeo Stradale so special is the bespoke carbon fibre engine cover - it looks epic but it is fiddly to remove, and once off the pressure to place it somewhere it won't get knocked over, or stood on, is palpable. The tyres are semi-slick, which of course gives it that incredible four-wheel drive traction, but in the wet you have to take care. So much so that I choose to leave the car at home if there is a threat of rain. I know this is easy to fix, but the car is just so sweet on the Pirelli P Zero Corsas that I am reluctant to change. Head height in the cabin is only just acceptable, I'm 6' 2". The nav is dated but, because it's Audi-derived, it works fine."
Apart from the eyewatering purchase price everything else is reasonable. Service intervals are as you would expect and, as I have never dared take it on track, consumables such as tyres and brakes seem to last extremely well. One of the main reasons I chose the Gallardo is because it's a thoroughly well-engineered car with very few shortcomings. Reliability has been flawless."
"This is a very special car, only 150 were ever produced, (some internet sources say less) and so I'm conscious of adding too many miles. Those that I do add, I savour! Apart from my initial trip to Spain, the memories of which will live with me forever, I choose to take the car out only on fine weekends. Like I said earlier, I would love to drive the thing every day and, practical though it is with good ground-clearance and 'lifting', it's its just not viable. But when I do get behind the deliciously simple Alcantara clad steering wheel, I know that wherever I go it's going to be an event!"
"I've had an extended test drive of the Porsche 991 GT3 RS and, for me, it was just too clinical. My god it's good, but it doesn't offer a quarter of the drama driving the Lambo gives you. The Aventador is just too big, and visually is even more 'out there' than the STS, so no. I've also tried a Ferrari 488 GTB, which was fast beyond belief, but just didn't sound quite raw enough to be special. It will take the forthcoming 'Speciale' variant of the 488 to prise the key of the Lambo from my hand. Maybe.
"I am, however, thinking if funds allow, soon adding a BMW E60 M5 to the stable ... the closest you can get to a useable 'every day' supercar!"
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[Press release on the Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale issued September 2011 and reproduced verbatim]
The most extreme Gallardo ever
With the Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale, Automobili Lamborghini is bringing motor racing excitement directly to the road. This new and most extreme top model in the Gallardo lineup is based on the successful race car from the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo, the world's fastest single- make series.
The car will be produced in a limited run of 150 numbered units.
The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo championship brings professional racers and gentlemen drivers face-to-face in fiercely fought battles on Europe's most challenging racetracks such as Monza, Silverstone and Hockenheim. There are many similarities between the racing and road versions of this super sports car. For example, they both share the same V10 powerplant, which is used in the racing version with no modifications.
An enormous and manually variable rear spoiler for increased dynamic load
Right from first glance, these similarities are even more evident in the new Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale. In fact, it is equipped with the same rear spoiler that offers greater aerodynamic load - reaching in the best aerodynamic condition 3 times the load of the Gallardo LP 560-4 - for increased dynamic stability during tight, high-speed driving. As in the race cars, the rear spoiler can be varied manually in order to let the driver optimize the car's performance according to the track or road characteristics.
Another element taken directly from the racing version is the removable engine hood with quick-release system. Both the spoiler and the hood are of course made of carbon composite material, as are a host of other components on the SuperTrofeo Stradale. Together with aluminum, carbon fiber is the basis behind the extremely lightweight construction of Gallardo's new top model.
Lightweight construction through consistent use of carbon fiber
The Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale boasts a maximum dry weight of 1340 kilograms. It beats the already lean Gallardo LP 560-4 by 70 kilograms, which gives the Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale a stunning power-to- weight ratio of 2.35 kilograms per HP for breathtaking performance. It sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.4 seconds and reaches 200 km/h just 10.4 seconds later. Its forward thrust finally tops out at 320 Km/h.
"Rosso Mars" stands for Italy's racing tradition
The Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale sports a brand new "Rosso Mars" finish that underscores the special connection between ultimate race track performance and Lamborghini's "Italianness". The "Rosso Mars" color symbolizes Italy's traditional racing red, as established at the beginning of last century in motor racing, when the home nations of the competitors were indicated by the color of the paint on the vehicles. Dark green stood for Great Britain, blue was for France, white (and silver later on) represented Germany, white and blu stripes for USA, and red was the color of all race cars from Italy.
