Lamborghini Diablo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lamborghini Diablo
BF84 (5902441444).jpg
Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT
ManufacturerAutomobili Lamborghini S.p.A
Also calledLamborghini Costanga (Mexico)
2,884 produced
AssemblySant'Agata Bolognese, Italy
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body style2-door coupé
2-door roadster
LayoutLongitudinal, Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive / all-wheel drive
Engine5.7 L V12
6.0 L V12
Transmission5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,650 mm (104.3 in)
Length4,460 mm (175.6 in)–4,470 mm (176.0 in)
Width2,040 mm (80.3 in)
Height1,105 mm (43.5 in)–1,115 mm (43.9 in)
Curb weight
  • 1,576 kg (3,474 lb) (Diablo)
  • 1,625 kg (3,583 lb) (Diablo VT)
  • 1,625 kg (3,583 lb) (Diablo VT Roadster)
  • 1,430 kg (3,153 lb) (Diablo SE30)
  • 1,530 kg (3,370 lb) (Diablo SV)
  • 1,385 kg (3,053 lb) (Diablo SV-R)
  • 1,460 kg (3,219 lb) (Diablo GT)
  • 1,395 kg (3,075 lb) (Diablo GT-R)
  • 1,656 kg (3,651 lb) (Diablo 6.0 VT)
PredecessorLamborghini Countach
SuccessorLamborghini Murciélago

The Lamborghini Diablo is a high-performance mid-engined sports car that was built by Italian automotive manufacturer Lamborghini between 1990 and 2001. It is the first production 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.

History of development[edit]

The Lamborghini P132 prototype designed by Marcello Gandini on display at the Lamborghini museum, a design which would later be carried out to the Cizeta V16T
Rear view of the P132 prototype.

At a time when the company was financed by the Swiss-based brothers Jean Claude and Patrick Mimran, Lamborghini began development of what was codenamed Project 132 in June 1985 as a replacement for the Countach, Lamborghini's then flagship sports car. The brief stated that the top speed of the new car had to be at least 315 km/h (196 mph).[3]

The design of the car was contracted to Marcello Gandini, who had designed its two predecessors. When Chrysler Corporation bought the company in 1987, funding the company to complete the car's development, its management was uncomfortable with Gandini’s designs and commissioned its design team in Detroit to execute a third extensive redesign, smoothing out the infamous 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 realise his original design in the Cizeta-Moroder V16T.[3][4]

The new car was named 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 11 July 1869.[3] In the words of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the Diablo was designed "solely to be the biggest head-turner in the world."[5]

The development is believed to have cost a total of 6 billion Italian lira.[3]

Mexican version[edit]

The Lamborghini Diablo was sold as the Lamborghini Costanga from 1993 through 2000 in Mexico due to controversy against the "Diablo" name. For the Mexican market, the engine was detuned from 492 PS to 440 PS.[6][7] U.S. magazine Motor Week tested the Costanga and found it capable of accelerating from 0–60 mph in 5.4 seconds and completing the 1/4-mile in 13.2 seconds at 111 mph.[8]



The original Lamborghini Diablo
Rear of the car showing the optional rear wing

The Diablo was presented to the public for sale on 21 January 1990. Its power came from a 5,707 cc (5.7 L; 348.3 cu in), featuring dual overhead cams with 4 valves per cylinder version of the existing V12 and computer-controlled multi-point fuel injection, producing a maximum output of 492 PS (362 kW; 485 bhp) and 580 N⋅m (428 lbf⋅ft) of torque. The vehicle could reach 0-100 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, and 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) and an exclusive Breguet clock for the dash (priced at $10,500).[3]

In 1995, Diablo was used as the Safety Car in Formula One, most notably at the Canadian Grand Prix where, however, it did not need to be officially deployed.

