China has it, Singapore has it, now even Malaysia has a country specific special edition Gallardo. Thankfully, this is no government sponsored PR effort and no 1Malaysia logo was slapped on this Italian beauty. Limited to only 20 units, with five units already sold and three more orders in the midst of confirmation, the Gallardo MLE (Malaysia Limited Edition) is exclusively available only for the Malaysian market.
The Gallardo MLE can only be purchased from Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur. Grey importers will not get the car. Not even private visits to Automobili Lamborghini's factory in Saint Agatha can get you one.
The Gallardo MLE is based on the standard LP550-2 but received exterior upgrades similar to the highest range Superleggera 570-4.
Speaking at the launch, Chairman of Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur, Encik Chut Nyak Isham Bin Nyak Ariff said the MLE was created following feedback from Malaysian customers and discussions with the brand principal Automobili Lamborghini, it was decided that the MLE would be a Gallardo that has the exciting exterior attributes of the Superleggera 570-4 but with the interior comforts of the standard Gallardo.
- Superleggera body kit
- Aggressive front bumper
- Carbon-fibre side skirts
- Titanium exhaust tips
- Carbon-fibre rear diffuser
- A different interior with Alcantra and leather with bespoke stiching
Like a standard Gallardo LP550-2, power comes from a mid-mounted 550hp 5.2 litre V10 engine, mated to an 6-speed E-gear automated manual transmission. Unfortunately, there is no manual transmission option for the MLE.
Purists may snigger at the lack of manual transmission option but obviously Automobili Lamborghini understands its customers more than anyone else and expects the E-gear to be the most popular option. Even in China, the Murcielago LP-670 Super Veloce China Edition (10 units only) is only available with the E-gear option.
The Gallardo MLE is only available in three colours, Bianco Monocerus (solid white), Verde Ithaca (pearl green) and Arancio Borealis (pearl orange).
In the super luxury segment, there is a saying that if you need to ask for the price, you are not a customer. The Gallardo MLE is priced at RM 1,680,000 on the road excluding insurance. That's about RM 200,000 more than a standard Gallardo LP550-2. A full blown Gallardo Superleggera 570-4 will set you back over RM 2 million.
Lamborghini's official presence in Malaysia started back in 2005 under a different company, a Malaysian-Singapore joint venture with a single showroom near Bandar Sunway. However the brand lay dormant with little active investment to promote the brand in Malaysia.
Lamborghini distributorship is now handled by a new Malaysian outfit called Eminent Century Sdn. Bhd. (importer) with JH Italia Sdn Bhd is the sole official dealer of Lamborghini cars. JH Italia is building a new 3S (Sales, Service & Spares) centre in Glenmarie, next to Porsche Centre Glenmarie. The new showroom is expected to open by the end of this month.
Although this was not officially revealed to us, privately, CBT learned the background story to the forming of JH Italia and Eminent Century was because a wealthy Malaysian Lamborghini fan was not very happy with the way the Lamborghini brand was managed in Malaysia. Eventually he pulled together the funds and bought out the Singaporean stakes from the previous company.
Thus, presently, Lamborghini in Malaysia is a 100 percent Malaysian backed operation.
According to Andrea Baldi, sales manager for Southeast Asia and Pacific at Automobili Lamborghini Asia Pacific, Lamborghini expects to sell about 50 cars in Malaysia this year. Singapore remains the largest market in the region, with Malaysia and Australia vying very closely for second place.
Last year, Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur sold 22 units of Gallardo and while the Aventador received 26 orders over a period of 15 months.