Wednesday, October 6, 2010

1:18 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni Limited Edition - AUTOart

It is a limited (250 units) version named after Valentino Balboni, Lamborghini's former chief test driver for over 40 years. The engine is rated at 550 PS (405 kW; 542 hp). The vehicle has a dry weight of 1,380 kg (3,000 lb). Unlike the contemporary line-up, this model is rear-wheel-drive (because the standard all-wheel-drive system was removed). The CORSA ESP setting allows greater drift angles over regular models.
Other features include re-calibrated optional e-gear transmission, redeveloped 45% limited slip differential, full leather black upholstery with white colour strips, Polar white centre console, a stripe down the centre of the car, and a badge below the left side window bears the signature of Valentino Balboni and the production number of the car.
The Lamborghini LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni can reach a top speed of 199 mph and reach 0–100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.

In 2009, the car was voted Top Gear's car of the year; Richard Hammond explained: "We were impressed with its stripe, its V10 engine, its rear wheel drive, the savagery of its exhaust, and its, er, stripe."

Valentino Balboni's signature etched on a plate can be seen behind the glass of the rear-side quarter window. Great feature not missed by AUTOart.


There are only two minor issues I noticed that AUTOart missed on this model:

1. In the AUTOart website, this particular model's color is/was announced as Verde Ithaca. In reality, it is a bit far from Verde Ithaca but rather light green metallic. Nevertheless, the model still looks good in this shade of green.

2. When Valentino Balboni gave the specs for his signature car, first he mentioned for the Gallardo VB was to be built in 2-wheel drive with 6-speed manual stick shift. Aa released the LP560-4 with manual stick shift and released this model with paddles shifter. It should have been the other way around.

Aside from those issues, the entire model is built in absolute craftsmanship.

-Paint job is flawless.
-Panel lines are tight.
-Photo-etched badges (front bull emblem, side "LP550-2" emblem and rear "Lamborghini" badge) are neatly and correctly applied.
-Front boot and engine cover stays in place with the hydraulic struts.
-Interior is beautifully done with the white lining, gold and yellow accents.
-As expected from Aa, the wheels, tires, disc brakes, and calipers are realistically crafted (Aa's best effort).

I highly recommend this model for Lamborghini and supercar collectors and fanatics. If you intend to buy more than one, the metallic yellow and metallic orange versions are also nice colors to choose from.

 LP550-2 with Superleggera brother