Lamborghini has just added this stunning new limited-edition model to its best-selling Gallardo range in honour of Valentino Balboni, a test driver who was hired by the supercar manufacturer back in the late 1960s and since then has helped to shape cars such as the Miura, Diablo, Gallardo and Murciélago. But now, after 49 years with the company, Balboni is retiring, and Lamborghini has released this new model to honour its long-standing test driver in a very special way.
The Balboni model is the only current Lamborghini that delivers its power to the road via its rear wheels only. With 550hp coming to those wheels from a 5.2-litre V10 powerplant, the LP550-2 certainly makes for a manic driving experience. Weighing in at only 1,380kg, the car can sprint from 0–100km/h in 3.9 seconds and won’t stop accelerating until it reaches an incredible 320km/h. Lamborghini hasn’t simply cut the power to the front wheels and crossed its fingers, however: it has had to employ new springs, dampers, stabilisers and even tyres to make sure the new RWD configuration behaves itself. Lamborghini also re-developed the Gallardo’s rear diff, e-gear transmission system and ESP system to ensure handling remains pin-sharp. To make the LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni stand out from the crowd, Lamborghini has added a host of new styling features, such as a ’70s-style white and gold stripe, a transparent engine cover and customised interior upholstery stitching. Production of this gorgeous Gallardo will be limited to just 250 units, and as you might expect, when it goes on sale its price tag will certainly reflect its exclusivity.
Engine (in rear): A 5.2-litre V10 engine sends 550hp to the car’s rear wheels.
Wheels: The Gallardo LP 550-2 boasts dark Scorpius wheels that nicely set off its stunning orange and white paint scheme.
Window: Jump inside and you’ll notice some luxurious custom-stitched upholstery.
Rear: At the back of the LP 550-2, you’ll find the usual artfully designed exhaust pipes, a huge diffuser and eye-catching LED brake lights.