When checking out a car like Eddie Freeman’s record-breaking 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, it pays to keep something in mind: this car, in completely stock form, hits the 100kph mark in 3.6 seconds, and will run the quarter-mile somewhere in the low 11-second bracket. It’s all very impressive stuff — for a standard car …
Eddie’s Gallardo is far from standard. In fact, it’s about as far from standard as Lambos get, and easily one of the most powerful street cars in the country. We’ve been following the build of this Gallardo for a long time now, and when it officially became New Zealand’s fastest car, both road-registered and full race back in October with its record-setting 355kph run at Ohakea Airbase, we knew we were going to have to go for a ride.
The opportunity finally arrived during one of FreemanX’s (Eddie’s company) drive days at Hampton Downs. You may have seen a bit of coverage about these days recently, as not only do they give people the opportunity to drive a whole host of different supercars, they also are giving that same opportunity to teenagers — no licence required! We arrived to a fairly busy pit lane, with Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Ferraris, and everything in between coming in and out constantly. It was the black Superleggera sitting in the middle of it all that we were interested in, however. With its boot popped, we looked in to find a surprisingly demure engine bay — sure, there was the big intercooler, the two massive turbos and all the extra piping, but there wasn’t anything shiny in sight. Instead everything had been covered in a black heat-resistant coating — a sure sign of exactly what this machine was built to do. “I first got this car as something new to add to the FreemanX fleet in early 2009,” Eddie told us. “It was never bought with the intention of doing this to it, but I just thought it was a great-looking vehicle and being the Superleggera race-ready version, it was set up well from factory.”
With that said, Eddie had long had his eye on a certain title held by Owen Evans … “I’d been interested in breaking the New Zealand land speed record for a while, and had been looking at the best car to do it with. At first, say five years ago, I was keen on twin-turbocharging our Murciélago, but in the end it wasn’t a proven set-up and the car itself was actually not that great aerodynamically — it all became too hard at the time.” In the intervening next few years however, people all over the world began to have a lot of success force-feeding the Muciélagos smaller brother, the Gallardo, and the aerodynamics were also far superior on the V10-powered car, causing Eddie to bite the bullet and commit with his limited-edition Superleggera.
About the car’s limited-run status, Eddie explains: “The reality is, yes, they are limited, but I don’t believe they’re limited in a way that it’ll be a massively appreciating supercar in the near future. That’s not the sort of business I’m into anyway — so it doesn’t bother me that I’m modifying such a rare car — you could say it’s now an even more limited edition.” With the Superleggera’s lightweight carbon-fibre panels, massive carbon/ceramic brakes and other improvements, it also made the perfect starting point when sending it over to a company called Underground Racing in North Carolina for its transformation.
“Over the past few years, Underground Racing has really proven itself as the best in the world when it comes to turbocharging Lambos. Although I’m all about Kiwi talent, no one had done it here and I didn’t want to be someone’s guinea pig, so I sent it over to the States.” The experts at Underground have built dozens of force-fed Lambos, so they knew exactly what was needed when Eddie’s car arrived in their shop. Eddie also let them know exactly what was needed from the car, which essentially required Underground’s most serious package on offer. This meant a complete motor rebuild using only the very best equipment and the finest attention to detail — every little aspect of the power train has been looked at and improved, including the E-Gear sequential transmission, which now runs a very heavy-duty and long-geared gear set. With two massive custom turbos blowing through a water-to-air intercooler and icebox, the set-up made a huge 1556 horsepower at the wheels on C16 race gas, and 1050hp on everyday pump.
That’s clearly a huge jump on the 500 horsepower at the flywheel that these cars make standard, and when the Lambo arrived back in New Zealand, Eddie was understandably keen to get behind the wheel and see how it performed. “Honestly,” Eddie says, “going from the unmodified Gallardo to this is like going from a Holden Barina to a stock Gallardo, it’s that much of a difference. There’s well over three times the power, and the Lambo is clever enough that it can put all that power to the ground.” Although Underground Racing has had this same set-up pushing out 1900hp at the wheels on another car, Eddie didn’t see the point. “It just becomes stupid and undrivable. I wanted this car to remain streetable and hold together for a long time, not just long enough for me to run the numbers. It is a road-registered street car that I want to keep at the end of the day.”
