What is it?
Lighter, faster, more powerful and much angrier, the £186,000 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante (snappy name) is essentially a topless Superleggera.Technical highlights?
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Taking its lead from the Superleggera Coupe, the Performante sheds weight though extensive use of carbon fibre, both on the exterior panels and interior fittings. The high-tech material contributes 40 per cent of the Performante’s overall weight saving of 65kg. Paddle-shift transmission and carbon brakes are standard, and the new Superleggera-style rims save another 13kg. A remapped ECU reduces emissions and yields an additional 10bhp, lifting peak outputs to 570bhp and 398lb ft of torque. That’s sufficient for a 0-62mph time of 3.9sec and a top speed of 201mph.
What’s it like to drive?
It’s easy to be sniffy about the pure driving credentials of a convertible car, especially one derived from such a specialist machine as the Gallardo Superleggera. Then you see the Performante and it’s impossible not to get caught-up in the drama and excitement.
The noise, as ever, is remarkable. In terms of ear-splitting volume and animalistic aggression there’s nothing to touch this raucous V10. Even with the roof up it’s a truly epic experience, but it’s when you drop the roof that the Performante plays its trump card. If you want the full-on surroundsound supercar experience you can find it here.
The e-gear transmission is rapidly being left behind by the latest generation double-clutch technology, but it feels less clunky than it used to at low speed. When you drive the Performante as Lamborghini intended the shifts become increasingly brutal: in Corsa mode they are quick but about as subtle as a punch in the face. A slight lift smoothes the upshifts.
Up in the mountains the Performante is truly in its element, its tortured howls and snargles ricocheting off the rock faces. Its grippy Pirelli tyres cling on hard, but also deliver progressive on-limit feel. The carbon brakes can be grabby, but work well when you’re pushing them hard. Lambo’s signature all-wheel drive is a bonus, allowing you to use more of the V10’s abundant poke than you’d ever imagine. And when you find a sweet hairpin it’ll let you have some fun if you’re prepared to provoke it.
How does it compare?
Until Ferrari launches a 458 Spider there’s nothing quite like the Performante. The Superleggera is its biggest rival, but the sensory overload delivered when the Performante’s roof is dropped provides a very effective distraction from the tactile shortcomings of its Coupe brother. It’s perhaps not the done thing to admit this, but I’d take a Performante over a Superleggera, for it gives you more to enjoy without taking anything away.
Anything else I need to know?
Thanks to the folding rear deck and roof mechanism you can’t see really see much of the engine, which is a shame. However the Gallardo Spyder’s extremely neat electric rear bulkhead window means you can enjoy more of the engine’s incredible noise without having to drop the roof.
|Max power||570bhp @ 8000rpm|
|Max torque||398lb ft @ 6500rpm|