New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Official: Killer 405-kW RWD Lambo

2009-06-30 10:13
Lamborghini has confirmed its hardcore Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni after leaked images started doing the rounds earlier this week.

Wheels24 on Tuesday noted that, based on the car's model designation, it would likely fire off 405 kW from the hulking 5.2-litre V10 powerplant common to the Gallardo range.

This has now been confirmed for the rear-wheel drive supercar, which should, according to Lamborghini, appeal to those who enjoy " a very special kind of driving fun". No doubt. It's also the only rear-wheel drive model in Lamborghini's current portfolio and production is limited to 250 units.

However, the Raging Bull insists that this car is extremely safe to drive and the vehicle has been tweaked in several ways to accomodate its different dynamic abilities.

Springs, dampers, and even tyres are altered. The revised ESP system, in its standard mode, has a definite bias towards high-speed stability, while the Corsa programme offers spirited drivers more latitude. Gallardo's rear axle, with a 45% limited slip, was also redeveloped.

More fun

With these features offering a little reassurance, and with a 10-cylinder doing duty over the rear axle, this car catapults to 100 km/h from standstill in 3.9 seconds and hits a top end of 320 km/h.

The interior is a monochromatic feast with the all-black leather upholstery matched with an all-white leather centre console. For added drama, black seats have a white stripe running across them. 

Extra kit includes a transparent engine cover, reversing camera and a lifting function for the front axle for those tricky curbs. Optional extras are the e-gear automatic transmission and carbon ceramic brakes. 

Eight special colours have been made available for this model. The wheels retain their dark grey finish and, depending on the exterior paint finish, brake calipers come in black, orange or yellow.

The name

But some of you must be wondering who this "Valentino Balboni" is.

A retired test driver for the Sant'Agata squad, Balboni was hired by company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1967 and made his mark on models such as the seminal Miura right through to the modern Gallardo and Murcielago models.

Balboni has driven every prototype built by the company since 1973. We reckon seeing a badge positioned below this Gallardo's window bearing his signature and the car's production number is a worthy honour from one of the world's top sports car producers.


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