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There have been very few rivalries in the automotive world as that between the two Italian giants from Santa Agata and Maranello respectively. Yes of course Im talking about Lamborghini and Ferrari. The cars from these two marques have been the object of desire of many a young boy, yours truly included. And there is no better way to start a weekend if you get to play with something from the Prancing Horse and the Raging Bull stables. Here I was in the wee hours of a Saturday morning waking up Mumbai city to the tune of a 1000 plus horsepower. What followed was a couple of hours of madness and my toys were Lamborghini’s race car for the road, the Super Trofeo Stradale and Ferrari’s 458 Italia which is today called by most as the best sports car in the world. The Gallardo has been around for almost 10 years now and has seen many models upgrades and limited editions. The Super Trofeo Stradale is the road going version of the race car which runs in the racing series bearing the same name in Europe called the Blancpain Super Trofeo. The huge rear spoiler is the first indication of what this car is about. The body has a light weight construction using aluminum and carbon fibre. Weight reduction is evident with the carbon fibre mirrors and diffuser. Even the engine cover is made out of carbon composite material and is completely removable and comes with a quick release system. The STS comes with light weight 19 inch alloys and while “Rosso Mars” red is the definitive paint for this car, the one I drove was painted in “Bianco Monocerus”. The Super Trofeo Stradale is 70 kg lighter than a standard LP560-4 Gallardo .On the other hand, the 458 is a completely new design from scratch by Ferrari. Styled by Pininfarina the new car does not have any styling similarities to the F430. A completely new design right out of the box, the 458’s looks seem to be showcase the Ferrari design philosophy for the next era. Gone is the smiling look of the F430 and in its place the 458 comes with an aggressive and angry looking stance. There are two flexible wings in the front bumper one on each side. When the car is going fast, these wings lower automatically allowing more air to flow from beneath the car giving it more downforce. There is also an air vent each next to each headlight but they are not there just for cosmetic reasons. According to Ferrari, there is a lot of high air pressure generated in the wheel wells when the car is going fast. These air vents allow the air from the wheel wells to flow out from above the car pushing it to the ground. The twin circular tail lights are replaced by a single round unit on each side. Unlike other previous Ferraris, the Italia gets triple pipe exhausts which are mounted right at the centre of the rear in between the rear diffuser. The classic glass engine bay cover revealing the glorious V8 remains unchanged from the F430. The interiors of the Stradale although similar to that of a normal Gallardo has seen some weight loss too. The inside door pads are complete carbon fibre with a leather strap taking the place of the regular door handle. Lamborghini has a used a combination of red and black Alcantara for doing up the upholstery in the STS. The steering wheel is gets black suede with red stitching. The steering really has a nice touch feel to it. Lambo has equipped the car with full racing seats also done up in Alcantara. A fire extinguisher finds a place behind the seats. Other bits on the STS can also be ordered in carbon fibre. Coming to the Ferrari, the interior is unlike any other you’ve seen before. The dash has been sculpted like a cockpit. The instrument cluster houses the big prominent tacho right in the centre. This can be ordered in any colour you like. The gear indicator display is also located in the tacho. 2 TFT screens one on either side of the tacho complete the layout. The right TFT screen shows a virtual analog speedometer, navigation and in car entertainment functions, while the left screen displays various info about the car like the temperature, fuel, and the mode your car is running in. A digital speedo is also displayed in the left TFT. The steering wheel of the Italia is a revelation and Im sure this pattern will make its way to the other Ferraris as well. Ferrari has done away with the stalks for the windshield wipers and the indicators. Instead, they have been incorporated on the steering wheel itself. The gear shift paddles are also more bigger in the 458. The horn buttons have been integrated into the top half of the steering wheel. That way, you can use the horn without having to let go of the steering. The indicator buttons on the steering feel convenient to use because of their placement. Just a light touch is all you need. The steering wheel also has the button for suspension settings, the Manettino (or drive mode control switch) and the engine start button. As an optional extra for a few more bucks, Ferrari can give you Engine RPM LEDs on you steering wheel too for the complete F1 experience The mid mounted monsterous naturally aspirated V10 on the STS pumps out 570 horses at 8000 rpm. Max torque figured stand at 540 Nm at 6500 rpm. With the kind of weight loss on the STS, you can be assured of insane performance. The STS flies hits the 100 mark in 3.4 seconds and goes on to do a top whack of 320 kph. Lamborghini’s 6 speed E-gear with paddles is standard. While it is pretty smooth are low and normal speeds, as you go onto higher speeds. So what about the Ferrari? The 458 comes with a 4.5 litre V8 unit. Extremely high revving, it produces 562 horses @ a staggering 9000 rpm !!! Peak torque of 540 Nm is achieved at 6000 rpm. The Italia has a 7 Speed dual clutch gearbox developed by Getrag. The presence of two clutches works wonders in the shifting department. Even in the auto mode you don’t experience any lag. All you need to do keep the throttle pedal pressed and the tranny does the gear changes in milliseconds before you can even blink an eye. No jerks at all. The old F430 did have slight jerks between gear changes. The 458 box is easily the best I have experienced in any of the super cars Ive driven so far. The 458 does the 0 to 100 kph dash in 3.4 seconds, quarter mile in 11.3 seconds and has a mind boggling top speed of 325 kph. The top whack in the Lamborghini STS is 320 kph but theres hardly a chance you would get to experience those speeds anywhere in Munbai city. The ride quality in he 458 is simply outstanding for a super car. The car’s suspension settings are fantastic. In comfort and sport mode there is none of the stiffness you would other wise experience in such a car. The 458 takes uneven roads very well making it hard to believe that it is riding on 20 inch wheels. This is an area where the Lamborghini falters . The ride is so hard that it hurts your vertebra every time you go over a bad patch of road. As if the violent gear changes weren’t enough. Both the Lambo and Ferrari come with optional Front Lift suspension which makes going over the torturous speed breakers a piece of cake. To summarize, there is very little to choose between these two beasts honestly. Both have their pros and cons. While the Ferrari feels built to perfection, the Lambo gives you that thrill and feel of raw power. Where the Ferrari has its share of complicated electronics, the baby Lambo is fairly easy to operate. But at the end of the day, I feel the Horse edges out the Bull for overall being a brilliant package altogether but at the same time it is more expensive than its nemesis. The replacement for the Gallardo is surely worth waiting for. As for me, all I can say is that it was indeed one of the best ways I could have spent a weekend. But the lust to drive a Ferrari F355 still remains.