Season's Greetings - The Houston Bull

Text by Max Gerson, Photos by Corey Davis

Season’s greetings from Revvolution! We apologize for crashing your holiday weekend, but we promise to do so only with a piece that will warm even the coldest and most cynical enthusiast’s heart. Our 2012 holiday feature highlights an infamous Underground Racing twin-turbo Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. While we are all aware of the existence of boosted exotics, we rarely consider the courage it takes to execute such an undertaking.

This car began life as a 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superlegerra. One of 172 ever produced and one of 45 in yellow (aka Gialo Halysand), the Superleggera denotes a lighter weight Lamborghini Gallardo: saving an even 100 kilograms over the base Gallardo via extensive use of carbon fiber. The Superleggera pays homage to the first-ever Lamborghini production model the 350GT, a vehicle whose all-aluminum body employed weight reduction as a design principle when it debuted in 1963. The 2008 Gallardo Superleggera also delivered a bump in horsepower (10) over the base Gallardo model to 523HP.

The cynical might scoff at the Superleggera’s weight reduction and horsepower increase as merely superficial, but this lightweight Lamborghini absolutely outperforms the base Gallardo. The Superleggera is two-tenths faster to 60MPH at 3.8 seconds, and charges through the quarter-mile a half second faster than the base Gallardo requiring only 11.7 seconds. Clearly, the carbon fiber diet has paid off.

Crawl across the wide doorsills, and once inside the handsome interior, you find yourself awash in Italian suede. The Superleggera keeps reminding you this is not your average Lamborghini. If you’ve already forgotten seeing the Superleggera sill plates as you entered the cockpit, surely, the carbon fiber trim will jog your memory. But the visual upgrades on this Lamborghini are tasteful and slight, perhaps not what one would expect from a car far exceeding the 1000HP benchmark.

Acquiring a limited production, lightweight Lamborghini is not something that ever happens by accident. Such is the nature of current vehicle owner and local Houston engineer Nick K. Neither Nick nor his Gallardo are strangers to the racetrack as both frequent local and national track events on a monthly basis.

Nick has acquired this fully built Gallardo from former owner Peter Blach. Peter is revered for hosting TX2K events, a signature Texas motorsports event where high horsepower Supras, Lambo’s, Vipers, and GTRs put on gratuitous displays of power. Such track pedigree gives credence and value to dedicated weight reduction.

The choice of vehicle for track junkies is deliberate. Selecting the Superleggera edition Gallardo emphatically embodies the supercar concept; light weight, exclusive, and ravishing. However, continuing to represent the car in front of his TX2K event participants, the previous vehicle owner knew that his Gallardo still needed something extra. That something extra came courtesy of Underground Racing.

Located in North Carolina, Underground Racing (UGR) specializes in high-performance, turbocharging systems and race parts for Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Vipers, Ford GTs, and Audi R8s among others. UGR has developed a cult-like following with its extraordinary build list for high end supercars. A twin-turbo kit from UGR seemed like the missing ingredient for a soon-to-be Texas supercar.

While many would find contentment with a lightweight 523HP Lamborghini Gallardo, this simply wasn’t cutting it for Peter. Needing his car to embody the ideals of the TX2K crowd, his Gallardo needed a big infusion of power.

Most Lamborghini owners would never dare to modify their Lamborghinis. Indeed, that’s why many purchase these cars – they don’t need to make any upgrades. Or, perhaps what these owners aren’t saying is that they’re absolutely terrified to allow anyone to get their hands inside their engines. To remove the motor, extensively modify it, and fit it with twin turbochargers requires a leap of faith, one that most Lambo owners see as superfluous.

Peter clearly disagrees. Bypassing the stage 1, 2, and 3 turbo systems, he settled on the full-race turbo system with a highly modified engine, the most determined option on the UGR menu. Adding the highest level of forced induction to the lightest weight member of the Lamborghini family adds another layer of celebrity to this car. And we at Revvolution applaud such courageous decisions.

This Lamborghini would soon receive all the power anyone could ever hope for: 1500 horsepower. UGR almost tripled the horsepower output of the stock Lamborghini V-10, a truly a staggering achievement. Calling this an upgrade is belittling ¬– UGR has altogether transformed this Gallardo. While we know UGR highly modified the engine and supporting components, the specifics aren’t available for public consumption, however the "out of the box” specs are listed below.

Current vehicle owner Nick K. has dubbed his yellow Gallardo the TTBull, and we understand why. Adding such a bullish (sorry, couldn’t resist) nickname to a stock Lamborghini isn’t always our taste. But when a Lamborghini sports a UGR TT kit, then let the bullishness proceed. Indeed, Nick’s car has quickly garnered a reputation in Texas as the Houston Bull.

We followed the TTBull to the shoot location deep within the Houston suburbs.
Along the way we noticed that bystanders were absolutely infatuated with the supercar. With even a slight throttle application, blue flames will streak through the Lamborghini’s tailpipes. While there are few external cues that the TTBull is modified to such a high degree, the bark and snarl the engine makes, even at idle, surely gives away this Bulls’ big secret.

As we arrived at Nick’s residence in the Houston suburbs we were surprised by the sedate environment, which it inhabits. You wouldn’t expect a UGR twin-turbo Superleggera on such quiet suburban streets; a bull in a china shop becomes an understatement. We half expected to find Nick’s Gallardo among the hustle and bustle of a sexy downtown enclave. But this is Nick being who he is – an engineer whose exacting precision landed him this infamous turbocharged Gallardo, a hardcore enthusiast who isn’t afraid to push this car to the limit and let it run with the other supercars.

Underground Racing Custom Twin Turbo System
  • Custom twin billet 62mm Precision Turbochargers
  • Underground Racing Custom Twin Turbo System
  • Custom twin billet 62mm Precision Turbochargers
  • TiAL billet wastegates and billet blow off valves
  • Custom fabricated stainless steel exhaust using aircraft quality metal
  • Ultra lightweight stainless steel mufflers
  • Custom fabricated stainless steel air induction using aircraft quality metal
  • Custom Air/Water intercooler system with high flow water pump
  • Custom ice water reservoir
  • High flow intercooler water heat exchanger
  • Crankcase ventilation system
  • K&N air filters
  • Show quality polishing on turbo compressor, intercooler and charge piping.
  • Custom heat shielding and high quality heat wrap
  • Exhaust Finish Options:high temp heat coating or polished mirror finish
  • High quality silicone hose
  • High pressure T-bolt clamps for intake pressure tubes
  • High quality v-band clamps for exhaust connections

Underground Racing Custom Billet Short Block
  • Full blue print and balanced race short block
  • Carrillo billet steel connecting rods
  • CP custom reverse dish aluminum race pistons
  • CP spiral locks
  • CP .180+ wall wrist pins
  • CP oil rail support
  • Custom steel cylinder sleeves
  • Main bearings
  • Rod bearings
  • Total seal TNT file fit rings

Fuel System
  • Two custom billet fuel pump hangers with high flow fuel pumps
  • Custom aluminum fuel rails
  • All Aeroquip stainless steel fuel line and aluminum fittings
  • Aeromotive adjustable fuel pressure regulator
  • Upgraded fuel injectors

  • AEM Engine Management System
  • GReddy Electronic boost controller
  • Custom wiring harness
  • Professional dyno and streetability tuning


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Write a CommentCOMMENTS
Oaksy5115's Profile Image

I spent about an hour just reading the mod list over and over. I think I drooled a bit too.

Rockysds's Profile Image

Perfect article for the season!

Tom Gerson12/26/2012

A great article about a great car! Keep them coming