Featured: Celebrating Three Decades Of The Lamborghini Diablo With A Drive In The Very Last One

Celebrating Three Decades Of The Lamborghini Diablo With A Drive In The Very Last One

By Federico Fabbri
June 22, 2020
11 comments

Photography by Rosario Liberti

Enough about the svelte Miura or the muscular Countach. This year Lamborghini’s Diablo—which had the unenviable task of following the queen and king of supercar royalty—takes a deep breath to extinguish 30 candles on its birthday cake. To mark the occasion, Petrolicious received an invitation from Lamborghini to experience a very special Diablo.

Italy has an abundance of wonders, man-made and natural. While the Diablo takes care of the former, the latter falls to the Val d’Orcia, a region in Tuscany renowned for astounding beauty, spectacular red wine, and glorious roads. (Footnote for cinephiles; Val d’Orcia is a filmmaker’s haven. The English Patient, Gladiator, and Fellini’s were shot here.)

Waiting for us, in a secluded vineyard built in the early eighteenth century, is the Diablo. The car seen here is nothing less than the very last Diablo produced: an immaculate and unregistered 2001 Diablo VT 6.0 SE with just over 20,000 kilometers on the odometer.

Today, we’re celebrating a car that, in its 11-year production, spanned multiple ownership groups that controlled Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese factory. Diablo development was initiated by Swiss brothers Jean Claude and Patrick Mimran, but by the time the Diablo was released, Chrysler was in control. A sale transferred stewardship to Malaysian investment company Mycom Setdco and Indonesian V’Power, before Lamborghini’s fortunes came to rest in the bosom of German industry at Volkswagen AG, who placed Lamborghini in the care of Audi, directors of the company to this day.

The story behind the development of the Diablo is an opera in itself. Named, in Lamborghini fashion, after a bull that gored his way to infamy in Madrid in 1869, the Mimran’s Diablo was the replacement for the 16-year-old Countach. The project’s goal? Two-hundred miles-per-hour. Marcello Gandini, who penned the Miura and Countach, was hired to design the Diablo. But when Chrysler acquired the company in 1987, US management was uncomfortable with Gandini’s drawings and commissioned its design team in Detroit to execute an extensive re-design, which smoothed the sharp edges and corners of Gandini’s original away. Gandini, predictably, wasn’t pleased, but had a measure of revenge when elements of his original Diablo design were resurrected for the ultra-low-production Cizeta-Moroder V16T.

The Diablo VT 6.0 SE (Special Edition) I’ll be driving was introduced at the end of the Diablo’s production run, and was available in the gold metallic oro elios pictured here, chosen to represent the sunrise, or the color-shifting dark bronze marrone eklipsis, intended to mimic the sunset—an apt choice for the model’s swansong. Of the 42 Diablo 6.0 SEs made, a small metal plate denotes this car as number 42—l’ultima delle ultime—the last page of the final chapter in the book of Diablo.

When Audi took control of Lamborghini, in 1998, they wanted to refresh and refine the Diablo while its successor, the Murciélago, was in development. Lamborghini chief designer Luc Donckerwolke significantly modernized the Diablo’s exterior and interior.

All the VT 6.0s differ from predecessors due to a revised fascia with two large air intakes, very similar to those later used on the Murciélago. Front spoiler, fenders, and nose panel were reshaped and smoothed, indicator lights increased in size and their position slightly shifted, and the small NACA air inlets above the windscreen eliminated. Aluminum 18-inch wheels became a five-hole design recalling those used in the latter days of the Countach. Open the door, and you’ll find the SE’s interior color-coded with the exterior finish, with new leathers for the electrically-adjustable seats. Interior carbon-fiber pieces are threaded with titanium for additional glossiness, and titanium is used liberally in interior trimming.

The heart of the VT 6.0 is the aluminum 60-degree V12 engine, comparable to those in the GT variants, except for updated ECU software, a new exhaust system, and a revised variable valve timing system. Its figures are a properly brutal: 550 horsepower (at 7,100 rpm) and 620 Nm of torque—sufficient to catapult the car’s 1,700 kilograms to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than four seconds, with a factory-declared top speed exceeding 324 km/h (201 mph).

Power is transferred to tarmac through gigantic 335/30 ZR18 Pirelli P Zero tires so wide that from some angles the Diablo appears to be atop a rolling pin of rubber. Drive to the ground is via an all-wheel-drive system, where a viscous coupling routes power to the front wheels—at most, 28 percent—if traction is lost out back. The system is stellar, and welcome, especially if you’re speeding up and down Tuscan hills during a thunderstorm.

