They look. We come tearing around one hairpin corner and see a pair of hikers laboring up the hill. My co-driver stomps on the gas, the V10 screams. One of the hikers whirls... and looks up, as though we're descending on him from the sky.

That reaction alone could be worth the heavy price of admission.

2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder
* Layout
Longitudinal mid-engine, all-wheel drive

* Engine
5.2-liter V10, dohc, 40-valve

* Transmission
Six-speed E Gear semi-automatic; optional six-speed manual

* Suspension
F/R: Double wishbones, anti-roll bars, anti-dive and anti-squat

* Brakes
Eight-piston aluminum calipers, 365mm ventilated rotors (f)Four-piston aluminum calipers, 356mm ventilated rotors (r);Optional CCB carbon ceramic rotors

* Wheels and Tires
Forged aluminum alloy, 8.5x19 (f), 11x19 (r)
Pirelli P Zero, 235/35 (f), 295/30 (r)

* Dimensions
Length/Width/Height (in.): 171.0/74.8/46.6
Wheelbase: 100.7 in.
Dry Weight: 3,417 lb

* Performance*
Peak Power**: 552 hp @ 8000 rpm
Peak Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 6500 rpm
0-62 mph: 4.0 sec.
Top Speed: 201 mph*Mfr data**SAE hp; 560 hp DIN

Price Tag
$220,000 (est.)

Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo
"The world's fastest one-make series"
Part of Lamborghini's strategy in the far-reaching economic downturn is enhancing its brand awareness by branching into other avenues besides strict OEM auto manufacture. One example is the expansion of its Collezione Lamborghini line of designer clothing and boutique products. Another is a factory-sanctioned race participation. For 2009, Automobili Lamborghini SpA has introduced the Blancpain Super Trofeo race series. By the time you read this it will have already run its first race at the UK's Silverstone circuit. By the end of October, the series will have completed six races on some of Europe's most famous race circuits, including Spa-Francorchamps and Paul Ricard, supporting well-established series like DTM and FIA GT. It will be the only one-make series in motorsport to feature cars with all-wheel drive--and it is the company's clear objective to prove its all-wheel-drive system's technical superiority in a racing venue.

A limited run of Super Trofeo racecars will be made available to individual privateers as well as Lamborghini dealer teams. The Sant'Agata factory will enter one car for itself and plans to commission well-known guest drivers to drive that car in the events. The other teams may register either one or two drivers; whether professional or "gentleman" racers, each driver must have acquired an International Competition License (A, B, or C). Friday practice and qualifying sessions will give way to three 40-minute individual races during the weekend, the results of which will be added together to calculate final standings. Each team will also have access to full factory technical support. The car is a dedicated racer, with a 419 kW version of the 5.2-liter V10, robotized E Gear gearbox, and a minimalist cockpit furnished with a single ultra-light race seat and specialized instrumentation. Lightweight components like a redesigned exhaust system shed 110 kg (242 pounds) from a production-version Gallardo Coupe. Dry weight is 1,300 kg or 2,866 pounds, including the 35 additional kilos imparted by the internal roll cage.

Competition is open to any who can afford it, but all takers should carry a hefty wallet. All logistics and associated costs must be maintained by each individual competitor or team. And that's on top of the 200,000 (excluding tax) cost of the car. -KF

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