Sell a classic car Lamborghini Diablo. The Lamborghini Diablo was a high-performance mid-engined sports car
It was built by Italian automaker Lamborghini between 1990 and 2001.
It was the first Lamborghini capable of attaining a:
- Top speed in excess of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h).
After the end of its production run in 2001, the Diablo was replaced by the Lamborghini Murciélago. Diablo means “devil” in Spanish.
Head Of Development
At a time when the company was financed by the Swiss-based Mimran brothers, Lamborghini began development of what was codenamed Project 132 in June 1985
It was a replacement for the Countach model.
The brief stated that its top speed had to be at least 315 km/h (196 mph).
The design of the car was contracted to Marcello Gandini, who had designed its two predecessors.
Chrysler bought the company in 1987, providing money to complete its development.
Its management was uncomfortable with Gandini’s designs and commissioned its design team in Detroit to execute a third extensive redesign.
They smoothed out the trademark’s sharp edges and corners of Gandini’s original design and leaving him famously unimpressed.
In fact, Gandini was so disappointed with the “softened” shape that he would later realize his original design in the Cizeta-Moroder V16T.
The car became known as the Diablo, carrying on Lamborghini’s tradition of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bulls.
The Diablo was named after a ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, famous for fighting an epic battle with ‘El Chicorro’ in Madrid on July 11, 1869.
The development is believed to have cost a total of 6 billion Italian lire.
The Lamborghini Diablo was sold as the Lamborghini Costanza from 1993 through 2000 in Mexico due to controversy against the “Diablo” name.
It didn’t help that Mexico’s majority were Bible-reading Catholics.
For the Mexican market, the engine was detuned from 492 PS to 440 PS.
U.S. magazine Motor Week tested the Costanza and found it capable of:
- Accelerating from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds
- Completing the 1/4-mile in 13.2 seconds at 111 mph.
The Diablo was presented to the public for sale on January 21, 1990.
Its power came from:
- A 5.7 L (348 cu in), 48-valve version of the existing Lamborghini V12 featuring dual overhead cams and computer-controlled multi-point fuel injection
- This produced a maximum output of 492 PS (362 kW; 485 hp) and 580 N·m (428 lb·ft) of torque
- The vehicle could reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h).
- The Diablo was rear-wheel drive and the engine was mid-mounted to aid its weight balance.
The Diablo came better equipped than the Countach.
Standard features included:
- Fully adjustable seats and steering wheel
- Electric windows
- An Alpine stereo system
- Power steering from 1993 onwards.
Anti-lock brakes were not initially available, although they would eventually be used.
A few options were available, including:
- A custom-molded driver’s seat
- Remote CD changer and subwoofer
- Rear spoiler
- Factory fitted luggage set (priced at $2,600)
- Exclusive Breguet clock for the dash (priced at $10,500).
In 1995, this Lamborghini had a Safety Car role in Formula One.
The Diablo VT was introduced in 1993.
Although the VT differed from the standard Diablo in a number of ways, by far the most notable change was:
- Addition of all-wheel drive, which made use of a viscous center differential (a modified version of LM002’s 4WD system)
- This provided the new nomenclature for the car (VT stands for viscous traction).
- The new drivetrain could direct up to 25% of the torque to the front wheels to aid traction during rear wheel slip, thus significantly improving the handling characteristics of the car.
Other improvements debuting on the VT included:
- Front air intakes below the driving lamps to improve brake cooling
- Larger intakes in the rear arches
- More ergonomic interior with a revised electronically adjustable dampers
- Four-piston brake calipers
- Power steering
- Minor engine refinements.
Many of these improvements, save the four-wheel drive system, soon transferred to the base Diablo
The cars were therefore nearly identical.
Diablo SE30 and SE30 Jota
A Diablo SE30
The Diablo SE30 was introduced in 1994 as a limited-production special model to commemorate the company’s 30th anniversary.
The car was designed largely as a street-legal race vehicle that was lighter and more powerful than the standard Diablo.
The engine received a healthy boost to 530 PS (390 kW; 523 hp) by means of a:
- Tuned fuel system
- Freer-flowing exhaust
- Magnesium intake manifolds
The car remained rear-wheel drive to save weight and omitted the electrically adjustable shock absorbers of the VT model, but it was equipped with:
- Adjustable-stiffness anti-roll bars which could be controlled from the interior.
