Lamborghini has heeded its well-heeled clientele's wishes for an unlimited edition Balboni, creating a new two-wheel-drive bull capable of fulfilling inner drifter fantasies. It is called the Gallardo LP550-2 Bicolore.Gripping its Alcantara-wrapped wheel tightly on Turn 4 at New York's Monticello Motor Club, I quickly learn that in the 542-horse LP550-2, a rendezvous with a corner demands 24 Hours of Le Mans focus. Get it wrong, and you could send the Bicolore with its 398 pound-feet of torque off into the weeds, or worse, the car could be come a crumpled mess and you immobilized on a stretcher.
This love for the edge is one reason why chief Gallardo engineer Riccardo Bettini and his team decreased the V-10's power by 10 cavallinos. It was not given the Superleggera/Performante boost to 562 horses because it is "too nervous with 570 [562, according to SAE] horsepower. Five hundred and fifty horsepower improves manageability," the engineer says. Even the standard coupe's 552 horsepower was deemed too unpleasant in tests.Feed the Gallardo a full serving of throttle upon corner exit to enjoy a blurry rocket-propelled grenade reality and a thunderous "I hate everything" V-10 roar. A sprint to 62 mph takes 3.9 seconds, officials say, while top speed arrives at the 199-mph hash. Taking into account our test of the LP550-2 Balboni (3.4 seconds with six-speed manual), a run to 60 mph should fall in the mid-3-second range
Bettini says the Bicolore bests the Balboni in terms of daily comfort and initial value, but not in rarity or clout. Just a year ago, the entry fee for putting a celebratory Valentino Balboni in your garage was $223,000 at minimum. For the barely different Bicolore, pricing begins at $196,995. What a steal.