Since Lamborghini produced its first prototype in 1963, the Italian carmaker has gained a reputation for producing the most exotic supercars in the world.
While rivals Ferrari (just down the road in Modena) may produce cars with a greater racing pedigree – Lamborghini designs the kind of cars which not only make people stop and stare.
And the Lamborghini Gallardo, released in 2003, is no exception.
Despite being only the second Lamborghini model ever to be built under the umbrella ownership of Audi – the masters of automotive subtlety – this is a supercar with jaw-dropping looks.
And the partnership between a raging bull and a German car giant has taken away the fragility and tempestuousness associated with the Lamborghini Countach and Diablo.
The Gallardo is the first Lambo you could call practical – which explains why it’s the most successful car Lamborghini has ever built, with more than 5,000 sold in the first three years.
And the Ferrari F430-baiter keeps getting faster and more accomplished.
Let’s take a look at each model in the Gallardo stable so far:
Designed by Luc Donkerwolke, the original Lamborghini Gallardo was launched in 2003 as a compact two-seater supercar to take on the Ferrari 360 Modena.
Its name is taken from a famous breed of fighting bull, and it has the performance to live up to its charging persona.
Despite its small size, the Gallardo has a 510bhp, 5-litre V10 engine mounted just behind the driver and passenger seats.
Power is sent to all four wheels – but the rear tyres take more of the thrust so rear wheel skids and on-track handling are all in keeping with the supercar ethos.
Lamborghini Gallardo SE
After two years of excitement and record sales, Lamborghini decided to turn up the heat.
Its power was increased to a huge 520bhp, suspension was stiffened, steering was made more responsive and gear ratios were stacked closer together.
Distinguished from the outside by a black roof panel and special wheels, production was limited to only 250 cars costing £134,000 each.
Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
With the folding soft top electrically retracted into the boot the magnificent V10 engine sounds even more visceral and the sensation of speed is even greater.
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
The Lamborghini Gallardo is renowned for its supercar speeds, with benign handling which doesn’t bite the hands of its driver.
The Gallardo Superleggera, launched at the 2007 Geneva motor show, is the Gallardo’s evil brother.
It has been stripped of any creature comforts in the name of performance (it’s almost 200kg lighter than a standard Gallardo coupe), and has been endowed with ten extra horsepower and some of the loudest exhausts known to man.
Aimed squarely at the Ferrari F430 Scuderia, it’s the ultimate track toy and cost a cool £145,000 new.
Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4
While it looks familiar to the classic design of the original Gallardo, the Gallardo LP 560-4 is practically an all-new car for 2008.
At the rear it has awesome arrow-shaped LED taillights and a new black-mesh grille to vent heat from the engine.
The motor has been enlarged to 5.2-litres and given advanced direct injection, which sprays just the right amount of fuel into its ten cylinders.
Not only does the LP 560-4 have more power (560bhp) but it uses less fuel than before, with consumption and carbon dioxide emissions reduced by 18 per cent.
The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 is even faster than the hardcore Superleggera, accelerating from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and cracking 200mph, all while being moreluxurious than the stripped out Superleggera – and quieter.