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Road Test: Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale
Lamborghini’s single-brand racing series, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series has been a huge success. It’s been running for four seasons now with the same Lamborghini Gallardo modified for racing purposes. It’s been so successful that it spawned two special edition models; the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Blancpain Edition which was limited to just twelve cars, and the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale, limited to 150 cars. The later of those two is the subject of today’s review.
The Lamborghini Gallardo is a nine-year-old. First introduced in 2003, it saw a major update in 2008 when the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 was unveiled and in 2010 when the Superleggera version was introduced, but very little since. The Super Trofeo Stradale is essentially an LP570-4 Superleggera with a few extra pieces, which means there’s no drastic redesign to be seen and the mechanicals remain untouched.
From the exterior, the first thing you notice is the rear wing. It’s taken directly from the Blancpain racers so you get the possibility of manually adjusting its setup. Not something we expect the average road user to take advantage of, however, it might be useful to those that take their car to the track on a regular basis. Despite its size, from the inside it’s barely noticed. It doesn’t obstruct the rear view and at normal cruising speeds, wind noise isn’t an issue. It does add three times more downforce so push on a bit harder and you start to notice the wind noise a bit more.
Even with the huge rear wing, the Stradale doesn’t actually increase in weight compared to the Superleggera. Total weight is 1,340kgs thanks to a new set of forged aluminum wheels which save 13kgs. Other unique features offered exclusively for the Stradale include the Rosso Mars paintwork and the Pirelli tires. The car also gets a unique carbon fiber engine cover with ten air vents and quick release levers.
Underneath, the Super Trofeo Stradale uses an aluminum-alloy space frame chassis with independent wishbone suspension. It gets a firm set of shock absorbers, reinforced suspension mounts and anti-roll bars. All of this allows it to perform admirably on the track, but how does it feel on the road?
The answer to that question needs to be addressed after we’ve talked about the engine and the transmission. The Blancpain Series Gallardo’s use the same engine found in the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera. As you’d expect, the Super Trofeo Stradale uses the exact same unit. It’s a naturally aspirated 5.2 liter V10 engine designed by Audi engineers and built at the company’s Hungary plant. Lamborghini then assembles the parts in Sant’Agata, Italy before fitting it into Gallardo models.
For the Superleggera, Lamborghini simply re-calibrated the engine management system to release an extra 10hp over the LP560-4. This means that the Super Trofeo Stradale has full use of 570hp at 8000rpm and 540Nm at 6500rpm. A unique dual-plane crank design, which allows opposing pistons to share the same bearing, gives the Stradale an awesome racing tuned sound. The exhaust remains the same, a quad system with a black finish.
To bring all of the above together, the Super Trofeo Stradale features Lamborghini’s e-gear transmission. It’s a gearbox that Gallardo, Murcielago LP640 and Aventador owners will have plenty of experience with. It’s an automatic, six-speed, single-clutch unit with three different settings; automatic, sport and corsa mode. The buttons that change these settings can be found where you’d conventionally find the gear shifter.
To ignite the engine, a simple turn of the key is require. There’s no starter button and no theatrics, just a simple turn of the key. The moment you do that, you get a nice V10 rumble that settles down to a comfortable growl after a few seconds. It’s in automatic mode as default, and to get used to the car, it remained there for a few miles. Automatic mode attempts to give owners a comfortable setting, almost for day to day use. You notice that the suspension is softer, the exhaust baffles stay closed and the gearbox tries to constantly find sixth gear! It’s useful for long distance cruises but perhaps on the Stradale, it doesn’t quite fit the personality.
Changing up to sport mode requires a simple touch a button. It changes a number of key settings giving the Gallardo a firmer ride, better engine responses, a vastly improved soundtrack and a more compliant gearbox. The gear shifts will now head further towards the redline before they shift upwards. A simple flick of the paddle shifter allows an upwards or downwards shift while retaining a smooth transition between gears.
Want to push a little harder? Welcome to Corsa mode! It’s the button to the right of automatic, press it and you instantly get the full Lamborghini experience. The exhaust baffles open fully, the suspension is at its firmest setting and the gearbox shifts so violently you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just had an accident!
It’s Corsa mode that fits the Super Trofeo Stradale’s character best. The big wing promises big performance, and while the Gallardo platform is aging noticeably, the Stradale still remains relevant for the atmosphere alone! For the road though, it’s sport mode that you’re most likely to use. It’s more comfortable, retains that V10 soundtrack nicely and it isn’t always searching for the high gear ratio.
As far as handling goes, the Gallardo is unique. Compared to its competition, Ferrari, McLaren and Maserati perhaps being the most prominent, its four-wheel drive system gives it an edge. It feels very useable and rarely breaks grip. In fact, as we pushed forward through the Italian hills, we actually started to notice a small amount of understeer in Corsa mode, yet push it further and that understeer turns gradually to oversteer. The Stradale features a fantastic set of brakes, carried over from the Superleggera. Carbon ceramics are on the option list for those that want extra bite and less fade.
We’ve said a bit about the Gallardo’s age already. The interior used to be an area you noticed it most with aging Audi switches and an outdated steering wheel design. For the Super Trofeo Stradale it’s an evolutionary story. You get the same chrome switch row as you would normally find in a Gallardo. The sat nav and stereo now become an option, replace by a carbon fiber fascia. The doors feature complete carbon fiber covers along with the center console, transmission tunnel, handbrake and steering wheel.
A nice touch is the complete Alcantara interior with a two-tone, red on black design. You get the Super Trofeo Stradale logos stitched into the dash and a Lamborghini crest on headrest. We found the seats offer enough support for travelling at speed through corners yet retain a nice level of comfort, enough to allow the odd long distance adventure without discomfort.
Of course, we did find a few flaws with Gallardo too. The interior offers less space than the Supeleggera due to the roll cage behind the seat. This means less space for belongings. Our photographer also found headroom to be lacking a little, those over 6 foot 1 inch should test the Stradale for size beforehand. Our demonstrator had also been fitted with fiddly four point racing harnesses which made getting in and out a time consuming process. These are an optional extra though, as is Bluetooth and the lifting system (another luxury our car enjoyed).
Overall, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale isn’t too much different from Lamborghini’s Superleggera model. Stradale’s literal Italian translation is ‘road’, which sums the car up perfectly. It’s a Super Trofeo car, for the road. Of course, parts of the racer’s design (its racing gearbox, spartan interior and fully FIA approved roll cage for example) have been lost in translation for practical reasons. But it’s the closest you’ll get to a Blancpain Super Trofeo car for the road.
It has flaws, the rear wing perhaps produces a bit of extra noise, the harness is fiddly and space is at a premium. However, compared next to the Superleggera, the Super Trofeo Stradale doesn’t actually lose any of the passion that makes the hardcore Gallardo models a sensation to own and drive. It’s so simple that applying common sense, anybody could drive it. The best part of the package? The noise you get as you accelerate out of the corner with the exhaust baffles open to their fullest.