Diablo Roadster Concept[edit]

1992 Lamborghini Diablo Roadster prototype, a car from which many design features were carried out to the Lamborghini Diablo VT and the VT Roadster

Introduced at the 1992 Geneva Motor Show, the Diablo roadster concept showcased what a possible open top version of the car would look like. The roof was removed and the car had a shortened visor in place of the windshield which made its way to the doors indicating the adaptation of the barchetta body style. The chassis was strengthened in order to compensate for the loss of the roof and the car featured many unique components which made their way to the later variants of the Diablo. Such components included larger air intakes near the rear wing and the sides of the car for better engine cooling, a visor mounted rear view mirror, roll bars over the seats, unique wheels in body colour of the car and a unique engine cover which included a tunnel in the middle for better air flow over the rear view mirror. The signature scissor doors were retained despite for the loss of the roof and the interior became more ergonomic and featured a unique two-tone beige colour. The concept generated a positive response among the public and demand among customers for such a car. As the car was not intended for production, German tuner Koenig Competition upon Lamborghini's permission converted customer cars into replicas of the concept. The cars featured different front and rear bumpers along with wheels than that of the concept due to copy right issues along with an upgraded engine. The conversion was no longer offered upon the request of Lamborghini as the company introduced the Diablo VT roadster in 1995. [9]

Diablo VT[edit]

Lamborghini Diablo VT

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 the 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.

Interior. Note the indicator stalk from the Morris Marina.[10]

Other improvements debuting on the VT included front air intakes below the driving lamps to improve brake cooling, larger intakes in the rear arches, a more ergonomic interior with a revised electronically adjustable dampers, four-piston brake calipers, power steering, and minor engine refinements. Many of these improvements, save the four-wheel drive system, soon transferred to the base Diablo, making the cars visually nearly identical.[11]

Diablo SE30 and SE30 Jota[edit]

Lamborghini Diablo SE30
Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota (rear)

The Diablo SE30 was introduced in 1993 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, and 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, on the fly.

The car's weight was lowered by replacing the power glass side windows with fixed plexiglas (with a small sliding vent window as on many race cars) and 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 race 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, while the rear cooling ducts were changed to a vertical body-colored design. The raging bull emblem was 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; this change would be applied to all Diablo models across the lineup. Completing the exterior variations were special magnesium alloy wheels, SE30 badging, and a new metallic purple paint color (this could be changed upon request).

Only 150 SE30 models were built, and of these, about 15 were converted to "Jota" specification (although 28 Jota kits were produced). The "Jota" was a factory modification kit designed to convert the race-oriented SE30 into an actual circuit racer, albeit at the cost of street-legal operation. A revised engine lid with two ducts protruding above the roofline forced air into the intake system; a similar lid design would later be used on the Diablo SV model. With even 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, one of the main contributing factors to the Jota's track-only status, although some owners converted back to standard exhaust in order to enjoy their "super Diablo" on the road.[citation needed] The rear-view mirror from the interior was also removed because it was completely useless in conjunction with the revised engine lid, further adding to the race feeling of the car.[12]

Diablo SV[edit]

Lamborghini Diablo SV
Lamborghini Diablo SV (rear)

The Diablo SV was introduced in 1995 at the Geneva Motor Show, reviving the super veloce title first used on the Miura SV. The SV is based on the standard Diablo and thus lacks the four-wheel drive of the VT. A notable feature of the SV is an increase in power output to 517 PS (510 bhp; 380 kW) at 7,100 rpm and 580 N⋅m (428 lbf⋅ft) at 5,900 rpm of torque,[13] which, paired with the two-wheel drive layout, can increase the likelihood of loss of traction during hard driving. Despite its higher power output, the SV was priced as the entry-level model in the Diablo range, falling below the standard Diablo by a small margin. An adjustable rear spoiler was installed as standard equipment and could be color-matched to the car body or formed from carbon fibre. Other exterior changes included black tail 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, and 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.[14]

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 the 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 colours. One Monterey Edition, featuring an upgraded engine and brakes, was 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.[15]

Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit uses the Lamborghini Diablo SV as the flagship car of the game. The car became emblematic of the Need for Speed franchise, making several appearances throughout later entries in the series.

