By Staff Contributor.
Two forms of supercar for two different types of well-heeled shoppers; sinister good look and massively evil engines. Eye-watering performance, eye-opening starting prices, I’m talking about two different examples of that rare breed of car known as the supercar. In one corner, we have the brash bull known as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder. Across the way sits the more subdued Brit known as the Aston Martin Vanquish. Both serving as occasional playthings to the caviar crew, these lust-worthy machines inspire an entire generation of enthusiasts regardless of said enthusiast’s age.
Though both are very different vehicles on paper, and come from two different schools of thought and countries of origin, each is meant to inspire awe and wonder in all those that stare at an example as it passes by. Power, performance, passion, and pure beauty are in strong supply with each car.
Hailing from Italy, the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder is flamboyant, aggressive, angry, and announces its presence many miles in advance of its actual arrival. Power is provided by way of a 5.2-liter V10 engine that creates 550 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque and then sends it down to the rear wheels. The mill is mounted out back, and its power is metered out through the six-speed single-clutch paddle-shifted gearbox. It’s an automated manual, which means there’s no clutch but you can take full control of the action. You can also pop the Lambo in “D” and relax if you run into some traffic.
Like a good Brit, the Vanquish takes a slightly more civilized approach to providing its supercar action. Now, don’t think it’s tame by any means… it’s just not as wild as the Italian maniac. Here you’re getting a 6.0-liter V12 engine that sits up front and produces 565 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic gearbox is employed with the Vanquish, and it, just as in the Gallardo, can be controlled by way of paddle shifters.
Each car is rear-wheel-drive, and each car will run from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds. Keep the throttle flat to the floor and the Vanquish will give up at 183 miles per hour. The Gallardo keeps on trucking to its 198 mile per hour top speed. Most folks won’t find that part of the speedometer, of course, and a canyon run at a few ticks over the speed limit is a bit more likely. In that situation, it’s the Gallardo that will be ready to destroy corners while the Aston Martin Vanquish will keep you far more comfortable. It’s a Grand Tourer in the grandest sense, and it’s just as fun to push on your favorite road as it is for a long-distance road trip. The Gallardo, on the other hand, offers a more rewarding experience in short bursts, but it would murder your spine if the day of driving goes long.
Since we’re talking supercars, we’re also talking about super price tags. If you desire the wild child from Italy, expect to spend at least $250,000. Feeling like wearing a tailored tuxedo instead of a sharp suit then bring at least $280,000 to your local Aston Martin dealership. No matter which vehicle is right for you, you’re ending up with something very special. If I were shopping in this segment, I’d lean towards the Aston Martin because it’s more usable on a daily basis. But I’d stare lustfully at every Gallardo Spyder I saw on the road.