Before I start, I have to confess to being a big Gallardo fan. It is one of the first exotic cars I have driven since back in the day, and it's the one I've had the most seat time in. I love its design, its sound, its handling, its manual gearbox. It is what anyone would want in an exotic car: obnoxious, loud, fun and fast!
This particular car being the last year of production of the Gallardo, Lamborghini changed the design of the body a little bit. I have to say, looking at pictures when it came out, I wasn't a fan. These triangular shapes were not to my taste. In person, however, the front looks a lot nicer. I actually think I like it even more than the 2nd generation. I'm still unsure about the back, but the front definitely works with this design. It doesn't hurt that all the openings actually serve a purpose and send even more air down the car for cooling! If anything, this design makes it stand out against the scores of Gen 1 and Gen 2 Gallardos out there!
As far as sound goes, this is everything I remembered it to be. That V10 sounds amazing. I just wish the exhaust valves were always open, but this is something that is easily remedied. Its growl turns heads even doing 25 mph through the small downtowns of Marin County.
Handling too is all very familiar. As an Audi guy for the past 15 years, the steering and handling of the Gallardo has always felt (to me) as it should be. The front wheels are planted and answer my steering input as they should. There is very little understeer at turn in, and a very neutral feeling throughout the rest of the corner. It is a car that inspires confidence. I consider myself a decent driver, but I've never mastered the art of doing donuts and drifting. I can drive fast, but I don't want a car that slides or oversteers too much. That would mean I can't drive this car to my limits, but have to drive it to its limits. A car with limits beyond mine is PARAMOUNT in my enjoying it and having fun with it. And the Gallardo has ALWAYS delivered. This one is no exception.
The ONE thing I was actually worried about with this car was its transmission. I have heard SO MANY horror stories on the eGear that I was ready for the worst. "Do not park too close to a wall, as it can lurch forward when you engage the first gear", they said. "It doesn't know how to inch forward slowly", they said. "It will break your neck when you upshift", they said.
Well, I don't know if it is because this was the eGear's final year of production and they finally got it right after fine tuning it for a decade, but this car got none of that. I will go as far as saying this: this is BAR NONE the best single clutch transmission I've driven. In Street mode, even when you do the shifting with the paddles, it behaves like an automatic: smooth upshift with barely any break in traction (propulsion? both, I guess). It was the biggest surprise when I drove it. In Sport and Corsa modes, sure it will have that break, but again, a whole lot less than I would expect. It is a very livable transmission and makes this particular Gallardo a car worth purchasing.
Getting this less than two year old Lamborghini V10 car, with only 4,500 miles on it will cost you half the price of a current new Lamborghini V10 car. That's right, at $159,900, this Lamborghini Gallardo is a steal. It will get you on your way to automotive bliss just about the same, for half the cost!
Based on the cars driven so far, this 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo therefore joins the shelf of "Starter Exotic Car recommended by 100|OCT" alongside the 2015 Aston Martin Vantage V12 S and the 2015 Maserati GranTurismo MC. Three very different cars, but you can't go wrong with any of them!
Many thanks to Vince Golde and the entire team at Lamborghini San Francisco - British Motor Cars Distributors. Contact Vince at (415) 351-5102 or firstname.lastname@example.org for all your Bentley, Lamborghini, Lotus and Pagani needs and tell him 100|OCT sent you.