Home / Social media / News / One of our favourite Lamborghini's turns 20 this year - happy birthday Gallardo


The 2003 Lamborghini Gallardo was the first Lamborghini production vehicle with a V10 engine, and that made it an immediate success. There was a previous model designed to be a baby Lamborghini in 1987, but none of the prototypes worked out the way designers wanted, and in 1998 the project started from scratch, and it was decided to rather design a car around the new V10 powerplant. Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini Technical Director from 2006 to 2022, recalls: “The L140 had a 72° V10 engine with the gearbox integrated in the oil pan area, designed by Lamborghini, and not practical to produce for the type of car it was intended for. Furthermore, the position of the gearbox under the engine generated a high centre of gravity, which wouldn’t guarantee the drivability and handling characteristics that a super sports Lamborghini should have. So, when we started the project codenamed “Baby Diablo”, a V8 was chosen and it was decided to look for a potential engine among those already on the market, including the 8-cylinder Audi. With the subsequent acquisition by Audi, it was decided to produce a completely new car with an aluminium tubular frame and a 10-cylinder engine, designed by Lamborghini, and a brand-new transmission, both manual and robotized.”

The first Gallardo had a normally-aspirated 5-litre, V 10 with 500 hp with a new 90-degree angle to limit the height of the engine, helping with the layout and lowering the centre of gravity for improved dynamics. As Maurizio Reggiani explains: “So that it could be produced in the planned quantities, the V10 had to have a 90° V, and so it was decided to adopt a “split pin” on the crankshaft, which allowed regular firing even if the crankcase had 90° cylinders. The crankcase, which up to then had inserted liners and Nikasil coating on the liner, was revised and redesigned by Lamborghini engineers, to be made with a hypereutectic aluminium alloy that allowed the liner to be cast directly on the aluminium. This allowed the distance between the cylinders, and consequently the length of the engine, the weight and costs, to be reduced. This gave rise to the 5-litre 90° V10 MPI engine which was installed on the first Gallardo series.” This was mated to an all-new 6-speed transmission. There were 32 variants of the Gallardo over the coming years, ending the production run in 2013, and the last Lamborghini Gallardo left the production line at the historic Sant'Agata Bolognese plant in the form of a Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante in Rosso Mars - with, as the name suggests, 570 hp and all-wheel drive. The Gallardo featured many special editions, it was sold in 45 countries and a total of 14 022 units were produced.

Take a look at the YouTube video from a while back that shows Jay Leno review one of the coolest Lamborghinis ever made, the Gallardo. This is a 2012 model and that means it's sorta of in the middle of the iconic nameplate's production run. It's got it all, looks, power, and a soundtrack that brings music to your ears. Just to emphasise how cool the car is, there's one in the SXdrv garages right now in the form of a 500.2 : 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo | Jay Leno's Garage 

Be sure to check out our YouTube channel here for more exciting and exclusive SXdrv content! And don't forget to smash that subscribe button!

Lamborghini replaces the Aventador with the Revuelto - a 1000+ hp PHEV
Lamborghini Celebrates 60th anniversary with record-breaking 251-car parade - In Japan!
Artistic collab between Lamborghini and Ikeuchi commemorates 60th anniversary with the Huracán STO Time Chaser_111100
When Lamborghini and Ducati team up, the results are breathtaking.
An all-electric Lamborghini for under R50 000? You betcha!
Amazing 1200HP Lamborghini Huracan Launch Control Reactions!
Lamborghini Showcases Its Plans On How It Will Enter The Electric Vehicle Market
Lamborghini Huracan vs E46 BMW M3 850HP - Drag Race!
2JZ Swapped Lamborghini Gallardo! - What Were They Thinking?