The Lamborghini Gallardo is the Italian supercar maker Lamborghini's "entry-level" car, sitting beneath the Murciélago. It is also the first car to feature the new Lamborghini V10 engine - only the third engine designed by the firm. 3,000 Gallardos were built in just two years, making it the company's most-produced model to date. The second-place Diablo took a decade to sell 2,903 examples.
The Gallardo was designed as a competitor to Ferrari's 360 Modena, and now competes with its replacement, the F430. The car is named after a famous breed of fighting bull and is pronounced roughly "guy-ar-do". Gallardo is also Spanish for the word gallant. Although performance is lower than the Murcielago, it is still very high, and the Gallardo has much better rearward visibility and, according to reviewers, is more maneuverable as well as more tractable in low-speed traffic, making the Gallardo a much more practical car to drive. It is also much more practical to use in bad weather than many other supercars, thanks to rear-biased all-wheel drive. Although corporate owner Audi is renowned for its Quattro AWD system, Lamborghini uses a system of its own.
At current U.S. prices, a base Gallardo costs about $165,000.
The Gallardo offers two choices of transmissions, a conventional six-speed manual transmission, and an advanced six-speed electro-hydraulically controlled auto-clutch manual, or, as Lamborghini abbreviates it to, "E-gear". The latter allows the driver to make shifts much faster than an automatic transmission would, with the control that a manual offers. The driver shifts up and down via paddles behind the steering wheel, and does not need to manually actuate the clutch.
The production spyder model of the Gallardo was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January, 2006. It is considered by the company to be an entirely new model, with 520 hp (388 kW) and a lower-ratio six-speed transmission. The soft top is fully retractable.