Cooley On Cars
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera: Call it Un-mellow Yellow. CNET On Cars, Episode 6Fast. Light. And yellow. We'll fly, er, drive the lightest Lamborghini, pump up the smartest tires you've ever met, and see what James Bond really drove.
-Fast, white, and yellow. We'll fly the latest Lamborghini. Check out the smartest tires you've ever met, and find out what James Bond really blow right now from CNET. We see cars differently. We love them on the road and under the hood, but also check the tech and are known for telling it like it is-- the good, the bad, the bottom line. This is CNET on cars. Hello folks and welcome to CNET on cars. I'm Brian Cooley. This is the show all about high tech cars and modern driving. If you're new here, welcome. It's a clichÃ© in the automotive biz that if a Lamborghini arrives, the door step of any car magazine or blog or TV show, everybody gets all breathless. All the thing has to do is park its angular butt at their door to get it kissed. So when the Gallardo Superleggera arrive at my doorstep at CNET the other day. I want to cut through all that obsequious love and get right to the essence of the thing, which it turns out it's all around the technology of removing weight because when you do that, you're not just lighter, you're also fast. Now, if you don't recognize a Lamborghini on site, you probably don't recognize your own mother. These cars are iconics and they've had this certain look since the days of the [unk], kind of like this partly open Swiss Army knife on wheels, just edges everywhere. This car is the Gallardo. It's their entry if there is such a thing in their line. Let's decode what's its name tells. LP is longitudinally posteriori. That's the odd way the engine is in the back inline with the car with the transmission in the rear of that. 570 is the power output, but that's in metric horsepower. Four, means it's all-wheel drive, and then there's Superleggera, super light. That's the key to our store. That shaves off 154 pounds. Bring this car in at just 2954. That's 355 pounds less than a Nissan Z, which is not exactly a big car. Now, as you may have noticed, the main course on this weight watchers program is carbon fiber. The real deal are not those AppliCase you stick on your ca0. This wing, this lead, this normally aluminum carbon fiber here polycarbonate over the engine as well as the rear back light. The shells of the seats are carbon fiber with thin Alcantara upholstery and damn little padding. All that adds up or adds down to 154 pounds saved and all of it now to the same aluminum body shell and space frame design of a standard Gallardo. That all spells slight, but it also spells tremendously strong. This isn't just a fast car. It's also a very safe one. That's how you get permission from your wife. Yes, if you look like this, you deserve to have the world look at you through a glass cover. This is the 5.2 liter Lamborghini V10. It was actually developed through the introduction of this car, a clean sheath design, not a rehash of the Audi V10 contrary to rumors. This guy has 562 horsepower, 398 foot-pounds of torque, big difference there. This is a raving motor, not a grunting motor. 0 to 60 happens in under 3.4 seconds in the hands of the right driver, 14.20 MPG if you care. R transmission is the much more common 6 speed automated manual. It's a single clutch design, which you we can evaluate in a minute. You can also get a manual gearbox in this guy also with 6 cogs. They are exceedingly rare. If you're a collector, that's your choice. If you're a driver, Lamborghini says, "This the one you want." Now once you wage yourself into a Gallado, it's pretty tight quarters and you can't do a whole hell of a lot about it. In this car, Superleggera, you've only got basically 1 seat adjustment, mechanical for app. No motors to go any other way to save weight. Once you're seated, plenty of thing tell, this is a distinctive Italian car that does things it's own way. The power window switches, push up to go down, push down to go up, huh, your transmission controls are right here in the center console except for reverse, which leaves over here by the front hood release, and when I got in this morning, all that rainwater on the roof was conveniently run not down the rain channel, but down the back of my shirt and partly inside the seat. These are Italian cars. The main event in terms of technology in the cabin is this dated, but functional Audi head unit. They haven't used this in an Audi in quite some time, but of course, Audi owns Lamborghini, and this about all you can make work on the data bus within this relatively aged car. The optional head unit gets you an iPod connector into the glove box and if you pop the screen, you will find 2 SD card slots there as well. Don't get excited about the DVD player that's a data drive the map, not watching movies. This review camera is optional. It's one of the worse I've seen in terms of resolution, poor dynamic range and very crunch resolution, but you do need it in this car because, well it's the only way to see up the back, but this is not why you buy a Lamborghini. Things