Unlike the Countach, Diablo, and Murciélago models, the Gallardo does not have scissor doors.
The Gallardo was designed by Luc Donckerwolke, who won the 2003 red dot design award for the design of both the 2004 Gallardo and 2002 Murciélago.
The Gallardo offers two choices of transmissions, a conventional (H-Box) six-speed manual transmission, and an advanced six-speed electro-hydraulically controlled 'semi-automatic single-clutch sequential manual', which Lamborghini abbreviates to "E-gear". The "E-gear" allows the driver to make shifts much faster than a manual transmission would. The driver shifts up and down via paddles behind the steering wheel, and does not and cannot manually actuate the clutch.
The Audi R8 sports car, launched in early 2007, is based on the Gallardo platform, and uses a 4.2 litre V8 in place of the Gallardo's V10 to avoid competing directly with the Gallardo.
For the 2008 model year, an onboard computer, iPod connectivity with USB, heated mirrors, Q-citura stitching that originally could only be found on the Nera model, and a beige soft-top on the Spyder, were added to the Gallardo.
The production spyder model of the Gallardo was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006. It is considered by the company to be an entirely new model, with 382kilowatts (519PS; 512hp) and a lower-ratio six-speed manual transmission. The soft top is fully retractable.
Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer was the first person in North America to take delivery of the Gallardo Spyder.
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson announced on 18 February 2007 that he had bought a Gallardo Spyder, replacing his Ford GT.
In late 2005, the Gallardo SE (Special Edition) was introduced. The SE is distinguished from the regular Gallardo externally by having a black-roofed two-tone color scheme as well as specially-designed "Callisto" rims shod with Pirelli tires. Note that the Gallardo SE could only be ordered in a very small selection of exterior colors: two grey shades as well as white (Balloon white), yellow (Giallo Midas), Orange (Arancio Borealis) and green (Verde Ithaca)