UPDATE 1: Our own Frank Filipponio weighs in. Scroll for details.
You knew this was coming.
You knew Lamborghini wasn't going to sit and do nothing as Audi soaks up the media adulation in Paris over the R8 later this month. Considering the Gallardo's significant -- ahem -- contributions to the R8 project, we're guessing that there were several agitated Italians eager to reassert the Lambo's place in the pecking order. It appears that they have -- and in dramatic fashion.
Supercars.net has the first photos of what is purportedly the next Lamborghini Gallardo. The neon green monster is said to be powered by a twin-turbo version of its already-potent V10, producing in excess of 600 horsepower -- Murcielago-style numbers. We're going to make an assumption that it will outperform all flavors of the R8, ensuring that the new Audi supercar does not step on the raging bull's hooves.
A new carbon fiber fascia with enlarged intakes, a wider rear with new shoulder scoops and a very substantial rear diffuser visually differentiate this Gallardo from the current car. Supercars.net's Richard Owen wonders if it's a prototype or a finalized version of the next Gallardo . We don't know the answer to that question, but based on the picture above, we're inclined to lean toward the latter.
The car in the photo looks very complete and well-finished. If it turns up on this season's show circuit, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised. The only question we're left with is this: What's it doing on a California showroom floor?
UPDATE 1: Autoblogger Frank Filipponio was at the dealership where this car is displayed and offers up the following in the comments: I think this is a dealer specific model that is N/A and has a few tweaks to go along with the new bodywork. This same dealership where this one was parked offered a limited run of MOMO special edition models last year, iirc.
Now we're really curious...
(Be sure to visit Supercars.net to see the rear view)