This new limited edition Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni marks a return to rear-wheel drive for the first time since the Diablo. It didn't happen with the Murcielago LP 670-4 SV, but it's happening now with the Gallardo. Just 250 units of the car will be built in honour of the retiring chief test driver, Valentino Balboni, who has been with the company for over 42 years.
The LP 550-2 suggests that it produces about 10 bhp less than the LP 560-4, but interestingly, it's also 120 kg lighter. Lamborghini suggest a 0-96 kph time of just 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 320 kph.
These numbers are little slower than the LP560-4, but don't suggest that it's any less exhilarating a drive. In fact, given that it was designed conceived with inputs from Balboni itself, it's probably going to be the most fun Lambo in production today.
For this, Lamborghini has relocated the transmission to the rear axle, resulting in a 43-57% front-rear weight distribution to maximise controlled oversteer. New springs, dampers, stabilisers, tyres and even the aerodynamics were also adjusted to help change the power flow.
A 45% limited slip diff was redeveloped for the rear-axle and adjustments were made to the ESP system. The CORSA program allows the LP550-2 to stretch it’s power-sliding legs a bit more than the standard program.
The ‘Balboni’ will go on sale in September.