Yesterday, Lamborghini rolled out its new Gallardo spider, to the ecstatic cries of 500 star-struck members of the worldwide press corps. With elbows sharper than the point on chief designer Luc Donckerwolke's head (psych! "pencil" was way too easy), they pierced each other into a frenzy. And no wonder: It took two years following the launch of its hardtop sibling, the Gallardo coup-ay (sorry, the European stuff is starting to rub on) for Lamborghini to launch the Spider here in Frankfurt. The pent-up desire alone could have nearly outpowered the Spider's 5.0-liter 10-cylinder engine, which produces 520 hp at 8,000 rpm. The company says the spider is a completely new model, sharing more of its structure with the Concept S it introduced in Geneva, than the Gallardo Coupe. We had heard development of the roof unit, rife with complexity creep, held up the roadster's production, but the black-fabric top seems to work flawlessly, retracting into the engine compartment, like a contortionist on a double-dosage of muscle relaxants, in 20 seconds. Adding elegance to surgery is the rear window, which raises and lowers via electric motor. What's more, it can hit 190mph with the roof down, without air pressure sucking the driver through the top as if he was 42,000 feet over the North Atlantic (195 with it closed).
Spy Photos: 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Roadster; Lamborghini Posts Teaser Clips Promoting Gallardo Spider [internal]