Diablo VT Roadster[edit]

1995–1998 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster

The Diablo VT Roadster was introduced in December 1995 and featured a manually operated carbon fibre targa top which was stored above the engine lid when not in use. The roof has two latches at the front and two at the rear. When removed, it is easy to attach to the top of the engine cover. Besides the roof, the roadster's body was altered from the fixed-top VT model in a number of ways. The front bumper was revised, replacing the quad rectangular driving lamps with two rectangular and two round units. The brake cooling ducts were moved inboard of the driving lamps and changed to a straked design, while the rear ducts featured the vertical painted design seen on the SE30.

Lamborghini Diablo VT roadster (rear)

The engine lid was changed substantially in order to vent properly when the roof panel was covering it. The roadster also featured revised 17 inch wheels. The air intakes on top/sides were made larger than the Diablo coupé. In 1998, the wheels were updated to 18 inches, and the engine power raised to 530 hp (395 kW; 537 PS) by adding the variable valve timing system. Top speed was also raised to 335 km/h (208 mph).


Specification level Production Engine Maximum power Maximum torque Drive Layout Brakes Curb weight Weight distribution
Diablo 1990–1998, ~900 built[16] 5.7 L (348 cu in) V12 492 PS (362 kW; 485 hp) 580 N⋅m (428 lb⋅ft) Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive Brembo servo-assisted four-wheel disc brakes, 330 mm (13.0 in) front × 284 mm (11.2 in) rear 1,576 kg (3,474 lb) 41/59% front/rear
VT 1993–1998, ~400 built[17] Rear mid-engine, four-wheel drive, 45% LSD rear & 25% LSD front Brembo servo-assisted four-wheel disc brakes, 330 mm (13.0 in) front × 310 mm (12.2 in) rear 1,625 kg (3,583 lb) 43/57% front/rear
SE30 1993, 150 built (25 for US market)[18] 530 PS (390 kW; 523 hp) Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive 1,451 kg (3,199 lb) 41/59% front/rear
SE30 Jota 1995, 28 kits built[19] 603 PS (444 kW; 595 hp) 639 N⋅m (471 lb⋅ft) 1,450 kg (3,200 lb)
SV 1995–1998[20] 517 PS (380 kW; 510 hp) 580 N⋅m (428 lb⋅ft) Brembo servo-assisted four-wheel disc brakes, 340 mm (13.4 in) front × 310 mm (12.2 in) rear 1,576 kg (3,474 lb) 41/59% front/rear
VT Roadster 1995–1998, ~200 built[21] 492 PS (362 kW; 485 hp) Rear mid-engine, four-wheel drive, 45% LSD rear & 25% LSD front Brembo servo-assisted four-wheel disc brakes, 330 mm (13.0 in) front × 310 mm (12.2 in) rear 1,625 kg (3,583 lb) 47/53% front/rear

Facelift (1998–2001)[edit]

Diablo SV (1999)[edit]

Lamborghini Diablo SV (Post-facelift)

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, borrowed under license from their original application in the Nissan 300ZX Z32. All Diablos were also fitted with new 18 inch wheels.

updated interior

The Diablo range also received an updated interior. Instead of the traditional flat dashboard with a separate upright instrument binnacle, as in many Italian sports cars of the era (and the previous Diablo), the 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 was inspired by Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi products.[22]

Under the engine lid, 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. For the first time in a Lamborghini, the Diablo was equipped with a Kelsey-Hayes ABS unit, complementing larger diameter brake rotors.[23]

Diablo SV SE35[edit]

The Diablo SV SE35 introduced in 1999 as a limited-production special model, build by Swiss Lamborghini importer Roland Affolter, to commemorate the company's 35th anniversary. Produced in very limited numbers of just 9 cars. It is recognisable by the bull (from the logo) on the sides of the car.

