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Frankfurt 2013: Lamborghini preparing Gallardo replacement for debut

We love the Lamborghini Gallardo, but it’s time for a change. Lambo’s “entry level” supercar has had nothing but facelifts since its 2003 debut, and with the nimbler Ferrari 458 Italia champing at the bit, it’s time for an update.

That update may be coming soon. Autocar reports that Lamborghini will show a concept car at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in September which will preview an all-new Gallardo set to enter production in 2014.

The new car, codenamed LP724, will likely share its chassis with the next-generation Audi R8, which is due out in 2015. That means a backbone made of lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum.

Lamborghini reportedly wanted to base the Gallardo replacement on the carbon fiber monocoque it developed for the larger Aventador, but parent Audi apparently forced the more sensible platform sharing plan on the Italian carmaker.

The new car will be powered by an updated version of the current Gallardo’s 5.2-liter V10. It’s expected to produce a phenomenal 600 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, compared to the current Gallardo LP560-4‘s 522 hp and 398 lb-ft.

Rival Ferrari has eliminated clutch pedals, but Lamborghini will reportedly offer a six-speed manual in the Gallardo replacement, along with a version of the Audi R8’s seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual.

As with the current Gallardo, the new car will be sold with all-wheel drive standard, with certain models offered with rear-wheel drive for that hardcore, drift-inducing character.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento concept rear three quarterAll of that will be cloaked in a body that uses more than a little carbon fiber. Since the Sesto Elemento concept (pictured) debuted in 2010, Lamborghini hasn’t been shy about its devotion to this material. The goal is to make the new car lighter than the one it replaces.

Speaking of replacement, the Gallardo name itself is most likely headed for retirement; Lamborghini doesn’t keep car names for more than one generation. The new car may be known as Cabrera which, following Lambo tradition, is a name of a breed of Spanish fighting bull. This breed is related to several other notable bull families including, fittingly, Gallardo.

Whatever it’s actually called, Lamborghini’s next supercar will be previewed by a concept car at the 2014 Frankfurt Motor Show, which opens September 4, and will go on sale next year. In the meantime, check back here for updates.

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