The Let's Play Archive

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

by Olive Branch

Part 13: The History of Lamborghini; About the Lamborghini Gallardo

The History of Lamborghini

Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. is an Italian luxury sports car manufacturer and producer. Founded in 1963 by manufacturing magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini, the objective of the company was to produce a refined grand touring car to compete with Ferrari and other high-level car manufacturers. The Lamborghini 350GT was the first car to be produced in 1964, and it performed so well and was so well-receved at the Geneva auto show it assured Lamborghini's reputation. It was followed in 1966 with the Miura. The Miura's layout and styling would become the standard for mid-engine two-seat high-performance sports cars.

Lamborghini designed and produced cars every decade, with the Espada and the very iconic Countach becoming two of their biggest sellers in the seventies. However, like many other automobile companies, Lamborghini's financial situation was becoming shaky. The company entered bankruptcy in 1978 and was rescued by the Mimran brothers, two food entreperneurs who really appreciated high-end cars. Large capital was injected in the Italian brand, but in 1987, the Mimrans met with the American "Big Three" automobile makers to work out a deal.

Chrysler took over Lamborghini and brought the brand into the world of motor sports, creating the Lamborghini Engineering S.p.A and the Diablo, a successor to the Countach and the fastest car produced at the time in 1990. However, by 1994 the brand was losing money, and Chrysler decided to sell off Lamborghini to an Indonesian group called MegaTech. Despite the Lamborghini brand still being saddled with a lot of debt, a decision was made to breach more deeply into the American market with "baby Lambos". Volkswagen (Audi) bought Lamborghini in 1998 when the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis hit, and in 2001 and 2003, the Murciélago and Gallardo Lambos were created.

The Germans actually managed to stabilize debt-laden Lamborghini, and up to this day, the car manufacturer remains in the black with new models being produced and sold every few years. The future of Lamborghini both on the street and on the motor sport race track remains bright, and its name will not soon tarnish.

About the Lamborghini Gallardo

The Lamborghini Gallardo is Lamborghini's most-produced model to date, named after a famous breed of fighting bull. A two-generation car (with two more generations for the special edition Gallardos) sporting a V10 engine, the Gallardo used in-game has a 493 hp engine, goes 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds, and has a stock top speed of 192 mph. The new generation of Gallardos are even faster and more potent than their earlier siblings, making the Gallardo a car as desirable as it is flashy.

A little bit of trivia. Perhaps to give the cops a thrill of driving the kinds of fast cars illegal street racers drive, Lamborghini offered two Gallardos in 2004 to the Italian State Police, and two to London's Metropolitan Police in 2005 and 2006. Of course, the cars are used for promotional purposes (and even recruiting tools, as the National Police of Panama has done), but I like to imagine the chief of police likes to take one for a spin on Friday and Saturday nights.

Triple A Says...

So, this is the closest thing to a bulk model that Lamborghini offers. Since it's been done with the reasonable help of Audi's ownership, it probably is easier to drive than previous Lambos and it won't set itself on fire as often as they used to.