With spring golden hour light poking through the clouds just in time for photographs, the mood was right for contemplating the Diablo’s unmistakable lines.

There is an arc, from nose to tail, that gently tightens behind the Diablo’s cabin. The design perfectly balances strength and glamor—the view is particularly stunning from above—it’s a supercar spaceship landed on earth. The rear bumper with integrated spoiler keeps the engine compartment cool by extracting hot air while massive air intakes neatly incorporated into the body supply air to radiators. Larger than a Countach, the Diablo is more demanding to drive on narrow roads, but it’s arguably a more beautiful-to-witness piece of machinery. More harmonic, more wind-sketched.

Time’s passage has allowed us to view the Diablo on its own terms, and not merely as the follow-up to a pair of automotive icons. Whereas the impulse to supersede the Countach with something more extreme or more outrageous would have been too tempting for many brands, the years have shown us that Lamborghini, by producing the mature, sophisticated, and polished Diablo, had the foresight to strike the balance just right.

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dinahhalpert
dinahhalpert
6 months ago

Never become less fascinated every time I read about Lamborghinis diablo. If I am not the resume writer at Resume Faster than I am pretty sure I would choose super cars videofrapher. lol!

Neha Hayat
Neha Hayat
9 months ago

Lamborghini itself a name is enough same like native web studio as we both are the best and always provide the best services.

Neha Hayat
Neha Hayat
10 months ago

As we all know that Lamborghini itself is a brand that doesn’t need any introduction same like can natural CBD doesn’t need any introduction when it comes to providing the best CBD products.

Amina Raifi
Amina Raifi
10 months ago

Lamborghini car is a brand in itself, which deserves less praise and it is a unique car that is in demand worldwide, such as cv writing services in dubai people also demand that which is why people apply to the company to join a good company.

Sam Parker
Sam Parker
10 months ago

Lamborghini has an unrivalled sense of style. As a quality assurance manager at transfer factor plus, I’m well aware of people’s technical aspirations, and no matter how many new inventive and cutting-edge technology automobiles are introduced, the desire and obsession for Lamborghini remains constant.

joehudson
joehudson
11 months ago

The class of Lamborghini is unmatchable. Being a content writer at Logo Glory Blogs, I’m absolutely aware of the technological demands of the people, and no matter how many other new innovative and latest tech cars have launched, the demand and craze for Lamborghini never change.

innunehi
innunehi
1 year ago

There is no competition of Lamborghini this car has the next level in class, performance, and luxurious comfort. If someone has willing to buy this beast so earn more and get high paid jobs with the help of cv writing services Abu Dhabi they will provide you high standard work.

Olivia Clark
Olivia Clark
1 year ago

Lamborghini is my love its my dream to have that car I hope one day I will develop my business of bitcoin exchange software company and will buy this car one day.

Jessie Rose
Jessie Rose
1 year ago

this is my dream car but I have to work hard to earn it. We all know nothing is impossible. I have started my own company that provides assignment help in Melbourne, Sydney, and all across Australia. working day and night to achieve my goals.

Elma Davis
Elma Davis
1 year ago

Lamborghini is a dream car for every person. The 11 years of efforts it has taken show its unique features. One of my LinkedIn profile experts UK colleagues want to buy this. He is truly a car lover and loves to have every new model car. Is it available for sale in the market? How much does it cost?

LTRLMN
LTRLMN
2 years ago

Viva il Diablo! I’ll have mine in yellow GTR guise… or purple. The Diablo was tailor-made for the ’90s and gave its all to encourage sex, competition, and success. From Dumb and Dumber, to Exit Wounds, and even into the mid-2000s appearing in Nip/Tuck, the Lamborghini Diablo has always been a knife through butter for whoever slips behind the wheel. Just watch the scene in Gone in Sixty Seconds when Memphis and Sway steal the SE, or.. I mean I know these are just movies, but seeing a Diablo in real life.. well I wish you all the luck, for these bulls are no longer being run as often as they should. All I know is that I owe a particular red Diablo, which I saw in the early ’90s as a kid in Deltaville, VA, a very big thank you for turning me onto cars, and for showing me what it means to be ‘timeless.’ I have to imagine the experience of driving one also takes your mind off the clock. Beautiful cars, truly inspirational. Thanks.