Sometimes it's hard to work people out. We were only gently rumbling through their fair streets, just a few miles from Hamann Motorsport's base, and we'd brought their Lamborghini Gallardo, the sexiest car in the garage. But within minutes of gently caressing this 150,000-euro supercar through the streets, with lazy revs bouncing off the chocolate box houses, we were about as popular as the loud music loving junkies we've all lived near at some point in our lives. One man even shook his fist Homer Simpson style, shouting things that were undoubtedly German obscenities. He could have been a real car fan, upset at what we'd done to Italy's finest, but more likely we'd awakened the entire sleepy village.
You see, the Gallardo is an almighty loud car in the first place and Hamann, as always, has inserted a number 11 on the dial. A new four-pipe sport exhaust and muffler and provides an extra 27 bhp, as if the 500-bhp base car needed the extra ponies, but it enriches the aural experience to such an extent that you'll never touch the stereo. It's not quite in same league as the V12 Murcielago, but the oval stainless steel pipes certainly squeeze the last few drops of juice from the throbbing, muscular V10. Hamann decided against an engine conversion, only because the Lambo is wound up as far as it's reasonable to go anyway and tampering under the engine cover worried Richard Hamann on the reliability front.
He did the same with the Ferrari 360, for the same reasons, and as he is responsible for 800-bhp Mercedes SL600s and 500-bhp M3s, it begs the question whether others should be messing with the output of these Italian thoroughbreds. But he has managed to achieve a great deal with relatively little input, if you're interested in taking your car on track. Why he has fitted the kit to an e-gear semi-automatic demonstrator, therefore, is a bit of a mystery, but the vast majority of his input will only be felt in high-speed bends. Lamborghinis are arguably the finest supercars on the planet in terms of fun, with the all-wheel-drive system providing safer thrills than a children's theme park, but the 42/58 front/rear balance of the car is actually shocking when it comes to a fast lap.
Hamann has concentrated on sticking that fat rear to the floor in the high speed bends, stopping it sliding out and calling the all-wheel-drive into action. That's ultimately got to make it faster, even though that deep-dish carbon-fiber rear wing doesn't do much for the aesthetics. There are no figures for increased downforce, it doesn't work that way down here. A new rear diffuser to house the exhaust and increase suction, new front lip spoiler and side skirts with a clear channel to press the car down all form part of the package that Hamann still prefers to hone on track, through the seat of his pants. With the technical Super Touren Wagen Championship on his mantle no less than three times and decades of racing experience, he's learned a few things when it comes to development.
We couldn't hope to test the subtle mods to their fullest on public roads, and this is strictly a lap-time orientated modification. The Lamborghini was achingly beautiful before and these mods really couldn't hope to improve upon it aesthetically, but if your Gallardo is destined for the track-day tour then you might feel the benefit of that massive plane at the back end and those extra pounds of downward thrust at the front.
Finishing the package are the 19-inch split-rim Anniversary wheels that cost a tear-jerking 7,500 euro (plus tax) for the set. Now, I can only imagine the pain of scraping these along the curb on a failed attempt of cool arrival at the nightclub, but I would openly weep in front of the entire guest list. In truth, these wheels are slightly too big anyway, as they rub against the extortionately expensive vents lining the arches at the front on full lock. A set of 18s might not quite fit the profile quite so well, but they'll make driving around town a more comfortable experience.
As for the white warpaint that adorned this car, that was a favor to a supplier of tinted windows and Hamann doesn't expect anyone else to put it on their Lambo.
The exhaust is a worthy addition to your Gallardo and the wheels are your choice, but unless you're serious about your apex speed then forget the aerodynamic additions to the 26,000-euro conversion and keep your car's clean lines unmolested. And put those white lines on your car, you deserve every one of the beatings coming your way.
2005 Lamborghini Gallardo
DrivetrainLongitudinal mid-engine, all-wheel drive
Engine5.0-liter V10, dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinderHamann intake, catalytic converter, sport muffler
TransmissionSix-speed sequential automatic
WheelsHamann Anniversary II, 9.0x19 (f)12.0x19 (r)
ExteriorHamann front spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser, side scoops, rear wing