I was actually fortunate enough to be present during the official unveil of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, and the bright green shade officially called Verde Ithaca completely blew us away. Sure we've seen it on the original Murciélago back in 2001, and after nine years it still is every bit as impressive as it used to be, especially on a Gallardo with the wildest styling ever ... the LP570-4 Superleggera.
About a year later, back in March 2011 I hear AutoArt will be creating a 1/18 scale model of this top of the line V10 Raging Bull, in various shades naturally ... one of them being the official Verde Ithaca show car, so I didn't hesitate and put my order in ... on March 20. 2011 ... and waited patiently for it to arrive ... it would be a very long wait as I only received this model on February 21. 2013 ... almost two years after I ordered it.
But things aren't as bad as it sounds, I actually managed to receive a very rare, handmade sample of this very car finished in orange metallic from AutoArt, sure it had some details missing but it is a pre-production handmade sample used to show the model before final production and sales started, AutoArt even uses these samples to get approval from the factory in Sant'Agata before they can actually start building them in large numbers, so I for one really value this gesture from AutoArt ... I have a very special model now.
Back to my latest addition, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera in Verde Ithaca ... let me make it clear I really love this model and this shade, it suits the wild styling of the 'lightweight' V10 like a glove, the orange one is beautiful, the yellow is great ... but this green is just so brutal and bright ... I usually love black Lamborghini, but I'm not sure I would prefer it over this green shade ... which happens to be sold out at the moment ... AutoArt managed to sell out their entire production of the Verde Ithaca LP570-4 Superleggera before all their dealers received their order.
So when the very large box with lots of padding arrived I was very eager to get it into my photo booth and take some photos of this long awaited beauty ... as with a lot of things you have to wait for such a long time while keeping your hopes up high you might get disappointed once you do have the model in your hands ... was this Superleggera a disappointment in the end ? NO it wasn't !
I think it looks absolutely stunning, it has the impressive stance from the real car, the carbon fiber looks good, the wheels are simply amazing, finished in the right dark grey metallic shade ... and if you look very closely you'll see the wheel nuts are perfect 1/18 replicas of the real deal, what an attention to detail, fortunately AutoArt went for the black brake calipers on this one, making it look identical to the Geneva show car.
The lower, rear diffuser was totally redesigned from the standard LP560-4 and LP550-2 Balboni model, and it is finished in clear carbon fiber, as are the special Superleggera side sills which are finished in the usual high end Autoart carbon fiber decal, they look very good, and are glossy, just like on the real car ... which brings us the exhaust tips. On this scale model they are finished in black instead of chrome, as they are in real life, however on the actual car these are matte black ... now I wouldn't call them glossy on the Autoart model, but more a satin gloss ... they look good, but would look even better in full matte black.
On the full scale model the high rear wing is an option, but just like with the Murciélago LP670-4 Super Veloce most of the LP570-4 Superleggera leave the factory doors with it, so the Autoart one has this optional rear wing too, including the additional brake light and again finished in clear carbon fiber, just like the rest of the engine cover it sits upon ... note the glass section that shows the V10 engine is made from plastic to decrease overall weight on the actual Superleggera.
On the car shown in Geneva and used for the press release you do notice this window on the engine cover has a green tint, this isn't present on the Autoart model however, but I don't think that is a major issue, it still looks really good anyway.
Another item that received the 'carbon touch' are the exterior rear view mirrors while the new, more aggressive styled front bumper only gets matte black parts ... imagine these would be clear carbon fiber too ... but as on the real car, this Autoart model shows black paint just the way it should. Compared to the regular LP560-4/LP550-2 you will notice Autoart completely changed this front bumper, the side air outlets are larger and shaped differently, there is a crease to separate the body color from the matte black under-tray and the shape on the large air intakes is different too.
Personally I do think the black paint is a bit rough on this front bumper, especially on the sides you notice the black paint doesn't get right up to the necessary height to reach the crease line, I do admit when you admire the model in a display case you really don't notice this at all, so I don't worry too much about it, just wanted to mention it to give a complete idea on the scale model.
On this release of the 1/18 scale Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera by Autoart there is one issue however ... the styling of the front bumper isn't totally correct, the diagonal fins on the inside of the air intakes aren't at the right angle when you compare them to the real car, but I have been told this will be only be corrected for the Super Trofeo Stradale version being released later on.
And Autoart did go through the trouble to totally redesign the front anyway, in fact if they kept the angle on the original LP550-2 intakes and just raised the fins I'm sure they would have looked nearly perfect, so it is only a small flaw.
So the exterior of this 1/18 Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera looks just about right, it shows the aggressive, race inspired styling we also find on the real car, is the engine bay at the same high level of detail? In one word ... yes it is!
If you compare the carbon fiber surround in the engine bay they are similar to the real car, to hold the engine cover up there is also just one strut ... a small detail is the fact that on the Geneva show car this strut had a chrome finish, the Autoart model has a black strut ... while I admit the latter looks better in style with the rest of the car, it isn't totally correct, another small difference is visible in the cross member that shows through the grille ... it should be green too while Autoart made it black ... but that really is nitpicking I think.
Let's focus our attention to the interior ... and as nice as it looks at first glance I must mention Autoart made a series of mistakes on this LP570-4 Superleggera edition, but first the good things ... the entire look and feel of the interior inside this 1/18 model is great, the door panels show a carbon fiber finish, the lower part of the steering wheel has a different finish then the rest of it, the seats are correctly styled sport seats that feature the typical, color coded Superleggera 'stripe' that continues onto the carpet, and yes, in full Autoart style there is carpet in the cockpit and in the front luggage compartment, they even printed the 'Superleggera' script on the side of the seats ... but here comes the bad part.
For starters the amazing detail of the Superleggera script on the seats ... it is upside down in this model, and on both seats actually. Second problem is the stripe on the carpet, on the real car there are actually removable carpets ... which show the 'dots', the fixed carpet doesn't ... so there is a small gap between the seat and the stripe on the carpet, a detail naturally.
One more problem is featured on the dashboard, remember the Autoart Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni dashboard ... it showed a yellow line that almost none of the real cars had ... well in this case the real car does have a green line, and Autoart missed it.
Take a look at the door sill ... it has a Superleggera script on a black background ... this Autoart model doesn't, same thing with the lower part of the steering wheel, Autoart did make it in a different material compared to the rest ... but it should be carbon fiber, a material that should also be used on the dial surround of the dashboard pod.
And while we are looking at this pod ... the dials are all wrong in this Autoart model, they should be white faced with the numbers in orange and red with the dial pods in matte black instead of silver like in this Autoart model.
What's even bothering me more is the fact Autoart got most of the above right on their original Gallardo Superleggera model, so why did they miss all these details on this new model?
This scale model also shows a navigation system on the central console, which isn't there on the Geneva show car ... but it is an option in real life, so I'm fine with that, I would prefer a perfect replica of the press release/show car but I can understand why Autoart would put some options in their models.
Do note many of the real Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera are delivered with four point race style seat belts mounted, just like the actual show car, Autoart did put them in their Murciélago LP670-4 Super Veloce but didn't mount them in this Gallardo model, another small detail perhaps, but I get the feeling after two years of development they should have been able to get more things right.
Bottom line : I have been waiting for this model for a very long time, almost two years in fact, so I have very high hopes for it, perhaps a little too high. I for one really love this shade on the LP570-4 Superleggera, I think it fits the look and feel this car oozes from every angle ... and Autoart captured that feeling if you ask me, so I still advice people to get this model, it is a highly detailed masterpiece ... a must have for every serious collector.
Photos © LAMBOdiecast