Arab Today, arab today 2012 lamborghini lp 5502 spyder
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2012 Lamborghini LP 550-2 Spyder

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Arab Today, arab today 2012 Lamborghini LP 550-2 Spyder

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Lamborghini calls this a purist\'s car, a rear-drive convertible version of the Gallardo. The LP stands for longitudinale/ posteriore, meaning that the engine is longitudinally mounted behind the two seats and forward of the rear axle, which is where you\'d expect it to be. The 550 is the output of the normally aspirated V10 in horsepower (though if you convert 405 kilowatts to horsepower you get 543; close enough), which you\'d also expect. But the 2 means that all of that power goes to the two rear wheels instead of to all four wheels, as has been far more common in almost all other Lamborghinis in the last 10 to 15 years. The latter you wouldn\'t expect, given that almost all Lamborghinis have used all-wheel drive to harness their tremendous output. So with all of that power going to the rears, combined with a convertible roof, this Gallardo really should live up to its billing as a purist\'s ride. What is it like to drive? First of all, almost any time you can drive any car in this class, it is a superb experience. Sports cars that cost more than 200 grand are pretty much all worth their curb weight in thrilling. So if we are complaining about one thing or another, or noticing how one works better than the other here or there, it\'s not to say that you\'re not going to get your $214,995 worth. You will. But there are choices to be made in this rarified atmosphere, and there are distinct personalities to each option the buyer has. Thus, if the Ferrari 458 Spider is the ultimate open-top sports car, the LP 550-2 is, like Lamborghinis from time immemorial, a beautifully sculpted mounting point for a powerful engine. That is not to dismiss it; it\'s just that the Ferrari (and we assume the coming convertible version of the McLaren; we\'ve only driven the McLaren coupe) is better at steering around corners, with more feedback, a better weight to the steering wheel and a slightly quicker turn-in. The Lamborghini is still good at all that stuff, just not quite as good as its competitors. The LP 550-2 Spyder is like the muscle car of Italian supercars. Standing still and looking superb or launching in a straight line is what it does best. Hammer the throttle from a standstill or from just about any point on the speedometer and you unleash a torrent of power and torque. Lamborghini lists curb weight at 3,351 pounds \"dry,\" which means no gasoline, oil, windshield-washer fluid or Starbucks coffee in the cupholders. Supercarmakers tend to do that, especially the Italians. Your weight may vary but figure a real weight to be about 3,500 pounds. Combined with 543 hp, that\'s good for a 0-to-62-mph time of 4.2 seconds. We were expressly prohibited from running our own numbers on the car, so we\'ll have to guess that that sounds about right. It is mighty quick. Top speed is 198 mph. We had nowhere in the Los Angeles basin where we could verify that figure. We did take it on a twisty mountain road and noticed a few character traits. Whether the suspension is set in sport or corsa, the front end has a tendency to bob a little like a 993 Porsche, the bigger bumps getting through to the driver, who may not want all of them. The car we drove was the exact same blue car that was unveiled in Los Angeles at the time of the last L.A. auto show, so maybe it was an early production car or a prototype, but it creaked and squeaked like crazy. It was not just the seat back squeaking against the rear bulkhead, which is bad enough, but the front and rear suspension (or some part of the aluminum spaceframe) was creaking like an old haunted house. We can only hope that this kind of thing gets sorted out as production numbers increase. The exhaust note, which could be fun for a while, was a little loud. We only mention that because it made it harder to drive speedily without being noticed by neighbors or LEOs. Switch to corsa or sport and the exhaust note gets louder. And while the power top raises and lowers with precision, when up it limits rear three-quarter visibility. We could learn to live with all of that. Do I want it? If you lean toward the muscle-car end of the convertible-supercar segment, this is your ride. It has 543 hp and weighs 3,500 pounds. You can\'t go wrong. If you are on the sports-car end, try the Ferrari. If you need a fixed roof over your head, there are many other choices from McLaren, Toyota, Nissan, etc. Of course, separating \"want\" from \"have\" is a huge gulf, in this case about $214,995 wide including destination and gas-guzzler tax. The hardtop version starts at less than $200,000, if that helps any. 2012 Lamborghini LP 550-2 Spyder On Sale: Now Price: $214,995 Drivetrain: Mid-mounted 5.2-liter normally aspirated V10, 543 hp at 8,000 rpm, 398 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm; RWD, limited-slip differential, paddle-shifted six-speed e-gear transmission Curb Weight: 3,500 lb (AW est) Fuel Economy (EPA): 13/20 mpg

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