Back down at the track, it’s finally time to jump in the passenger seat, strap into a harness and go out for a few laps on the black stuff. It was only recently that we were blown away by Andrew Nichol’s Nissan R35 GT-R on this same circuit (as featured on the cover of NZPC Issue No. 192) but as soon as Eddie put his foot down, the bar on what makes for a ‘stupidly quick’ car was raised even higher — sorry Andrew! This 1390kg Gallardo, even on its pump gas tune, was absolutely ridiculous. Everything about it is just spot on, the sound of a monster five-litre V10 and two huge turbos coming on boost right behind your head, lightning quick bang of the gear changes and of course the mind-numbing acceleration. It’s the sort of thing that pushes you backwards so hard it tends to stop you thinking about anything short of your efforts to fight the huge grin involuntarily spreading across your face.
Now that Eddie officially owns the fastest car in New Zealand with his recent top speed of 355.485kph, he’s decided to make use of the car by doing something completely different. “I’m offering up drives of the car for sale. I’ve limited it to 50 in total and quite a few have already sold, but I just want to give people the chance to know what it feels like to drive a car like this.” Once those experiences — some might say the ultimate experience — have been all sold up, Eddie says he will modify the car slightly to make it more user friendly. “It drives fine as is, but I’ll pull the big Tilton triple-plate clutch out and install something a bit more manageable for traffic duties. From that point on it’ll just stay at its 1050hp pump gas tune and be used as another car in the fleet.”
Though it won’t be running 1550hp any longer from that point on, over 1000 horse at the wheels in a pure street car is nothing to cry about, and we doubt very much that Eddie will be scrapping the big-power tune altogether — just imagine having that sort of power up your sleeve if you ever so chose to use it!
This article is from NZ Performance Car 194. Click here to check it out.
2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera E-Gear – Tuning Menu
ENGINE: Underground Racing Lamborghini 5000cc V10
BLOCK: Full blueprinted, balanced, bored and honed race short block, custom block sleeves, seat sleeves, decked surface, balanced rotating assembly, micro-polished crank shaft, Carillo billet rods, CP reverse-dish pistons, CP spiral locks, CP 180+ wall wrist pins, CP oil rail support, custom steel cylinder sleeves, custom bearings, TNT file-fit rings
HEADS: Stage 3 port and polish, ARP head studs
INTAKE: Custom stainless induction piping, K&N filters, custom air/water intercooler system, custom stainless intercooler piping, ported intake manifolds
TURBO: 2x Underground Racing custom billet 67mm
WASTEGATE: 2x TiAL billet
BOV: 2x TiAL billet
EXHAUST: Custom stainless manifolds, 3.5-inch stainless system, lightweight stainless mufflers
FUEL: 2x custom fuel pumps, custom alloy fuel rails, Aeroquip lines and fittings, custom injectors
ECU: Custom MoTeC
COOLING: Factory radiator
GEARBOX: 4WD layout, high-mph billet gear set, billet main shafts, custom ratios
CLUTCH: Tilton triple-plate
STRUTS: Factory Lamborghini
OTHER: Custom lowering springs
BRAKES: Factory cabon / ceramic
WHEELS: (F) Factory 19×8.5-inch, (R) 19×11-inch
TYRES: (F) 305/45R19 Toyo R888, (R) 235/35R19 Toyo R888
PAINT: Black vinyl wrap
ENHANCEMENTS: Factory carbon-fibre aero
SEATS: Racetech Kevlar, Sparco harness
STEERING WHEEL: Factory
ROLL CAGE: Full eight-point by Race FX
OTHER: Extinguisher system
POWER: 1155kW (1550hp) at the wheels on C16, 783kw (1050hp) at the wheels on pump gas street tune
Eddie Freeman – Driver Profile
Occupation: Owner of FreemanX
Length of ownership: Four years
Build time: Six months
Thanks: The whole FreemanX team, Justin Croy, David Noble, Gyuri Baranyai, Jamie Potter, Justine Kennedy, Karl Kennedy, Caleb and John at BoydPR, Andy Culpin at Race FX, David Black at Race Tech, Byron, Mike and the team at Independent Prestige, Kevin and KC at Underground Racing, John Reed at John Reed Racing, all the great people at RNZAF Base Ohakea, Willard Martin and his fantastic team at Rally NZ, Brian and his team at Motorsport NZ, Chris and Tracey at Speedy Signs Albany, Michelle at Chicane, Neil Allport from Neil Allport Motorsport, Terry at Terry’s Chassis Shop, Ed Fernley, all the media who covered the event, Dylan and team at Tyre City, Grant at Aeronaut Customs, Bob at Stroud Chutes, Bryan at Broadway Auto Electrical, Phil Pirie, and of course all family and friends who have shown their support
Words: Peter Kelly Photos: Adam Croy