Red, black and carbon fiber characterize the exterior
The exterior appearance of the Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale is perfectly accentuated by a matte black finish on the large rear spoiler, the engine hood and the front air intakes, which contrasts with the "Rosso Mars" paint. The forged wheels are painted in high-gloss black, a color that is also available on the roof as an option. The rocker panel covers, impressive rear diffuser and outside mirror housings are made of carbon fiber polished to a high gloss, while the brake calipers are accented in red for the first time on a Lamborghini. It's a perfect match with the exterior color and racing concept of this new super sports car. And besides the historically suggestive "Rosso Mars", the new Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale is also available upon request in "Grigio Telesto" or "Bianco Monocerus" with the roof available in gloss black as an option, as mentioned above.
Minimalist sporty interior
Black and red, the perfect combination of sporty minimalism, are the dominant shades inside the Super Trofeo Stradale. The most broadly used materials are Alcantara - in "Rosso Mars" on the underside of the dashboard, the central part of the seat cushion and the backrest - and extremely lightweight carbon fiber. Black Alcantara with contrasting red top-stitching is used to finish the other parts of the interior. The steering wheel is upholstered in black suede and also features red top-stitching. The door panels, the monocoque racing seats and the center console cover are made of carbon fiber, the construction of which
Lamborghini has achieved a world-leading expertise. Discreet sporty accents are provided by dark chrome visible metal parts.
Upon request, an interior layout including elements made of carbon fiber, such as the handbrake frame, the middle of the center console, the lower rim of the steering wheel, the decorative frames around the main and secondary instrument panels, the door handles, and the handle for opening the glove box (also available upon request), can be ordered.
Like the Super Trofeo competition version, the new Super Trofeo Stradale is based on the Gallardo Superleggera technical approach. The V10 powerplant generates 570 HP, equivalent to 419 kW, which is fully available at 8000 RPM. The maximum torque is equally impressive, with the torque curve peaking at 540 Nm at 6500 RPM. The V10's unique firing order delivers the striking sound you hear in motor racing.
Transmission "race tested" in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo championship series
Like the race car, the Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale offers the robotized e-gear six-speed transmission controlled by steering wheel paddles as standard equipment. This electronically controlled system shifts through its six gears smoothly and much faster than any human being could. And for maximum acceleration from a standing start, the transmission can be set to the "Thrust Mode" - a program that allows to reach the best performance possible executing a racing start with minimal tire slippage at an initial engine speed of approximately 5000 rpm.
Permanent all-wheel drive for maximum traction in any situation
Every kilometer in the Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale is packed with sheer excitement, in part due to its unrelenting grip in virtually all situations thanks to all-wheel drive. At the end of the day, the Lamborghini Super Trofeo is the only single-brand racing series in the world that features all-wheel drive race cars. The Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale is a highly concentrated driving machine offering a truly stunning driving experience with breathtaking cornering speeds and fast, immediate response. Its road manners are always precise, stable and completely safe.
Suspension with unmatched precision
The layout of the suspension is directly derived from motor racing, with a double aluminum wishbone guiding the wheels. Precise rack-and-pinion steering gives the driver a very close connection to the road. As is true for the Gallardo Superleggera, the vehicle is specially set up to take full advantage of its dynamic potential. No other model in the Gallardo line is as close to being a true race car. Another great feature is the ultra-lightweight 19-inch wheels, which alone save some 13 kilograms. The lightweight and sturdy wheel bearings and bolts are made from titanium and high performance Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires are fitted.
Brakes with unmatched stopping power
Behind the massive wheels are brakes designed for unmatched stopping power, as controlled by the ESP stability control system, which is standard equipment. The front axle is equipped with aluminum calipers with eight pistons each, and the calipers on the rear axle have four pistons each. The ventilated discs on the front and rear measure 365 and 356 millimeters, respectively. Upon request, Lamborghini will install a carbon-ceramic brake system. The carbon-ceramic discs measure 380 mm for the front wheels and 356 mm for the rear wheels.
The optional equipment designed with racing in mind includes not only the carbon-fiber ceramic brake discs, but also a tubular interior roll cage, 4-point safety belts and fire extinguisher. On the other hand, those who want comfort can equip their Super Trofeo Stradale with a satellite navigation, with Bluetooth connection for mobile phones, an anti-theft system, and a lifting system that raises the front axle.