Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder: A rear-wheel-drive arachnid

It all started (or re-started, rather) with the Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni. Now the two-wheel-drive Lambo is a solid part of the company's Gallardo lineup, with the base-model LP 550-2 coupe and now — debuting in Los Angeles — the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder.

Not since the ultra-rare, 1998 Diablo SV Roadster has Lamborghini built a rear-drive roadster, but unlike that car — which never made it into full production — this rear-drive Spyder is actually the company's entry-level droptop. We'd first spotted the pre-production version of the two-wheel-drive Spyder a little over a year ago, when spies caught it on the Nürburgring, singing loudly unto the heavens.

Naturally, the new Spyder's largely the same as its counterpart coupe. The 5.2-liter 10-cylinder produces 550 ps (542 hp), and like the coupe the Spyder's undergone rear-wheel drive-specific suspension retuning and various aerodynamics adaptations.

The LP 550-2 gets from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and tops out at 198 mph.

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Also like the coupe, the Spyder's got a 45-percent locking rear diff, as well as stability control that, in Corsa mode, allows more tail-out action.

And yes, while the Spyder is pictured with the e-gear transmission, you can also get a manual.