Underground Racing's Twin-Turbo Lamborghini Gallardo Tempts with 1,000 hp
By Mac Morrison/Autoweek Magazine
|The standard Gallardo, with 552 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, is a world-class sports car, but when K. C. Howeth turns this key and steps on the gas, long-standing ideas about what constitutes "exotic" are sucked into the turbos and jettisoned out the exhaust. Think you know? Better think again.|
The V10 fires up with a louder, meaner roar than other Gallardos, though not to an offensive degree. But under wide-open acceleration? The turbos whine loudly like a dentist's drill, and when full boost comes on a tick past 3,000 rpm, the acceleration is so unfathomable that it makes describing it a serious challenge. Raise your hand if you've driven an NHRA dragster. Or a JATO rocket. Or Doc Brown's time machine. No? Neither have we, but it's hard to conceive that the human brain can differentiate between the speed this car generates and that produced by a vehicle that might actually be faster.
No Loss of Driveability
|Underground Racing gives the Lamborghini Gallardo's V10 engine a complete makeover, including new steel liners for the aluminum block.|
The engine spools up so quickly and everything happens so fast that there is no time to feel fear. Just make sure the front wheels are pointed straight before really hammering down, because even with all-wheel drive, the car gets a bit squirrelly when shifting up into second, and into third, depending on the road surface. Most stunning, our experience came with the boost dialed down and the car making "only" about 900 hp. That was still far more than enough to recalibrate perceptions of what road cars are capable of.
|Perhaps just as impressive, and quite surprising, Underground's creation behaves like a normal, modern supercar under partial throttle, pulling away smoothly from stops and generally cruising around as comfortably as any showroom-new Lamborghini. With boost turned down to 8-15 psi, rather than the 25-30 psi that is possible, and running on pump gas rather than race fuel, many people would not even realize they were seated just inches in front of a street-legal neutron bomb ready to detonate at the press of a pedal. Drivers can use this car exactly as they do their untuned Gallardos and lose nothing in the way of driveability.|
Reliability might be another matter, but Underground provides a two-year/24,000-mile warranty--as long as customers use Mobil 1 oil exclusively. Kevin Howeth said he expects his cars to run for 75,000 miles or more, and he pointed out that no one playing in this league has asked Underground the question. They've no doubt been more concerned with ridding themselves of temptation.
Those fortunate souls find out soon enough that Wilde was wrong. Temptation only grows stronger with each stint behind the wheel.