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 |   |  2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera - Boosting The Bull
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2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera - Boosting The Bull

One man’s mission to build a 1200hp Heffner Gallardo Superleggera twin-turbo that breathes fire and runs on Unicorn tears

Alex Bernstein
Jun 18, 2013
Photographer: William Stern

Supercars with four-digit power figures are a funny thing. At one point, 1200hp was unheard of, so when you found a YouTube video of a car with that much power it was like finding a pillow filled with extinct Huia bird feathers. But now, 1200hp Lambos, 1400hp Ford GTs and 800hp GT-Rs are almost common.

01 2008 lamborghini gallardo superleggera ADV 1 wheels Photo 2/12   |   2008 lamborghini gallardo superleggera

Despite the overwhelming availability of top-notch hardware and new-age technology, there's still something incredible about a sub-3200 lb Italian beauty that can spin all four tires in second gear and spit explosions out the tailpipes between wide-open-throttle upshifts. Owner, Giancarlo Godz from Boca Raton, FL agreed and wanted his Superleggera to be different, slapping two turbos on a car originally priced at $246000.

While Giancarlo's '08 Gallardo is obviously special, it carries a long story; one of love, neglect, shady business deals and careless spending.

Last May, Giancarlo stumbled upon the car for sale, having previously being made aware of it in online forums. Purchased new, the original owner took the car to Heffner Performance of Sarasota, FL for a twin-turbo upgrade. At this point the car produced a modest 800hp, due to restrictions of the engine management. For whatever reason - we'll guess divorce - the owner was forced to part with the car.

Fast forward a few emails and international phone calls and you've got a situation with a wealthy gent in Dubai and a well-sorted Superleggera turbo. So wealthy, in fact, that before driving or seeing the car, he purchased it blind. He then returned it to Heffner for Motec engine management costing roughly $25000, along with a fully built Heffner motor. Here's where things get fuzzy, though...

02 2008 lamborghini gallardo superleggera modified rear bumper Photo 3/12   |   Long tailpipes ensure the bumper doesn't burst into flames between upshifts

Nobody actually knows if the car made it to Dubai. You see, the buyer appears to have had problems between the purchase and the second round of Heffner upgrades. Nobody knows what happened but then his family was trying to sell the car. So Giancarlo ended up in Portland, OR of all places to finally purchase it.

He was the proud owner of a slightly neglected Lamborghini. "It was caked in dust, like it had been driven on sand dunes," Giancarlo laughed, "So perhaps it made it to Dubai, but I guess we'll never know for sure."

This Lambo wasn't a showstopper so Giancarlo decided to bring it home to Florida to completely disassemble and rebuild it in his own home garage. "I pulled it apart, from the turbos to the seats and door covers," he explained. "Then I looked for ways to get heat out of the engine bay," he continued.

With two massive turbos and a high-revving V10, heat was a big issue. Things melt and break, and Giancarlo is anal to the point where he started making his own ducting, feeding fresh air to the turbine housings, following a chop to the rear bumper behind the turbos, filling the open wound with Gallardo grille mesh.

Weight was another concern. Giancarlo loved the vented carbon engine cover on the rare Super Trofeo, so he snagged one along with its rear wing, reducing weight and adding some wow factor.

Our man also opted for the Renown LP570-4 front bumper, with custom ducting to drive air into the radiators. Also carried over from the LP570-4 was the rear under-mount diffuser.

Keeping the car its original black was an easy decision, but to protect the paint and add a pinch of flare, Giancarlo chose a frosted vinyl wrap from Xpel to give it a matte-look.

Keeping with the dark theme and featherweight approach, Tillet carbon seats replaced the stock items, tipping the scales at only 12 lb each. Sure, they don't have a Lazy Boy's comfort or much ass traction, but they definitely look the part.

06 2008 lamborghini gallardo superleggera carbon fiber wrapped steering wheel Photo 7/12   |   Custom-wrapped steering wheel stands alone in a sea of carbon fiber

After all the weight reduction, the car weighed 3280 lb dry.

Keeping the monster stable was the task of 12k front and 14k rear Swift springs, while ADV.1 5.1 SL wheels filled the fenders. Measuring 12" wide out back, with a lesson in girth taught by 325-section Michelin Pilot PS2s, the rubber doesn't lack grip, but with so much power on tap they're not exactly perfect for traffic light launches.

You can see this in the numbers... Giancarlo ran a 10.9sec quarter mile, not so impressive, but his trap speed was 149mph.

Do the math - the car is ludicrously fast. With full traction, Heffner claims the sprint to 60mph in just 2.8sec, a 9.8sec quarter mile and 0-200mph in 18.1sec. Thankfully, the Superleggera comes with carbon brakes.

On the topic of stopping, Giancarlo is ready to call it quits. Really, what else could he do?

You can find solace in this, though. Unlike the tendency for people dumping their time, money and hearts into extraordinary builds of epic proportions, only to see them sell the car upon completion, Giancarlo isn't that kind of guy. "I'll be keeping it for long time. It means far too much to me," he confessed.

2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

Giancarlo Godz
Boca Raton, FL

Engine 5-liter V10 40v with Heffner Performance TT1200 twin-turbo kit, built Heffner motor, Motec engine management, water-to-water intercooler, custom engine ventilation

10 2008 lamborghini gallardo superleggera water to water intercooler Photo 11/12   |   2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera - Boosting The Bull

Drivetrain six-speed e-gear semi-automatic transmission with uprated Lamborghini clutches

Brakes OEM carbon-ceramic brakes, calipers painted Verde Ithaca

Suspension Swift 12k f, 14k r springs

Wheels & Tires 20x8" f, 20x12" r ADV.1 5.1 SL Monoblock wheels in flat black, 245/30 R20 f, 325/25 R20 r Michelin Pilot PS2 tires

Exterior Renown LP570-4 front bumper with custom ducting, Super Trofeo rear wing and engine cover, Superleggera LP570-4 stripe and under-mount diffuser, rear bumper modified for ventilation with OEM mesh fitted, custom aluminum engine bay bracing, custom rear camera and third stop light, frosted clear Xpel vinyl wrap

Interior Tillett carbon fiber seats, custom wrapped steering wheel, all carbon refinished in PPG clear and wrapped with clear vinyl

Contact Heffner Performance (

Thanks Jason Heffner

03 2008 lamborghini gallardo superleggera renown LP570 4 front bumper Photo 12/12   |   2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera - Boosting The Bull
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