A week ago I had the opportunity to drive our 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo to shoot some video for the web. I’ve always liked the Gallardos, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. It looks awesome in white (Bianco Mocerus) over black, and has some nice touches like the Callisto silver-painted wheels over red calipers, and clear engine cover. Add-in the E-gear transmission, leather touches in the cabin, suede sport steering wheel, power \ heated seats, navigation, and 6-CD changer, and you’ve got over $25k in options on this car. Can’t say I would have skipped any of them.

The driving experience is fantastic. The engine note is mean down low, and superb at high RPMs. Back in 2006 Lamborghini made some changes to the car which included a sportier exhaust system, with valves opening at high rpm, while maintaining a quieter note in town. They’ve also tweaked their E-Gear transmission over the years, and that was apparent driving this car. 1st gear engagement was smooth, even in sport mode, while the next 5 cog-swaps are dealt with how you expect them to be: Snappy when you’re driving hard, a bit more subdued when you’re taking it easy.

The suspension is surprisingly forgiving. Thanks to Minnesota’s notorious Winters, we can’t exactly brag about our road quality. Sure it’s still best to avoid the big potholes, but the average every-day stuff was soaked up without ruining my day. That is to say – you feel the bumps (you’re supposed to in a car that’s capable of nearly 200mph), but it’s surprisingly comfortable to drive.

In typical supercar fashion, the old Lambo stereo was not much worth mentioning. For 2008 Lamborghini added the onboard computer, a welcome addition. Flip down the screen and you can insert two SD cards full of MP3s. I had mixed success with the system. Most of my memory cards didn’t work. After searching the forums it seems it’s compatible with SD, but not SDHC cards. So you’re limited to under 2GB, which is something like 30 hours of music. In the real world I only got a 256MB card to work, with about 4 hours of music on it, but I presume a deeper dive into the owners manual would have solved my problems. The navigation is typical Audi, which is to say it works pretty well, but without the very-quick MMi interface it can be a little tedious to enter your destination.

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Overall this is a pretty fantastic supercar. With around 520 horsepower, a superb all-wheel-drive system, and E-Gear transmission – this is a shockingly easy car to drive. Certainly it’s fast enough to hurt you, but it’s not quite so eager to take your head off like a Ferrari 430 might do if you’re not careful. Just about anyone could get in this car and drive it fast, a trait lampooned by Top Gear a couple of years ago: (skip ahead 3 minutes)