On The Shore — 15 July 2012
Test drive: Lamborghini Gallardo

Taking a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder for a spin

BY THOMAS SWICK

It looked like Lamborghini Day at The Setai in Miami Beach. Two Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyders were parked in the roundabout in front of the entrance. Promotional panels stood in the hotel courtyard, and young men and women mingled in polo shirts bearing the famous emblem: a golden bull poised to charge against a black background.

Ferruccio Lamborghini, who founded the company in 1963 (after making a fortune manufacturing tractors), was a Taurus, and had a lifelong fascination with bulls. The Lamborghini Islero was named for the bull that killed the famous Spanish bullfighter known as Manolete. The Gallardo was named for a breed of bull.

Fazel Adabi filled me in on some of this while we sat in the courtyard. The Gallardo I was about to drive – which according to the company website “combines the open Spyder body style with purist rear wheel drive” – had been shown in Los Angeles in November and made public in March. It could go from zero to 62 in 4.2 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 198 mph. I doubted I would need it, even on the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

Outside, Ben Leininger climbed in the passenger seat while I settled in behind the wheel. With a roar, I eased us onto Collins Avenue.

On the ramp to get on to the Julia Tuttle Causeway, I saw – or rather, felt – what Ben had meant when he said that on curves it seemed to be “on a track.” It hugged the road as if the tires we’re made of Velcro.

Once on the causeway, Ben reached over and put the car in Sport mode, which opened the exhaust valves and made us the loudest, baddest, meanest machine in Miami. Well, this being Miami, maybe not. But we roared every time the car automatically shifted gears. The top was down, so we heard the vroom even if our fellow drivers didn’t. It was a multi-sensory experience.

Coming back on the MacArthur Causeway we ran into rush hour, and a paradox: You can’t really appreciate the potential of a Lamborghini when you’re stuck in traffic. But when you’re stuck in traffic, you really appreciate sitting in a Lamborghini.

 

Lamborghini Miami, a division of Prestige Imports, 14800 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach, 888-514-3028; Lamborghini Palm Beach, part of the Warren Henry Auto Group, 2345 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 561-370-7953.

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