Putting diesel engines in performance machines that have no business burning oil is nothing new. However, for some years now, these ignition-compression builds are getting more and more aggressive, but there must be a limit, right? Well, this twin-turbo Cummins diesel-swapped Lamborghini Gallardo certainly rewrites the rules.
Now that everybody’s had a moment to come up with a joke about Lamborghini’s tractor-building origins, we’ll mention this project comes from (surprise-surprise) America. To be more precise, Texas-based specialist 1 Way Diesel Performance is responside for the Cummins Gallardo.
Of course, before any discussion about the intricate piping that now populates the behind-the-seats engine compartment of the Raging Bull, one may wonder why anybody would replace the factory 5.0L V10 with a diesel—this is one of the early cars, a 2004 unit.
However, that’s not the right angle, since this Gallardo was actually brought back from the dead. When the shop started the project, the Lamborghini had lost not just its engine, but also parts of its chassis and a quarter panel. So the specialist had to rebuild the aluminum spaceframe of the Italian exotic before even considering anything else.
And with these first-gen Gallardos trading hands starting at around $70,000 these days—in proper running condition—more aficionados have access to them than before, so it’s much more difficult for a project of the sort to stand out (here’s a Gallardo rebuilt into a lifted 4×4). Heck, we’ve even seen YouTuber Tavarish grabbing a flood-damaged 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder for $59,000 and reviving it for the CarTrek series he does with Tyler Hoover and Ed Bolian.
Twin-turbo Cummins diesel and gated six-speed manual for this Gallardo
The 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo was fitted with a twin-turbo Cummins straight-six diesel. Now, many builds of the sort feature one super-sized turbo, as is the case with YouTuber and mechanic Westen Champlin’s 1,500 HP Cummins-powered S550 Ford Mustang.
Nevertheless, the twin-turbo setup was chose so this Lambo remains streetable, at least up to a point. Power? You don’t build a Cummins (note the 24-valve cylinder head) this way unless you’re comitted to making over 1,000 hp.
It’s worth noting that the plumbing indicates this is a parallel twin-turbo setup, which does seem a bit curious. A compound turbo where a smaller unit feeds boost into a larger one to minimize lag might’ve been expected. Then again, this shop builds diesel drag cars with thousands of horsepower, so they know what they’re doing, we’re just not sure why they used this setup here.
Regardless, the diesel is mated to the Lamborghini gated six-speed manual—just imagine the shift feel in this thing! Of course, with the Lamborghini V10 platform being one of the most popular member of the street car-based drag racing world, there are many ways to build such a transmission to whitstand the tremendous torque of that Cummins, which should sit well above 1,500 lb-ft (that’s an uber-conservative number).
The project is detailed in the latest episode of Motor Trend TV’s Texas Metal’s Loud and Lifted (you can also watch it online, but a subscription is required).
And while we only have the details from the short teaser clip below, along with some images MT released on social media, it’s clear that the Cummins diesel sits much lower in the engine bay than expected—the unit still gets to use the factory-height engine cover, albeit with a custom transparent piece. And we expect this to have been achieved by removing the oil pan that sits below the engine and replacing the factory oiling system with dry-sump hardware.
The dual exhaust tips not sit high as if this was some sort of Gallardo GT3 race car, even though the widebody kit and the fixed wing added to the supercar give this an obvious tuner look. And, judging by how deep the custom wheels are burried into the overfenders, the Lamborghini has also received air suspension.
Regardless of the feelings this twin-turbo Cummins-animated Lamborghini Gallardo gives you, remeber that Sant’Agata Bolognese only made 14,022 of these supercars between 2003 and 2013. And this one used to be on the RIP list before becoming the heretical monster parked on our screens right now.