Diablo VT and VT Roadster (1999)[edit]

1999 Diablo VT Roadster, US-spec (note front fascia and rear brake ducts)

The second generation VT coupé and roadster received the same cosmetic and mechanical upgrades as the SV model, including the open headlamps, restyled interior, 536 PS (394 kW; 529 hp) engine, and ABS; little else was changed from the previous generation. All US-spec VT models, coupé and roadster alike, shared the same unique front and rear fascias as seen on the original VT Roadster, along with 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.[24]

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 was a fairly standard Diablo VT with no engine modifications and some extra bits of carbon fiber trim in various locations, but the big news was the multimedia system. The stereo receiver was the top-end CVA-1005 model, with integrated navigation system; also included in the package was a DVD player, 6-disc CD changer, and Alpine's top quality tweeters, midrange drivers, and subwoofers, powered by "Lamborghini" badged Alpine amplifiers. Alpine logos adorned the seat headrests, floormats, and the special car cover included with this rare model.[25]

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. Lamborghini, rather than spending money to develop certain automotive components, had been using aftermarket suppliers such as Alpine and MOMO to outfit the Diablo. The Momo Edition was again a fairly standard VT Roadster, but featured special upholstery, MOMO 4-point seatbelt harnesses, and MOMO chromed wheels. Like the Alpine Edition, the Momo Edition also had MOMO logos embroidered in the seat headrests and floor mats.[26]

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, with the 10 cars exported to the United States all finished in Titanium Metallic. Besides an optional carbon fiber spoiler, special two-tone leather interior, and the 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.[27]

Diablo GT[edit]

Lamborghini Diablo GT

The Diablo SE30 and its optional Jota upgrade kit had been quite sporty and race-oriented, but Lamborghini took this concept a step further in 1999 with its introduction of the very limited production Diablo GT, of which 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, a stripped-down interior, and an 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 an all new black carbon fiber front air dam with large brake ducts and a central vent for the oil cooler (the car still featured driving lamps, the single pair of round units featured on the Diablo VT Roadster). In the front luggage compartment lid, a large air extractor was added, while the small corner vents on the front fenders were changed to NACA style ducts. The fenders themselves were widened to accommodate a wider front track. In the rear, the bumper and its lamps were removed entirely, replaced by a carbon fiber diffuser that 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, and an optional Alpine LCD screen for GPS navigation and a bumper mounted backup camera. Despite the racing pretenses of the vehicle, 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.[28][29]

Diablo VT 6.0 and VT 6.0 SE[edit]

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, while its replacement, the Murciélago, was developed. 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 air dam, nose panel, and fenders were all reworked and smoothed, the indicators were enlarged and shifted in position, and 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 (rather than transparent red or black) and 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, which were 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; the new-styled dash introduced on the 1999 Diablo range was retained, but a prominent carbon fiber center console was fitted, the air conditioning was improved, and the seat and pedal alignment was revised.

The VT 6.0, as per its name, 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 in addition to new intake and exhaust systems and a refined variable valve timing system with slightly 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, with 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.

Before the Diablo was retired, 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" represented sunrise, while the color-shifting bronze/maroon "Marrone Eklipsis" represented sunset. Little else changed, save for a new magnesium intake manifold, special upholstery treatment, "Lamborghini" badged brake calipers, comprehensive road map software in the navigation system, and enhanced carbon fiber trim.[30]