The car’s weight was lowered by:
- Replacing the power glass side windows with fixed Plexiglas
- Removing luxury features such as the air conditioning, stereo, and power steering
Carbon fiber seats with 4-point race harnesses and a fire suppression system added to the racing nature of the vehicle.
On the outside, the SE30 differed from other Diablo models with a:
- Revised front fascia featuring straked brake cooling ducts and a deeper spoiler
- Rear cooling ducts were changed to a vertical body-colored design
The other features included:
- The raging bull emblem being moved from the front of the luggage lid to the nose panel of the car between the front indicators.
- The engine lid had slats covering the narrow rear window, while a larger spoiler was installed as standard equipment.
- The single rear fog lamp and rear backup lamp, which had been on either side of the rear grille, were moved into the bumper
Completing the exterior variations were:
- Special magnesium alloy wheels
- SE30 badging
- New metallic purple paint color
Only 150 SE30 models were built, and of these, about 15 were converted to “Jota” specification (although 28 Jota kits were produced).
The modifications included:
- A revised engine lid with two ducts protruding above the roofline forcing air into the intake system
- A similar lid design would later be used on the Diablo SV model
- More tuning of the Diablo’s venerable V12 engine, the Jota kit produced nearly 603 PS (444 kW; 595 hp) and 639 N·m (471 lb·ft) of torque.
- An open exhaust system produced deafening engine roar
- The rear-view mirror from the interior was also removed because it was completely useless in conjunction with the revised engine lid
The Diablo SV was introduced in 1995 at the Geneva Auto Show
It revived the super Veloce title first used on the Miura SV.
The SV was based on the standard Diablo and thus lacked the four-wheel drive of the VT.
A notable feature of the SV was:
- An increase in horsepower to 517 PS (380 kW; 510 hp)
- An adjustable rear spoiler was installed as standard equipment and could be color-matched to the car body or formed from carbon fiber.
- Blacktail lamp surrounds
- Repositioned rear fog and reverse lamps as on the SE30
- Dual front foglamps (rather than the quad style found on all previous models)
- An extra set of front brake cooling ducts
- A ducted engine lid similar to that installed on the Diablo SE30 Jota
- Optional “SV” decals for the sides of the car.
The SV also featured larger diameter front brakes (340 mm (13.4 in)) and a corresponding increase in front wheel size to 18 inches.
In 1998, a limited 20-car run of Diablo SV’s was produced exclusively for the United States market and called the Monterey Edition.
The most notable feature of this edition was;
- Use of the SE30/VT Roadster style of air intakes in front of the rear wheels, unlike the traditional (and persisting) SV style.
- Several of the cars were painted in unusual, vibrant colors.
One Monterey Edition, featuring an upgraded engine and brakes.
It was notably driven by Mario Andretti during the Lamborghini-sponsored “Running of the Bulls” event in California.
The Monterey Edition was foreseen to be a collectible, but due to the popularity of the fixed-lamp models to follow (see below), its value did not rise significantly over time.
Diablo VT Roadster
The Diablo VT Roadster was introduced in December 1995 and featured:
- An electrically operated carbon fiber targa top which was stored above the engine lid when not in use.
- An altered body from the fixed-top VT model in a number of ways
- A revised front bumper, the driving lamps being replaced with two rectangular and two round units.
- Brake cooling ducts were moved inboard of the driving lamps and changed to a straked design
- The rear ducts displaying the vertical painted design seen on the SE30.
1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster
Changes to the 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster included:
- The engine lid being changed in order to vent properly when the roof panel was covering it
- 17-inch wheels
- The air intakes on top/sides being made larger than the coupe Diablos
In 1998 the wheels were updated to:
- 18 inches
- The engine power was raised to 530 HP by adding the variable valve timing system
- Top speed specification was raised to 335 km/h (208 mph).
The 1999 changes included:
- Dashboard update by Audi
- Pop-up headlights were replaced by fixed headlights
This resulted in a better aerodynamic shape and modern optics.
Diablo SV (1999)
Lamborghini launched a facelifted Diablo in 1999, simplifying the model range by eliminating the “base” Diablo (since the SV model had become the new entry-level trim anyway) and applying universal revisions across the lineup.
