Driven: Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante

When I started Zero2Turbo it was purely out of  passion and love for the automotive industry especially the machines we know as supercars. What I didn’t realise that I would be given the chance to drive these insane machines. Well yesterday was one of those days and I had the privilege of driving a Lamborghini for the second time in my life. It was none other than the very special and very stylish 2012 Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante.

So what is special about this special edition of the Gallardo? Well to put it simply it is the open-air equivalent of the lightweight SuperLeggera which means it is lighter, quicker and more driver focused than the standard Spyder. 0 to 100 km/h pops up in just 3.4 seconds and will go all the way to a lightning fast 324 km/h and before anyone asks, no I did not test this.
Turning the key is an experience in its own. The beefy 5.2-litre V10 turn’s over and as it fires the throttle gives it a tiny blip just so you and anyone around you knows that this raging bull is awake. Pulling the right hand paddle engages first but before we set off the lifting kit needs to be used to make sure that stunning front lip is not knicked by a nasty bump in the parking lot. On to the open road and as you can imagine, this is where the magic really happens.
Even accelerating gently gives you a special sense because the moment that V10 rev’s beyond 4000, the valves in the exhaust open and the throaty symphony beings which is soothing yet oh-so-exciting at the same time. The road opens up and then powerrrrrr.

The centre console shows 3 modes to keep you on your toes. The A mode stands for Automatic which is the most comfortable setting in this car. As you guessed the car flicks up and down through the gears on its own so you can keep full concentration on the road. ‘A’ mode also makes sure the V10 sound is not too brash but keeps that raspy Lamborghini tone to please oneself while cruising along the tarmac. Being the petrolhead I am, I was more than happy to pop it into ESP-Sport mode (indicated with SPORT) which turns the tame bull into a snarling animal instantly. The exhausts get louder, the gear changes noticeably more responsive and then the loud pedal gets pushed to the floor. The V10 starts raspy and by the time you at 7500rpm it is a full blown scream behind you but the best part has to be flicking through the gears. Shifting up gives you a chance to hear it revving through the range again to the sound of glory and slowing down to allow a down shift gives you that bonkers bark thanks to the magic of the throttle blip. The sound is so good, I would happily accelerate to go through a few gears and then slow down again to hear the down shift heaven.

Cruising around through the slower traffic you notice how easy the car is to drive. Yes it is firm but we need to remember that this is a driver/track focused supercar. If you cannot handle the heat, then get out the kitchen. Do not expect luxurious comfort like you get in a Mercedes S-Class or magic body roll to make sure your insides do not move a millimeter because this car is an assault on the senses. Visibility is more than you need to avoid making contact with other cars and the pulling away from robots is a breeze. It would not take long to get used to the carbon fibre rear spoiler slap-bang in the middle of your rear-view mirror but at the same time it is so good to look at.

Once I was comfortable in the car, I was allowed to pop the Raging Bull into CORSA mode which will be quite hard to put in the words but I will give it a bash. The gear change in SPORT mode is aggressive but this is just plain rude. It gives you such a kick up the backside that you want to change gear over and over until your neck can no longer take it. Not only does it change gear even faster, the throttle response is much sharper and to be honest I wish the comfortable driving mode allowed the throttle response to be that sensitive but we cant have it all. If I must be honest, if you are not on a track this mode is a little too much but for the short time I got to play with it, it was magic.

This car is addictive. Bonkers, but absolutely addictive.

This particular car is sitting on the floor at Lamborghini Johannesburg/Imperial Collection for an extremely reasonable price of R3.5 million. I urge you to go and check it out to inspect the lines and the Italian flair on this gorgeous drop-top raging bull.

Thanks again go to Lamborghini Johannesburg and Imperial Collection for the opportunity to drive a proper supercar and for feeding my petrolhead passion. For more pictures, be sure to check out the Facebook album.

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