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Two power players fit for the Batcave; GREAME LENNOX gets to grips with two knockout Lamborghinis - and agrees with the Caped Crusader on his choice of supercar.

Byline: GREAME LENNOX

CHRISTOPHER Nolan's Dark Knight is undoubtedly the greatest superhero movie of all-time.

But of all the bone-crunching scenes, there is one that makes blokes the world over wince in pain.

The moment when BruceWayne sacrifices his beautiful Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 by smashing it into the path of an oncoming van makes the Joker's disappearing pencil trick look like something from Bambi.

I didn't shed a tear when Maggie Gyllenhaal was blown into a thousand pieces but the Lambo wreckage had me sobbing into my popcorn.

Queue post-traumatic flashbacks when I found myself on a wet track behind the wheel of a pounds 270,000 Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce.

Lambo's flagship is not just a supercar, it's one of the most extreme examples of a hypercar ever built.

I was lucky enough to test drive two of Lambo's hottest models with a combined price tag of pounds 434,000 at Knockhill Racing Circuit but could not shake the feeling that one false move and my grandkids would be paying for it in their 70s.

The SV is even lighter, more powerful and faster than the model Christian Bale got his hands on in The Dark Knight.

Subtle tweaking of the 6.5-litreV12 engine has raised output to a breathtaking 670bhp. It will now complete the zero to 62mph sprint in just over three seconds and has an incredible 212mph top speed.

To experience the raw power you need to hear it for yourself. The roar that emanates from the Murcielago's fat boy exhaust is enough to put the frighteners on a Glasgow hardman - all the way from Fife. This was supposed to be a road test done within the confines of a track.

Lamborghini even had GT racer DavidWandless in the passenger seat to keep me in line. But as soon as I heard the throttle open up I couldn't resist flooring it on the straight. Before I knew it we were racing along at 130mph.

The road holding was simply stunning as it gripped every bend as if life depended on it.

The Murcielago was always one for people with large personalities, but you'd need an ego the size of a planet to carry off the orange model I drove.

The limited edition Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni was understated and - at pounds 163,000 - a snip by comparison.

Named after Lamborghini's flamboyant test driver of the last 41 years, it's the first rear-wheel-drive-only model from the raging bull marque in more than a decade.

Unlike the Murcielago, the Gallardo was made after the Audi takeover and the differences are notable from the off.

The Balboni's styling is more subtle and flowing. There's no room for giant spoilers or gullwing doors here. The clunky manual box of the Gallardo is in complete contrast to the paddle-shift of the Murcielago and I loved every minute.

It is 120kg lighter than the standard model so every last ounce of the 550 horses is felt. Like its namesake, it is uncompromising and one false move could have you in a gravel trap. It is also one of the most exhilarating test drives I have ever had and came with a surprisingly gentle ride.

Just 250 will be made, ensuring it will become a collector's dream. Just pray their driving skills are as sharp as their eye for a bargain or it could all end in tears.

Factfile: Model: Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce Engine: 6.5-litre V12 petrol Power: 670bhp Top speed: 212mph 0-62mph: 3.2 seconds Economy: 20.6mpg CO2 emissions: 480g/km Price: pounds 270,597 On sale: Now
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 20, 2009
Words:600
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