Skip advert
Advertisement

Lamborghini Gallardo Squadra Corse review

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Squadra Corse has a name almost as big as its rear wing

Evo rating
  • The last Gallardo is the best
  • Left behind a bit by rivals

What is it?

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Squadra Corse. It’s one of the most long-winded car names you’ll find but it’s applied to one of the easiest cars to understand; here is the most powerful and extreme production Lambo Gallardo you can buy. In all probability it’s the final version of the Gallardo before its replacement, the Cabrera, is launched next year, and prices start at £200,407.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Technical highlights?

It’s essentially a Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera with the rear wing and lightweight fast-release engine cover from the Super Trofeo race car. That means 562bhp, doing 0-60 in little over three seconds and a 199mph top speed.

While it’s tempting to think of the Gallardo as a marketing-led entry-level ‘baby Lambo’ with the inevitable job of facing off the Porsche 911 and the Ferrari 360 Modena, it fundamentally outgunned its rivals in 2003 with weapons that would stand it in good stead for a decade.

There have been a few facelifts over its production life, but I don’t think any Gallardo has looked quite as perfectly balanced or as purposeful as the Squadra Corse. Big rear wings are always controversial, but this one is an elegantly proportioned thing of beauty, lifted essentially unchanged from the rump of the Trofeo racer. It’s claimed to provide three times the downforce of the much more discreet item on the LP570-4 Superleggera coupe.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Squadra Corse, which benefits from the same carbonfibre weight loss regime originally instigated by engineer Maurizio Reggiani and his team on the first-generation Superleggera ‘to reach more deeply into the power-to-weight potential of the car’, is possibly a few grams lighter. But, whichever way you cut it, 1340kg (dry) is pretty trim and gives the Squadra Corse a power-to-weight ratio of 426bhp/ton. A 458 Italia checks in at 414bhp/ton dry.

Advertisement - Article continues below

What’s it like to drive?

When you punt a Superleggera into a bend at what frankly seems an optimistic lick, it has the ability to make you feel like a bit of a wimp, as if it’s thinking: ‘Is that all you’ve got? Try again.’ So you do and the result is much the same: more grip, more lateral G, more traction, but nothing much more required in the way of positive steering lock or correction at the helm. It’s a hugely secure way to deploy 562bhp that, when harnessed to the Gallardo’s shrink-wrapped dimensions, results in devastating pace across the ground, with all the supercar sensations a small boy could dream of but demanding a modest input of car control. Ultimately, the Superleggera can be provoked, but you have to be brutal.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The Squadra Corse cannot, at least not with me at the wheel. I try in Corsa, I try with the ESC switched off. But on the Raticosa Pass bend that in times past has served up balletically drifting Lamborghini Aventadors and Ferrari F12s for the viewfinder of Dean’s Nikon, the Squadra Corse simply bullets through the curve at an absurd speed. No understeer, no oversteer. Only on the final few banzai runs is there a gradual, neutral, all-of-a-piece relinquishing of the chosen line as the Pirelli P Zero Corsas finally start to let go.

Is it due to the rear wing? Possibly. But it is an extraordinary display that translates into an aura of invincibility I don’t think I’ve ever encountered in a road car before. I don’t think I’ve driven a faster car between two points than the Squadra Corse, certainly not one that distils and intensifies the supercar experience so potently.

How does it compare?

Technology wise, the Gallardo has long been left behind by the £178,526, 562bhp Ferrari 458 Italia and £176,000, 616bhp McLaren 12C. But some will be smitten by the Squadra Corse’s pure racecar looks, and it’s hard to deny that with this Gallardo edition, Lamborghini has saved the very best until last.

Anything else I need to know?

It might translate from Spanish to English as ‘goat herd’, but the new Cabrera is set to mate a more powerful 5.2-litre V10 engine with weight-saving technology seen in the wild Sesto Elemento concept. Read more details on the Gallardo replacement here.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Polestar 3 2024 review – premium electric SUV eyes BMW iX
Polestar 3
Reviews

Polestar 3 2024 review – premium electric SUV eyes BMW iX

Ultra-competitive pricing, a sharp design and strong performance make Polestar’s first SUV a promising new offering
9 Jun 2024
Volkswagen Golf R Mk8.5 prototype review – a return to form or another disappointment?
Volkswagen Golf R prototype – front
Reviews

Volkswagen Golf R Mk8.5 prototype review – a return to form or another disappointment?

The Mk8 Golf R has never really wowed us, but can the Mk8.5 change that? A drive in a prototype version provides some clues
11 Jun 2024
Mazda 787B: the anatomy of a rotary Le Mans icon
Mazda 787B
Features

Mazda 787B: the anatomy of a rotary Le Mans icon

Mazda’s screaming rotary underdog is one of Le Mans’ most iconic winners. Three decades on, there’s still magic in car no. 55
8 Jun 2024