The most immediately noticeable exterior change was:
- The replacement of the previous Diablo’s pop-up headlamp units with fixed composite lenses
- All Diablos were also fitted with new 18 inch wheels.
The Diablo range also received an updated interior which included:
- A separate upright instrument binnacle
- A new dash was an integrated wave-shaped design
- A thin strip of black glass ran the length of the dash and contained various instrument indicator and warning lamps.
- This aesthetic design inspired by Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi products
- The tried-and-true V12 was bumped to 536 PS (394 kW; 529 hp) and 605 N·m (446 lb·ft) of torque for both the SV and VT models and now featured variable valve timing
- The Diablo being equipped with a Kelsey-Hayes ABS unit, complementing larger diameter brake rotors.
Diablo SV SE35
The Diablo SV SE35 introduced in 1999 as a limited-production special model was built by Swiss Lamborghini importer Roland Affolter, to commemorate the company’s 35th anniversary.
Produced in very limited numbers of just 9 cars. It is recognizable by the bull (from the logo) on the sides of the car.
Diablo VT and VT Roadster (1999)
The second generation VT coupé and roadster received the same cosmetic and mechanical upgrades as the SV model
- The open headlamps
- Restyled interior
- 536 PS (394 kW; 529 hp) engine
All US-spec VT models shared:
- The same unique front and rear fascias as seen on the original VT Roadster
- The vertical painted rear brake ducts that had debuted on the SE30 model
These cosmetic variations were available as options on rest-of-world VT coupés.
A special run of twelve Diablo VT’s was produced exclusively for the United States market in 1999 and called the Alpine Edition.
As the Diablo had been utilizing Alpine stereo equipment since its inception, this very limited production was intended to showcase and celebrate the Lamborghini/Alpine connection.
The Alpine Edition
The Alpine Edition was a fairly standard Diablo VT with no engine modifications and some extra bits of carbon fiber trim in various locations.
The big change was the new incredible multimedia system.
The stereo receiver was the top-end CVA-1005 model, with an integrated navigation system
The package included:
- A DVD player
- 6-disc CD changer
- Alpine’s top quality tweeters
- Midrange drivers & subwoofers powered by “Lamborghini” badged Alpine amplifiers
- Alpine logos adorning the seat headrests, floormats, and the special car cover included with this rare model.
The Momo Edition
Another special twelve-car run of Diablos for the US market consisted of VT Roadsters and was called the Momo Edition.
Like the Alpine Edition, the Momo Edition catered to the US car buyer’s interest in aftermarket upgrade products.
The Momo Edition was again a fairly standard VT Roadster, but featured:
- Special upholstery
- MOMO 4-point seatbelt harnesses
- MOMO chromed wheels.
Like the Alpine Edition, the Momo Edition also had MOMO logos embroidered in the seat headrests and floor mats.
The VT Roadster enjoyed one final limited run of 30 cars for the 2000 model year, after the introduction of the Diablo VT 6.0 (see below).
This “Millennium Roadster” model was available in just two colors, Titanium Metallic and yellow.
10 cars exported to the United States were all finished in Titanium Metallic.
- An optional carbon fiber spoiler
- Special two-tone leather interior
- Shorter-ratio SV rear differential (providing enhanced acceleration)
This model featured no significant changes from the previous design and merely served as a final tribute to the outgoing roadster.
Lamborghini Diablo GT
The Diablo SE30 and its optional Jota upgrade kit had been quite sporty and race-oriented.
Lamborghini took this concept a step further in 1999 with its introduction of the very limited production Diablo GT.
Only 80 examples were produced for sale.
The Diablo GT was a completely race-oriented model differing in nearly every aspect from the more mainstream Diablos.
The cars were fitted with:
- Radically altered aggressive bodywork
- Stripped-down interior
- Enlarged engine.
With the exclusivity came a large price tag of nearly $300,000 and availability limited to Europe. Some GT models were imported into the US and a few may have been converted to road-legal US specification.
The Diablo GT was noticeably different on the exterior.
While previous Diablo models had differed one from another with subtle fascia refinements or changes in the brake cooling ducts, the Diablo GT opted for:
- All new black carbon fiber front air dam with large brake ducts
- A central vent for the oil cooler
- Featured driving lamps
- A single pair of round units featured on the Diablo VT Roadster
It also had:
- Front luggage compartment lid
- A large air extractor
- Smaller corner vents on the front fenders changed to NACA style ducts
The other changes included:
- The fenders themselves being widened to accommodate a wider front track
- The rear, the bumper, and its lamps were removed entirely, replaced by a carbon fiber diffuser
This forced the fog and backup lamps into the outer pair of tail lamps and shielded a pair of large center-mounted exhaust pipes.
