Lamborghini is planning to release a limited edition stripped-out Gallardo with a manual transmission as a final send-off to the long-running supercar.
With the 10-year production cycle of the Lamborghini Gallardo approaching its end and the brand’s current focus solely on automatic transmissions, the special edition rear-wheel-drive model is expected to be the last Lamborghini ever offered with a manual gearbox.
The ability to swap cogs manually probably won’t be a huge loss for buyers of the car’s replacement, however, as Gallardos equipped with paddle-shifting transmissions outsell their manual equivalents nine to one.
The last special edition Gallardo is expected to be a much leaner version than any previous Gallardo, including the hardcore Superleggera variants, according to Lamborghini of America chief operating officer Michael Lock.
“It will be the least-gilded, back-to-basics stripped version,” promised Lock, after he learned that 2013 would be the end of the line for the traditional transmission at Lamborghini.
“We are in an era when customers demand technology and products that adapt to them, not the other way around.”
The Galllardo is the most successful Lamborghini ever, with over 13,000 examples sold since 2004, so the replacement for that car is pivotal to the company’s future.
In an interview with CarAdvice in October, Lamborghini commercial director Fintan Knight indicated that the Gallardo would be replaced by an entirely new successor with a new name rather than a continuation of the current nameplate.
“This has been the custom at Lamborghini, to have an impressive name of a bull for a generation of a car and then to change with the next generation of the car, so we expect the naming policy to continue.”
Knight also said that lessons were learnt from the $2.3 million 999kg Sesto Elemento hypercar that would be seen in the next Lamborghini.
When asked about powerplants, Knight was tight-lipped, except to say, “We love naturally aspirated engines”.
There is still no indication as to when we might see the next-generation Gallardo, although Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann told CarAdvice at this year’s Aventador Roadster launch in Miami, “2015 would be a good time to launch the replacement”.