Of all the thrills provided by a performance-oriented hyper-exotic automobile, my favorite is the singularity. In physics, a singularity is the point of mass density where gravitational forces are so great they distort space and time — and then the whole shebang collapses into a black hole. The Lamborghini Gallardo SE's supercar singularity arrives somewhere around 5000rpm. The intensity of the V10's operatic bellow becomes so great that forward thrust and relative speed become subjectively unquantifiable. Planting your right foot until the engine winds out to 8100rpm whilst heading towards an oncoming eighteen wheeler's bow wave is an act of quantum-level insanity. And a bit of a hoot.
So if you're wondering why anyone would pay $190k for an extreme sports car designed by a Belgian for an Italian tractor manufacturer turned sports car maker under the watchful eye of a German provider of OCD-level sedans and SUVs owned by a union-controlled multinational mass-market manufacturer, there's your answer. Unfortunately (for someone in that mix), the days when a supercar could provide a single thrill and call it good are gone. Fortunately (for well-heeled car collectors), the unrelentingly angular Gallardo has another trick up its two dozen creased sleeves: handling.
More specifically, the Gallardo SE uses father Audi's Quattro system to keep the mid-engined machine's back end from coming 'round during hyperspace forays into Lateral-G World. This is what accelerative drivers with a family and less than generous insurance coverage call "a good thing." Like the equally benign Lamborghini Murcielago, the Gallardo SE can be flung around corners without the slightest regard to whether or not you should have done that quite so goddamn fast. An understeer slide is the only penalty meted out for adhesive miscalculation. And unlike its Mercy stable mate, the baby bull is small and light enough to make even experienced passengers nauseous through the turns without a nose-first tire plow.
Other than that, you can have it. I reckon anyone stumping up the better part of two hundred large for an automobile should get a paddle-shift gearbox that doesn't make the vehicle shunt like a badly bumped bumper car. And an interior that doesn't have the exact same head unit and climate control system found in an Audi A3. And an engine with at least as much bottom end torque as an Audi A3. And a chassis/suspension set up that doesn't make the car vibrate like a cheap massage chair above 120mph. And brakes that offer some kind of stopping feel and power in the first inch and a half of pedal travel. But hey, that's me.
I'm sure there are plenty of Manhattan trustifarians — I mean discerning drivers — willing to overlook these ergonomic and aesthetic deficiencies just to get a taste of that singular shove and go-kart clich . And, let's not forget the snob appeal. For most people at this level, a crazy-ass Italian sports car is a far better whip than a Porsche Turbo. Except that it isn't. [by Robert Farago]