The engine lid featured:
- A large central ram air duct protruding above the roof
- A rear spoiler was standard equipment
This radical new body was composed mostly of carbon fiber, with the steel roof and aluminum doors being the only components to retain their standard material.
Special 3-piece OZ wheels finished the GT’s exterior package.
On the inside, the Diablo GT featured:
- More prominent carbon fiber panels,
- Race-spec bucket seats with 4-point seatbelt harnesses
- A smaller steering wheel
- An optional Alpine LCD screen for GPS navigation and a bumper mounted backup camera.
Air conditioning was still installed as standard equipment; airbags could be optionally omitted.
While previous Diablos had tuned and tweaked the 5.7 L (348 cu in) engine with various ignition and fuel system upgrades, the Diablo GT opted for a larger-displacement alternative.
While the basic V12 block remained the same, the engine was stroked from 80 mm (3.1 in) to 84 mm (3.3 in) for a new displacement of 6.0 L (366 cu in); this engine, which would later be used in the revised Diablo VT 6.0, produced (in GT trim) 583 PS (429 kW; 575 hp) and 630 N·m (465 lb·ft) of torque.
The transmission was the same 5-speed used in other Diablos, but different gear ratios could be specified by the race-oriented buyer. Rear-wheel drive was used to save weight, as usual.
Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0
In 1994 Chrysler left F1 and sold Lamborghini to a group of Indonesians.
By 1998 Audi AG took over Lamborghini from its former Southeast Asian owners, MyCom and V’Power and set out to modernize and refine the Diablo with its replacement Murciélago
Audi tasked Luc Donckerwolke with designing a more refined, civilized, modern Diablo.
The VT 6.0, released for sale for the 2000 model year, was the result of that design and featured significant styling changes both inside and out.
Externally, the Diablo VT 6.0 differed from its predecessors with a:
- Revised front fascia that featured two large air intakes (similar to those later used on the Murciélago).
The Diablo VT 6.0 had some notable changes included:
- The air dam, nose panel, and fenders being reworked
- The indicators being enlarged and shifted in position
- The small air inlets in the tops of the fenders were deleted
The rear of the car remained familiar, but the taillight surrounds were now body-colored the lamps themselves used the configuration seen on the limited Diablo GT.
Unlike previous Diablos, which had almost all used 3-piece alloy wheels, the VT 6.0 rested on:
- Monobloc cast aluminum 18-inch OZ rims styled with a 5-hole “phone dial” design similar to that seen on the later models of the Countach.
On the inside, the interior was further refined in typical German fashion with:
- The new-styled dash being retained but a prominent carbon fiber center console was fitted
- Improved Air conditioning
- Revised seat and pedal alignment
The VT 6.0 also featured the new 6.0 L (370 cu in) V12 introduced in the Diablo GT (a stroker version of the traditional Diablo 5.7 liter V12).
The motor had:
- Updated ECU software
- New intake and exhaust systems
- A refined variable valve timing system
- Less aggressive camshafts than had been used in the earlier versions.
This powerplant produced 583 PS (429 kW; 575 hp) and 620 N·m (457 lb·ft) of torque, more than any prior standard Diablo.
Because of the preparations being made for the upcoming Murciélago, the Diablo VT coupé was the only available variant.
No more roadster or SV models planned; however, customers could specially order a rear-wheel drive version of the VT 6.0 if they so desired.
Lamborghini produced a limited 2001 model year 42-car production run of a special edition Diablo VT 6.0 SE, this powerplant produced 557 PS (410 kW; 549 hp).
This model was only available in two colors:
- The gold metallic “Oro Elios” representing sunrise,
- Color-shifting bronze/maroon “Marrone Eklipsis” representing the sunset.
Little else changed.
However, there were some noticeable changes including:
- A new magnesium intake manifold
- Special upholstery treatment
- “Lamborghini” badged brake calipers
- Comprehensive road map software in the navigation system
- Enhanced carbon fiber trim
At the 1996 Geneva Salon, the Diablo SV-R was unveiled as a lightweight competition version of the SV and the first Lamborghini to be officially built for motorsport purposes.
