2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder

The Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder ditches the all-wheel-drive setup of the "standard" Gallardo drop-top in favor of a rear-wheel-drive configuration that allows for more communicative steering and a lighter curb weight. Essentially a convertible version of the LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni, this exotic features a host of suspension modifications to ensure particularly agile handling and, of course, the sonorous V10 that has come to be associated with the Gallardo.

In order to re-tune the car following the switch from AWD to RWD, Lamborghini tweaked or replaced the springs, dampers, stabilizers, tires and aerodynamics of the vehicle. To handle the increase in power to the rear wheels, Lamborghini also developed a stronger 45 percent limited-slip axle, in addition to a new tune for the E-Gear (Lamborghini's single-clutch automated manual gearbox), which is the only transmission available.

The heart of this Lamborghini is an operatic 5.2-liter, 40-valve V10 that produces 550 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is 198 mph, while the benchmark zero-to-60 mph sprint is achieved in a claimed 4.2 seconds. The flip side of the performance coin is an EPA rating of 13/20 mpg.

Acceleration is aided by the relatively low weight of 3,351 pounds, while the 47 percent/53 percent front-to-rear distribution makes for well-balanced handling. An optional carbon-ceramic-disc braking system makes use of eight-piston Brembo calipers up front, and four-piston calipers at the rear. Rotor size is 14.4 inches at the front and 14 inches at the rear.

Preventing the Lambroghini from getting into trouble (and earning YouTube notoriety) during spirited driving are well-calibrated traction and stability control systems. In the event of a collision, the car is fitted with dual front and side "head thorax" airbags.

Bi-Xenon headlights provide plenty of illumination at night, while LED daytime running lights give the car a more aggressive and high-tech look.

Only 250 units of Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder will be sold worldwide.

Key Competitors
Those lucky enough to be considering the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder might also want to research the Aston Martin DBS Volante, the Ferrari 458 Spyder and the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. Or possibly just buy all four.