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Jay Leno Drives The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni: Video

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Filed under Automotive, Lamborghini, Video

If you think that all Lamborghini Gallardos rely on all-wheel drive to transfer their impressive power to the ground, think again. To honor it’s storied test driver, Valentino Balboni, Lamborghini built a 550-horsepower version of the Gallardo that sends its thrust exclusively to the rear wheels.

Why? To produce a Gallardo that is lighter, with a more direct steering feel (and a propensity to generate long and lurid power-on oversteer). In other words, the Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni is a direct link to earlier Lamborghini models, like the Miura and the Countach.

One man who knows a thing or two about Lamborghinis past and present is Jay Leno, who owns both a Countach and a pair of Miuras. It’s fitting, then, that Lamborghini marketing manager Cedric Davy stopped by the Big Dog Garage with the keys to a Balboni edition Gallardo.

The car packs a 5.2-liter V10 engine, rated at 550 metric horsepower (or 542 of our own ponies) and bolted to either a six-speed manual or Lamborghini’s e-gear robotic automatic transmission. The rear-drive layout saves nearly seventy pounds, and despite having the lowest power rating of any Gallardo model, the Balboni will still run from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds.

Only 250 Balboni edition Gallardos were built, and it’s not clear how many remain available. Now that the Gallardo is in its final year, we can only hope that its replacement offers up a rear-drive throwback model as well.


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