Lamborghini created its own Lamborghini Supertrophy which ran for four years (replaced later with the GTR Supertrophy for the Diablo GTR), with its inaugural round held as the support race to the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 28 Diablo SV-R’s entered, which were built in 4 months on the Diablo assembly line along with production SV’s, all finished this first event without significant problems.
The Diablo SV-R featured:
- A stripped-down interior with a roll cage
- Racing seat
- Removable steering wheel
- The power glass side windows were replaced with fixed Plexiglass with traditional race-style sliding sections.
The exterior changes included:
- The electric pop-up headlamps were replaced either with fixed units or with open ducting for the front brakes.
- A larger, deeper front spoiler was fitted
- The rear bumper is replaced with a diffuser assembly
- The traditional Diablo “wing” was replaced with a true adjustable carbon fiber spoiler
- Side skirts were added for aerodynamics
- Pneumatic air jacks also had to be installed to raise the car for service in the pit lane
- Lightweight, hollow center-lock OZ wheels were used, although these were later switched to stronger Speedline units.
- Linear-rate springs were used with Koni shock absorbers.
Under the engine lid, the traditional 5.7 liters V12 was boosted to 540 PS (397 kW; 533 hp) and 598 N·m (441 lb·ft) by means of a revised fuel system and variable valve timing.
The engine was bolted up to a 6-speed manual transmission.
In total, 31 examples of the SV-R were produced.
Only a few of these have been modified for road use.
Lamborghini launched a completely new car for the 2000 season. Just as the SV-R was a race-ready SV, the Diablo GTR, introduced at the 1999 Bologna Motor Show, converted the already impressive Diablo GT into:
- A track machine with power improvements
- A stripped interior
- Weight reduction
The GTR interior was stripped down to save weight.
- Air conditioning, stereo, sound and heatproofing were removed,
- A single racing seat with a 6-point seatbelt harness
- MOMO fire suppression system and steering wheel
- Complete integrated roll cage
- Fixed Plexiglass windows with sliding sections,
- Fresh air intake was fitted
The GT had already featured a radically styled body, but the GTR took this further.
- A very large rear spoiler bolted directly to the chassis like a true race car
- 18-inch hollow magnesium Speedline centerlock wheels
- Pneumatic air jacks for raising the car in the pit lane
The GTR utilized the same basic 6.0-liter V12 engine.
- Revised fuel and ignition systems
- Individual throttle bodies
- A dynamic air intake duct system
- Variable valve timing
- Titanium connecting rods
- A lightened crankshaft
These improvements allowed the engine to produce 598 PS (440 kW; 590 hp) and 640 N·m (472 lb·ft) of torque.
The engine changes included:
- The engine is bolted to the usual 5-speed transmission in a rear-wheel drive layout
- Extra heat exchangers were added
- A fast-filling racing fuel cell replaced the standard gasoline tank
- The suspension was stiffened and lowered
- Racing brake calipers were installed
Thirty cars were planned, 40 were built.
The Lamborghini Diablo VTTT (viscous traction twin turbo) was an extremely limited production (6 made in 1995, 2 made in 1998, although some say 7 overall) modification of the standard Diablo VT
It was offered as a special dealer upgrades by Platinum Motors, the Lamborghini dealership of southern California.
The cars were equipped with:
- Twin blueprinted, water-cooled, Garrett T4 turbochargers with electronically controlled wastegates
- Custom-built intercoolers
- Competition-type valves with race-type guides
- Cylinder heads with polished ports
- A reprogrammed electronic fuel injection system
Modifications to the drivetrain included:
- A custom Kevlar twin-plate clutch to cope with the extra torque
- A new short ratio gearbox to improve acceleration
- Upgraded brakes with cross-drilled, ventilated discs
- Carbon fiber brake pads
The VTTT featured a dash-mounted switch with three different engine settings including a very limited valet mode and two levels of turbocharger boost (6 psi (0.41 bar) and 9 psi (0.62 bar)).
The extensive modifications to the VT doubled the car’s sticker price to $500,000.
With approximately 760 PS (559 kW; 750 hp) on tap at full turbo boost, the VTTT was able to achieve a top speed of about 222 mph (357 km/h)
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