As if a Gallardo wasn't special enough, didn't already sound incredible, daring you to goose the throttle just to hear its V10 engine shake the air around the car and leave oxygen molecules trembling in its wake. But Brian Orr wanted more. He knew Cargraphic, German tuners extraordinaire, made an exhaust system that turned sound waves into shock waves.
The GT Strada Cargraphic Gallardo center channel exhaust was designed, developed, tested and tuned in collaboration with Team Reiter Engineering, who race Lambos in Europe's highly competitive GT3 sports car series. Which accounts for the sound-a keening blast you could imagine bouncing off the walls of Monaco at grand prix weekend. Sixteen pieces of hand-crafted stainless steel, each of which could double as a piece of modern sculpture, make up this system, with many sections insulated by aerospace-quality heat shields.
As the 'center channel' name suggests, this Murcilago LP640-style exhaust renders the stock outlet points (one on either side of the rear bumper) redundant, so a set of stainless steel replacement grilles are deployed. And just when this car seems like a no-no for everyday living, we bring to your attention the vacuum-actuated volume control bypass valves. A welcome addition for when out on a date, driving past hospitals or making court appearances.
The dollar-to-euro exchange rate is no help. The cost of this system comes out to $18,000 before installation. Yes, there's a hike in power-10 to 12 hp is the conservative estimate-but Orr loves the noise. Hey, some people spend similar amounts on high-end hi-fi. And that hasn't deterred Orr, a commercial realtor, from writing another check to Cargraphic, this time for $8,700, for a set of specially tuned adjustable coilovers. These, Orr claims, provide an ideal compromise between road and track.
Could such a smart suspension run on stock rims? The very idea. On went Cargraphic's Turbo R three-piece, spun forged wheels, directionally specific and designed to evacuate air from inside the wheels, helping to optimize aerodynamics and high-speed stability. They each weigh around 27 pounds, yet can withstand loads of up to 2090 pounds and are fully TV-approved.
Not only that, the outer rims are powder-coated in a custom-formulated metallic orange that matches the car's tangy paintwork perfectly. For this touch of cosmetic detail, add $400 a wheel onto $2,600 a pop for the rears and $2,400 each for the fronts.
To see more of this amazing machine, but more importantly, to hear it, click onto the RSS website (see Contact box), go into Gallery and select Video. Just be careful with those puny computer speakers.
2007 Lamborghini Gallardo*LayoutLongitudinal mid-engine, all-wheel drive
*Engine5.0-liter V10, dohc, 40-valve, Cargraphic exhaust
*TransmissionSix-speed E-gear sequential manual
*Wheels and TiresCargraphic Turbo R, 9x19 (f) 11x19 (r) Michelin Pilot Sport, 235/35 (f) 295/30 (r)
*PerformancePeak Power: 530 hp (est.)
5.0L V10 DOHC
Six-speed E-gear sequential manual
Cargraphic Turbo R