2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder

Weekends: Fashion is a state of mind and horsepower

Milan is a city of high fashion and culture. Walking the downtown core, I am struck by the sharp contrast of exclusive stores in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II situated right next to the Piazza Duomo. Somehow it works, though I don’t feel the same way about the fast food chains that seem to be popping up all around the square. Oh well, it’s time to put this dichotomy aside for now and get into my Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder for a quick drive to the country. Life can be so confusing at times.

Power comes on in a rush as I push the pedal and engage the 5.2-litre 90˚ V10 DOHC engine. With 560 horsepower and 397 lb-ft of torque on tap, it doesn’t take long for the city to recede in my rearview mirror. Mated to a 6-speed E-gear transmission, paddle-shifters ensure a smooth yet voracious drive experience. It’s not a Lamborghini if it isn’t a little rough around the edges- in Corsa mode, of course. Zero to 100 km/h takes 4.0 seconds. Top speed is set at 324 km/h.

Stopping is never a concern in the Gallardo. Premium brake performance is guaranteed with power vacuum, vented disc brakes with aluminum alloy calipers. Anti-lock brakes, ESP, ASR (traction control) and ABD (automatic brakeforce distribution) are included. Pirelli P-Zero 235/35 ZR 19 front and 295/30 ZR 19 rear tires stick like glue to asphalt on 19” alloy wheels. Steering is power-assisted rack-and-pinion.

Leather seats are supremely comfortable and surprisingly shaped for most body types. Carbon fibre and aluminum accent the center console. Toggle switches have an obvious likeness to those in the Audi R8 and function impeccably. The fully electric soft top opens and closes rapidly, which comes in handy at a stoplight. Rain is starting to sprinkle; soon it becomes a downpour, but not to worry. Closing time is quick at around 20 seconds. Alcantara lines the steering wheel making it easy to stay connected and in control.

The Park Hyatt Milan is located in the heart of old town. With easy access to all the sights in Milan, it is the perfect launching pad from which to explore the city. The rooms and 31 suites are designed with intimacy and the ultimate pampering in mind. From the moment I arrive, I am treated like royalty. Of course, it doesn’t hurt the multiple chrome exhaust pipes of the Gallardo Spyder are still popping as they cool down outside the door of the hotel. It always pays to make a great entrance.

My Prestige Suite offers a full living room with couches and chairs, open bar, coffee and tea makers and a large LCD TV. An outsized desk provides the perfect place to stay connected and get a little work done while watching TV. Adjacent to this is the sleeping area with king-size bed. Fine linens and a thick comforter will make it hard to get up in the morning.

Leaving the sitting and sleeping area, I am confronted with a massive walk-in closet prior to arriving in the marble ensconced bathroom. Here, a separate walk-in shower, toilet and whirlpool tub offer the perfect place to unwind from a hard day of driving and sightseeing. I opt for a 50 minute relaxing massage at “The Spa at Park Hyatt Milano”, followed by time spent in the exclusive spa whirlpool composed of gold leaf encased mosaic tiles.

Dining takes place in four unique settings throughout the hotel. I enjoy a full buffet breakfast in the lobby lounge, La Cupola. The staff is attentive to every request; for me that means keep the coffee flowing. Dinner is served at Restaurant VUN, a sophisticated setting overlooking the entrance to the Galleria. I am treated to a three-course meal with individual wine pairings. It’s a match made in heaven.

Rain is once again the order of the day as I leave the hotel parking lot and head out on a search for empty roads and farmland. Italy is renowned for its wine-making prowess and where there are vines, there are usually twisting, turning, two-lanes. It doesn’t take long and I am out of the city, punching the accelerator to pass a tractor. It’s a fitting moment since Ferruccio Lamborghini started his mechanical career fixing and building tractors.

After a few hours, the city is once more in my windshield and I am dodging my way past buses, bicycles, motorcycles, cars and pedestrians. Surprisingly, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder is equally up to the task. I never would have imagined this could be such a dream to drive on the highway and in the city. On that point, there is no confusion at all.

2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder

Price as tested (before taxes): $258,530.00 US
Engine/transmission: 5.2-L 10 cylinder / 6-spd automatic
Power/torque: 560 hp/ 397 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): Premium (80L)
Fuel economy ratings: 20.8 L/100km city; 9.7 L/100km hwy
Observed fuel economy: 14.1 L/100km over 750 km
Warranties: 3 years/ unlimited km (basic)
Competitors: Aston Martin DBS Volante, Audi R8 GT Spyder, Ferrari California, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

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Park Hyatt Milan

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