Lamborghini plans to take on rival Ferrari's 360 Modena replacement, the F430, with a Gallardo that promises a thumping 373 kW.

Lamborghini plans to take on rival Ferrari's 360 Modena replacement, the F430, with a Gallardo that promises a thumping 373 kW.

The popular Gallardo has already been earmarked for a revision, with several prototypes of a topless version being spotted near the company's Sant'Agata factory. The official production announcement is expected early next year.

More pertinent to the company, though, is the imminent arrival of Ferrari's 360 Modena replacement. The F430 will use a new, compact 4,3-litre V8 engine producing about 365 kW. Mated to an F1-sourced gearbox and an advanced aluminium chassis, the F430 will sprint to 100 km/h from standstill in four seconds and swiftly move on to a top speed of 315 km/h.

To counter this, Lamborghini plans to up the capacity of its 5,0-litre 367 kW to almost 450 kW with a 5,5-litre version of its V10 equipped with a modified crankshaft.

Cosmetically, the Gallardo will show some changes, including a radical new rear-wing to handle the added power.

Meanwhile, rumours have been circulating about a Lamborghini SUV based on the sister brand Audi's Q7 and VW's Touareg. However, it seems more likely that a 2+2 coupé - to rival Ferrari's 612 Scaglietti - will be given the go-ahead instead.