Lamborghini presents a model in honour of their long-time test driver - the Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni. "550" as in 550 bhp and "2" for rear wheel drive. Game on!
Long revered as one of the many legends surrounding Lamborghini, Valentino Balboni has had a distinct influence on the brand. With his fine-tuning and testing work, he has helped to shape many automotive legends, from the Miura of the 60s through to the current Gallardo and Murcielago models. Balboni was hired in 1967 by company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini himself.
After over 40 years with Lamborghini, Balboni is now officially retired. Yet, Valentino Balboni continues to travel to many countries around the world as an ambassador of the brand. The special exclusivity of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni is guaranteed - it is limited to 250 units.
The Balboni model is the only current Lamborghini that delivers its power to the road via its rear wheels alone. Yet, thanks to the eminently powerful V10 driveline, controlled oversteer is no problem - naturally always to the extent defined by the driver. To combine driving fun and safety, the engineers at Sant'Agata Bolognese have incorporated extensive modifications into the LP550-2 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 LP550-2 to their full extent.
Adjustments have also been made to the very heart of the Lamborghini Gallardo, the 5.2 litre 10-cylinder: the perfect synthesis of hi-revving pleasure, pulling power, a constantly exuberant temperament and a powerful symphony played in all keys. In the Valentino Balboni, the compact and lightweight power unit generates 405 kW (550 hp). At a dry weight of only 1,380 kilograms, this guarantees outstanding performance: the LP550-2 is catapulted from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62mph) in a breathtaking 3.9 seconds, while the top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph) guarantees its place among the ultimate in super sports cars.
The Valentino Balboni is not only unique in terms of its technology: its design and equipment reinforce its exclusivity. Its classic sporting character is emphasised by a colour strip in white and gold running from the front panel over the roof and parts of the engine cover all the way to the rear spoiler, with inspiration from the classic sports cars from the '70s. This colour treatment underscores the powerful elegance of the Lamborghini Gallardo and emphasises the unique Lamborghini design DNA.
The characteristic colour combination is repeated in the interior. The basic colour of the full leather upholstery is black. Both seats, however, feature the colour strip in white. The centre console is completely upholstered in Polar white leather to create a powerful accent. A badge below the left side window bears the signature of Valentino Balboni and the production number of the car.