Lamborghini introduces LP 550-2 Spyder

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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When Lamborghini introduced the Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni in 2009, it was a break from tradition for the Italian automaker. Named in honour of Lamborghini's former chief test driver, the LP 550-2 featured rear-wheel-drive at a time when the company had built only all-wheel-drive vehicles for well over 10 years. A limited production of just 250 LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni's meant that Lamborghini's return to rear-wheel-drive was brief, but not final.

That's because a new rear-wheel-drive Lamborghini has been released, the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder. Recently introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the LP 550-2 Spyder is basically a convertible version of the LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni.

Power for the LP 550-2 Spyder comes from a longitudinal, mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10 engine with 550 horsepower. The high-revving engine comes mated to an e-gear automatic transmission with paddle shift control, and a conventional manual transmission is expected to be available as well. With its power and gearing, the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds. The top speed for this open-top supercar is rated at a blistering 319 km/h.

An Electronic Stability Program (ESP) helps drivers keep control of the raging, raucous Spyder. In its standard setting, the ESP puts an emphasis primarily on vehicle stability. However, a CORSA program allows for "larger drift angles and delivers a highly intensive appreciation of the full dynamics of the LP 550-2" according to Lamborghini.

"With the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder, we are expanding the Lamborghini lineup with a purist model that adds yet another dimension of driving fun. This will appeal in particular to a very special group of customers that enjoy a spirited driving style and also like to experience the sheer pleasure of open-air driving," said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. "This special model with rear-wheel drive is a logical expansion of our lineup of spyder models with all-wheel drive."

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Roadster, Lamborghini, 2012, Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder, Exotic,

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