that connect to this buttons are: Here for your transmission controls of the automated manual, but a button toggles between the automatic mode or shift it yourself with the paddle mode. That's their idea of manual. Sport is a layer on top of that is gonna happen your throttle response, back of the stability control quite a bit and also open up the exhaust baffling to sound like some kind of belch from hell. Finally, there is of course the truck mode that cancels almost all stability control and probably your insurance. This little button here is interesting slice of life with the Lamborghini. You press that to raise or lower the front of the car. It's gets you over speed bump without leaving 20% of your Gallardo behind with SD card slots, a little Bluetooth thing is. Those are not why you buy a Gallardo, this is. So, what's it like to drive a Gallardo, in general, violence, stiff, and visual. The car is incredibly light, and I don't just mean in terms of weight, but I mean the power to weight ratio. Sometimes, the car falls a little flat on its face. That's the nature of a single clutch automated manual. They just can't do that ping-pong thing that allows the car to have seamless application of power, but while does it go. Now, you might think this car is never really at home unless it's on the track, but as senior Lamborghini said famously years ago, we have no test track. Our cars are built for the road, and that's way it should be. This is not a car that you drive to work everyday, but in the days you do, you smile from 9 to 5 just waiting for the drive home. Before you race down to the deal, let me help you price out our bumblebee friend, CNET style. Based on a Superleggera is about 238. It's a high end Gallardo of course, 29.95 delivery charge must come in a velvet line box or something. $2100 gas [unk], but at this price, you don't care. Now, the tech toy, navigation, Bluetooth, and media inputs 3510. if you want those painted body color, add 850 more. If you want the rear camera plugged into that, that's another 2600 bucks, 4150 for the full carbon fiber kit in side in addition to the door panels and 156 for carbon ceramic brakes. The tires on that Gallardo are big, low profile Pirelli PZeros that are an integral part of its technology engineering and priced like it by the way. The tires on your car though are no less important to the way it's been designed, but most of us don't give them that kind of respect, but tire pressure is as important as valve timing or suspension geometry, and the smarter drive knows that. Our partners at State Farm point out to me that some 27% of cars on the road have a severely low tire. If you bought your car for its tech and quality engineering and then ignore this, you just made a mockery of you paid for. Low tire pressure leads your tires mushy. It sets the precision of your car's handling. Low pressure also creates a tire with a wide or softer content patch that is like driving through sand. There goes a portion of your MPG up 3% maybe 20 gallons a year and low pressure wears your tires out quickly and unevenly. So, if you drive a high tech car with critical tolerances, the pressure has to be one of them. You got to keep it right. TPMS or tire pressure monitoring systems required on all new cars sold since September of '07. Pat attention to yours. Get a good tire gauge, typically with a dialer or digital read out, not one of those crappy pencil gauges [unk] used to have a short pocket. The good ones don't cost much more and make the task quicker and easier, and consider having your tires filled with nitrogen. Tires are actually slightly porus and they can leak 1 to 2 PSI of pressure per month. Nitrogen molecules are bigger and they escape the tire more slowly. By the way, don't inflate your tire to the pressure on the side of tire casing. You do that on bicycles, not on cars. That's a maximum you will never approach. Instead, look at the sticker inside the door jam for the actually pressures you need. That will be much lower. Now, little later in the show, I'm gonna take you inside a new technology that gets rid of all this gauge nonsense altogether. Just grab the pump and go. That's coming up later in Car Tech 101, and our own unique nod to 50 years of James Bond and his cool cars as CNET on cars continues. Welcome back to CNET on cars. I'm Brian Cooley. If you drive a Benetton Formula One car you don't worry much about checking your tire pressure. You've got a crew that does that for you, that quick all 4 corners. Mortals like us have to hunker down with a crappy little tire gauge and figure it out. We just talked about that. So, we were intrigued when we heard about a new Nissan technology called easy-fill alert that promises to at least take that miserable little gauge out of the equation. Now, we test it in our Car Tech 101. Look, I don't blame you if you don't like running around and checking the pressure on tires and putting in more air when you need it. It's tedious. You Got 4 different corners you got to visit. Everyone of them requires, oh, you got to squat down on the old knees, and then you use one of these crappy gauges that seemed to