Named after Lamborghini’s best known test driver, Valentino Balboni who retired after 40 years with the company, the Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni ditches the Gallardo’s four-wheel drive system for a rear-drive setup, while power comes from a slightly detuned 5,2-litre V10 engine producing 550 HP or 404 kW.
Lamborghini said the conversion from all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive only was not simply a question of moving the transmission to the rear axle, as the vehicle had to be thoroughly adjusted and tuned. The company’s engineers performed changes on the supercar’s springs, dampers, stabilisers and the tyres, as well as adjusting the aerodynamics to account for the change in the power flow.
Other changes concern the redevelopment of the rear axle differential, with a 45 percent limited slip, the recalibration of the e-gear transmission and a series of adjustments to the ESP system, which now permits greater drift angles.
Currently the only Lamborghini to deliver its power to the road via its rear wheels alone, is 30 kg’s lighter than its all-wheel drive equivalent, the 414 kW Gallardo LP560-4. Weighing in at 1 380 kg, the LP 550-2 launches from zero to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, or 0.2 seconds slower than the LP 560-4, while it achieves a top speed of 320 km/h (LP 560-4 reaches 325 km/h).
On the outside, the Balboni Gallardo features a strip in white and gold, running from the front panel all the way back to the rear spoiler, a transparent engine cover and Scorpius alloys in dark grey finish. Brake callipers come in black, orange or yellow, depending on the exterior paint finish. Customers can choose from a palette of eight exterior colors.
Inside, the special edition Gallardo is equipped with full leather upholstery in black, with the seats featuring a white color strip. The centre console is completely upholstered in a contrasting Polar white leather, while a badge below the left side window bears the signature of Valentino Balboni and the production number of the car.
The Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni will be produced in a limited series of 250 units with suggested retail prices without taxes set at €162 000 for Europe, £137 900 for the UK and $219 800 for the US.