Oh yes, the battle between the bull and the horse is unearthed yet again. As you scan the figures for our Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari F430, three-second 0-60 times and 190+ top speeds begin to blend together, leaving only weight and cylinder count to determine the supreme contender. Don’t think you’ve figured it out just yet, though, because the heavier Gallardo packs two more cylinders and 30 more horsepower (520hp) than the F430 (490hp). Yet again this Italian civil war seems to end in a stalemate. But then again, no one in their right mind would end such a high-stakes comparison with performance figures; it’s about how you get there, how you look doing so, and what the two Italian powerhouses intended for these models.
Let’s reach back to 2004 when these exotics first officially hit the pavement. Ferrari used the F430, a natural successor to the 360 Modena, as a reminder to auto enthusiasts that it is more than capable of bringing F1 technology to its “entry-level” option. With the expected F1 paddles and one-touch vehicle setup controller, the F430’s gadgetry alone substantiates this point. The F430 was in no way intended as a direct competitor to a Lambo model; this isn’t true for the Gallardo, though. Lamborghini started with a completely clean slate and with its eyes set squarely on the F430, slammed a V10 in the middle of the car, the first new engine under Audi AG’s ownership. In short, Sant’Agata successfully provided a direct counter to Maranello’s best-seller.
While both boast performance achievements that any auto enthusiast would drool over, the Lamborghini has a heavier feel, almost edging on a GT driving experience at times. Both models are firmly planted on the road but Lamborghini earns the gold star in the sense that the Gallardo’s handling is most improved compared to the sometimes double-dealing handling of its predecessors. And then comes styling. The Gallardo reiterates Lamborghini’s adherence to exotic angles while the F430 provides a more curvaceous physique. On the inside both are wrapped in plenty of Italian hide and “subdued” appliances, both providing designer touches like perforated seats or contrasting stitching. Since both our Gallardo and F430 are outfitted with traditional 6-speeds rather than F1-style transmissions, buttons are replaced with satisfyingly tall aluminum shift knobs.
So while both exotics provide similarly laudable performance figures and driving experiences, the question becomes: Do you look better in Lamborghini Yellow or Ferrari Red?
Rent a yellow Lamborghini Gallardo in the San Francisco Bay Area today!
Rent a red Ferrari F430 in the San Francisco Bay Area today!
Photo Credits: Ferrari.com, autocarspics.com