fall part all the time and sit there with this hose that never wants to bend the right way and go back and forth trying to get it dialled in. It's a chore. The process itself is irritating-- put in some air, check with the gauge, put in some air, check with the gauge, please. So Nissan has a system called easy fill alert that makes inflation a lot more elegant. First, you'll see a low pressure alert on the dashboard via the tire pressure monitoring system. So, what you do is you start pumping up the tire, and this car is gonna flash its hazards to acknowledge that you're doing that, then when you get to the right pressure, it's gonna beep once and that's when you stop. Let's say you go over. You keep going. You're chatting on your phone or something. It's going to now flash the hazard lights faster and you're gonna get 3 beeps. It gets really upset. So, you start to let air out on the valve down there and until you get 1 beep again, and you know you're back where you should be, kind of foolproof, kind of cool. Now, the key technology, which makes all this worked is actually not a new invention. It's the pressure sensing module behind the valve stem that leaves inside the wheel. If fact, it's been an all new car since September of 2007 by federal law. That's what makes the pressure read outs on the dash work, but Nissan is doing more using its data in real time to drive the light and horn prompts that guide you to easy inflation, very clever. Now, if someone can just complement with the system to get rid of valve caps, I always seem to lose mine. Coming up, the cars of James Bond through a very different lens when CNET on cars continues. Flying cars, they've been so long in taking off. They've become a running joke. The 1950s Aerocar appears to blend tractor with bad outcomes. And in the early 70s, the AVE Myzar blended Cessna with Pinto. Yes, development stopped after a fiery crash, but the Terrafugia Transition surprised a lot of people when it showed up at the 2012 New York auto show as a production prototype. Thanks to modern technologies like carbon fiber, digital avionics, and GPS autopilot. It's finishing up FAA approval. Soon the wise Greek dude, where is my flying car may not be funny anymore. James Bond car, now seriously, remember, Diamonds Are Forever up on 2 wheels. Maybe you don't recognize it because that one wasn't in metallic butter scotch. This is CNET on cars, welcome back, I'm Brian Cooley. With the Bond film franchise having turned 50, you've almost certainly run into one of those online list or polls of who is the best James Bond? What was the coolest James Bond car? We're not gonna rethread that group in he rug. We're it different way. With the top 5 James Bond cars from the novelist the mother ship. Number 5, the Rolls-Royce's Silver Ghost. I know we're going back to the brass age with this one, but this was golf finger's car in the novel and the perhaps the most interesting villain car of all the books. Like the 1937 phantom you saw on the movie, it's body is crafting gold for crafty smuggling, but the car in the novel hails from around 1990, so you may notice that it looks a lot like a car from another novel that became film chidi chidi bang bang, which filming also route. Number 4, a Supercharged Bentley 4.5 liter. Forget Austin Martins. Bonds personal cars were always Bentleys. In the early books, he had one of these blower Bentleys. Named that for the supercharger fitted distinctively ahead of the engine. This is the car Fleming posted to the cover of life in 1966. Number 3, the Lancia Flaminia is a god of Spyder. Now, here is a case of poetic license. [unk] bodied Lancia Flaminia was the hottest of all those models, but in reality was never available as a Spyder, a drop top. No matter, Bond married the woman in the pink scarf who blow past him in an imagined Sypyder on the road between Abbeville and Monterey in norther France. I've seen more lives in this beautiful Robert Webber painting for Playboy in '64. Number 2, that Ashton martin DB3. Now, everyone knows the Ashton DB5 from the movie golf finger, but in the novel, it was slightly more quint DV 3, but Bond drew form the motor poll, so it the amazing gadget. So, we're talking about in having homing device, but no maps. changeable color running lights and smugglers box to stash a long barrel Colt 45. No eject your seat. Okay, the number one Bond car from the bond books is the 1954 Bentley are. This was truly Bond's personal car that one he bought with his own money. He his modified into a convertible and again has supercharger installed at which point the fact, they washed their hands of the warranty, oh boy. It's one of the handsomest cars ever made. A pointn no t lost on modern Bentley. Look the current Continental Gt, see resemblance. I hope you're enjoying CNET on cars. If you wanna subscribe to feed of the show, head over to our sites cnetoncars.com and there you find the RSS in the iTunes link. Now, while you're there, give us a like or a fallow or both. The show is new as to referring it the word out. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching. I'll see you next time when check the tech.