Gisteren konden we reeds de eerste details en foto’s van een nieuwe RWD Gallardo LP550-2 vrijgeven, inmiddels is het officieel. Tevens kunnen we melden dat Lamborghini het model zal vernoemen naar Valentino Balboni!
Dat is natuurlijk erg aardig, maar het is ook een zekere contradictie. Het gaat hier immers om het instapmodel van Lamborghini, en die gaat men vernoemen naar de man die de meest extreme Lambo’s mocht testen?
Maar goed, het blijft een eer. De Gallardo is namelijk het meest succesvolle Lambo model ooit. Er zijn tot op heden ruim 9000 units van verkocht. De achterwielaangedreven LP550-2 is de laatste toevoeging aan de Gallardo -range en zal gelimiteerd worden tot 250 units. En juist de achterwielaandrijving is natuurlijk uniek, tevens past het goed bij Balboni: “The LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni was conceived in line with his own thinking, and it meets many customers’ requests for a model with a unique character, which offers a very special kind of active driving fun.”
Het vermogen van de LP550-2 is uiteraard 550 pk, afkomstig uit de 5.2 liter tiencilinder. De sprint van 0-100 is mogelijk in 3,9 seconden, de topsnelheid is 320 km/u (199 mph).
For several decades, Valentino Balboni has had a distinct influence on the character of the super sports car bearing the sign of the bull. With his fine-tuning and testing work, he has helped to shape many automotive legends, from the Lamborghini Miura of the 60s through to the current Gallardo and Murciélago models. Balboni was hired in 1967 by company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini himself. From early on, it was evident that the young Balboni had a special feel for cars, that most sensitive of all instincts that connects to the ‘life blood’ of an automobile and defines the soul of a test driver.
“A Lamborghini must always combine the precision of a race car with the reliability of a good friend,” says Balboni. Since 1973, he has sat at the wheel of every prototype built by the brand, and even most production cars have passed through his hands before being delivered to their customers. This has turned Balboni into one of the most important representatives of the brand, with an outstanding reputation and status among the brand’s fans and customers worldwide.
In order to shape this unique character that combines driving fun and safety, the engineers at Sant’Agata Bolognese have incorporated extensive modifications into the LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni. It was not simply a question of moving the transmission to the rear axle, the vehicle had to be adjusted and tuned in every element of its driving dynamics. This includes springs, dampers, stabilisers and even the tyres. The aerodynamics were also adjusted to take account of the change to the power flow.
The rear axle differential, with a 45 percent limited slip, was also redeveloped, as was the calibration of the e-gear transmission. One significant point was the adjustments made to the ESP system. While the standard program is focused on high stability, the CORSA program permits greater drift angles, thus enabling drivers to enjoy the dynamics of the LP 550-2 to their full extent.