This 30 years Lamborghini Special Edition Diablo, number 66 out of a production run of 150, was bought by the present owner in 2002 and has just recorded 20.500 [km], mainly for local runs.
Originally delivered new in Switzerland this Diablo is very smartly presented in Purple livery with Purple Alcantara interior, perhaps the most exclusive colour combination since just two cars have been produced like this.
This collector Lamborghini comes with a full service history as well as a Swiss Carte Grise registration document, along with a new Controle Technique (MoT certificate) and Emission Control certificat.
The Diablo was launched in 1990 as successor to the legendary Countach. It was developed under the investment from Chrysler which bought Lamborghini in 1987.
With more money, no wonder the Diablo was better developed than any other previous Lamborghini. Eventually, it survived for 11 years and 2884 cars were built, breaking the record held by the Countach.
The name Diablo means Devil in Spanish. Like the Countach and many other Lamborghinis, it was designed by Italian styling maestro Marcello Gandini. No wonder the car had strong resemblance to its predecessor, such as slant front end, steeply raked windscreen and scissors doors.
However, the final design was refined by Chrysler's studio in the USA, smoothened all sharp edges and corners, improved cooling and aerodynamics. In the end, it was changed so much that Gandini was displeased and decided to realize his original design in another supercar, the Cizeta Moroder V16T.
However, it is undeniable that the Chrysler-refined Diablo was prettier and more enduring than the Cizeta. It looked pure yet aggressive, futuristic yet matured. Chrysler's attention to details complemented what Gandini infamous was of.
Most important was that it looked truly exotic, which was exactly what contemporary supercars lack of - the McLaren F1 and Jaguar XJ220 might look sexy, but not aggressive and dramatic enough. The Lamborghini was different. Its styling meant velocity, acceleration and power.
Even in standstill, its appearance told you it was a 250 km/h supercar, no, perhaps 300 km/h! If you let me name the most successful supercar design during the 1990s, the Diablo will always be the first one we would think of.
However, technology-wise, the Diablo was just an extension of the Countach. When the Countach was launched in the early 70s, its spaceframe chassis, aluminium body and transmission layout were rather advanced.
Entered the late 80s, the Porsche 959, Ferrari GTO and F40 started a supercar revolution by using lightweight construction, twin-turbo engines and space-age carbon-fiber materials. In contrast, the Diablo still rested on the laurel of the Countach without any significant changes.
The chassis, body and the big V12 were just an evolution from the old one. And unsurprisingly, it gained more length, width and wheelbase as well as a touch more cabin space. As a result, a standard Diablo tipped the scale at more than 1600 kg, about 130 kg heavier than the last Countach.
Straight-line performance was never a problem to the Diablo, because its 5.7-litre V12 produced close to 500 horsepower. It was recorded 0-100 km/h in 4.3 second and a top speed of 321 km/h - the wild claim of the early Countach was finally fulfilled by its successor.
The V12 was always the jewel of the crown. Powerful and sharp throttle response aside, it impressed most with its thundering roar, a roar that resonant your heart beat in sync with rising rev. Louder and rawer than Ferraris V12, the Lamborghini engine noise could hardly be forgettable.
The problem of the Diablo was its actual handling. Its philosophy of a - big and powerful supercar - was almost old-fashion since its launch. It was too heavy, too wide, too bulky to handle.
Although its supercar tires produced massive grip while its extra track aided cornering stability, it never felt as agile as a smaller supercar, or even a Porsche 911 Turbo. Poor visibility front and rear also limited driving confidence.
Unless on a smooth and wide racing track, the Diablo could hardly keep up with a 911 Turbo which cost less than half. Even on a racing track, its brakes were not big enough to handle its weight effectively.
During its 11 years life-cycle, the Diablo evolved gradually. The SV from 1995 to 1999 was perhaps the best Diablo of all, thanks to the diet it underwent. The GT of 2000 was even developed into a respectable racing machine, pushing performance to the peak.
Because of the emergence of many super-expensive supercars in the early 1990s, namely the Bugatti EB 110, the Jaguar XJ 220, the McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F50, the Diablo was almost forgotten. Being slower, heavier, cheaper and less exclusive, the Diablo failed to recapture the fame of the Countach which was regarded the worlds top supercar for many years.
Admittedly, the Diablo was the only product of Lamborghini so that it must be relatively cheap to build in order to sell 300 to 400 cars annually, in contrast to the aforementioned one-off specials. This relegated it to a - second division supercar club - whose members left only the last breed of boxer Ferrari like the 512TR and F512M.
Undoubtedly, a Lamborghini was always rated as the best of its kind. Since the death of the F512M, the Diablo became the only mid-engined production supercar in the world. Then people could only compare it with the front-engined GTs such as 550 Maranello and Aston Martin Vantage.
The Diablos production dropped gradually despite of a revision every 1 or 2 years. Perhaps people became more concerned about drivability and comfort, perhaps the old Diablo could no longer get people excited, it had to retire in 2001.
We will always remember the best things of Diablo: the exotic appearance and the thundering V12.
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