Specification level Production Engine Maximum power Maximum torque Drive Layout Brakes Curb weight Weight distribution
SV 1998–1999, ~100 built[31] 5.7 L (348 cu in) V12 536 PS (394 kW; 529 hp) 605 N⋅m (446 lb⋅ft) Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive Brembo servo-assisted, ventilated, cross-drilled four-wheel disc brakes, 355 mm (14.0 in) front × 335 mm (13.2 in) rear, with Kelsey-Hayes ABS 1,530 kg (3,370 lb) 41/59% front/rear
VT 1998–2000[32] Rear mid-engine, four-wheel drive, 45% LSD rear & 25% LSD front (SV rear with 2.53:1 ratio used on Millennium Roadster) Brembo servo-assisted, ventilated, cross-drilled four-wheel disc brakes, 365 mm (14.4 in) front × 335 mm (13.2 in) rear, with Kelsey-Hayes ABS 1,625 kg (3,583 lb) 43/57% front/rear
VT Roadster 1998–2000, 100 built + 30 Millennium Roadster[33] Brembo servo-assisted, ventilated, cross-drilled four-wheel disc brakes, 355 mm (14.0 in) front × 335 mm (13.2 in) rear, with Kelsey-Hayes ABS
GT 1999-2000, 80 sold, 83 built[34] 6.0 L (366 cu in) V12 583 PS (429 kW; 575 hp) 630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive Brembo servo-assisted, ventilated, cross-drilled four-wheel disc brakes, 355 mm (14.0 in) front × 335 mm (13.2 in) rear, with Lucas ABS 1,460 kg (3,220 lb) 40/60% front/rear
VT 6.0 2000–2001 (40 SE models built)[35] 558 PS (410 kW; 550 hp) 620 N⋅m (457 lb⋅ft) Rear mid-engine, four-wheel drive, 45% LSD rear & 25% LSD front (rear-wheel drive optional) Brembo servo-assisted four-wheel disc brakes, 365 mm (14.4 in) front × 335 mm (13.2 in) rear, with Lucas ABS 1,625 kg (3,583 lb) 41/59% front/rear

Factory racing specials[edit]

Diablo Jota[edit]

In 1995, to enter in the JGTC racing in Japan, Japan Lamborghini Owners Club (JLOC) ordered Lamborghini to develop two competition cars with one road-going car. They were developed with technical support of Lamborghini Engineering and allowed to name Jota. All three cars exist in Japan.[36]

The first developed car, Jota PO.01, actually competed in JGTC series racing in 1995 and 1996 seasons. It has dry-sump 5,707cc engine with Multi Mode Engine Control (MMEC) technology which had developed through Formula One challenge in 1991 season. The second car, Jota PO.02, was also developed in 1995 with specifications for endurance race, and actually competed in Suzuka 1000km race. Although it was planned to enter 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was not realized. The third car, Jota PO.03, has specifications for road use with dry-sump engine with MMMC.

Diablo GT1 Stradale[edit]

Following the foot-steps of Porsche in 1996 with the GT1, a purpose built racing car that created a stir in motorsports, Lamborghini contracted Signes Advanced Technologies (SAT), a company based in Toulon, France specialising in manufacturing prototype race cars, to develop a racing version of the Diablo to enter in the GT1 class racing. The company would build an entirely new chassis made of tubular steel and a carbon fibre body bearing resemblance to the road going Diablo with Lamborghini supplying the engine and getting the project through homologation. The 5.7 L V12 engine used in the standard Diablos was stroked to a displacement of 6.0 L utilising a reprogrammed engine management system. The new engine had a maximum power output of 655 hp (664 PS; 488 kW) at 7,550 RPM and 687 N⋅m (507 lb⋅ft) of torque at 5,500 RPM and transferred the power to the rear wheels through a 6-speed Hewland sequential manual transmission. The finished car weighed just 1,050 kg (2,315 lb) making it the lightest Diablo ever produced. The body work featured heavy modifications and very little was shared with the road car. A very deep chin spoiler and fixed front lamps along with an adjustable rear wing was one of the main changes. The front and rear section of the car were entirely removable to allow easy access to the mechanicals of the car, the wheelbase and length of the car was increased than a regular Diablo for enhanced performance. Larger air intakes on the rear, NACA ducts near the doors and air intakes from the Diablo SV improved engine cooling. The car utilised scissor doors and tail lights from a regular Diablo further increasing its resemblance with the road going model. Other features included purpose built race interior, plexiglass windows, 18-inch centre-lock OZ racing wheels and an integrated roll-cage. The car was presented in 1997 to the factory in the presence of FIA representatives who approved and homologated the car for racing. But financial difficulties surrounding Lamborghini at that time forced the company to not go further with the project. Only 2 cars were built, one was meant for racing and one was the road legal version which dropped the rear wing. The racing version was bought by the JLOC racing team from Japan who used it in the JGTC series racing until the series was abandoned and the road version remained in the ownership of SAT until it was sold to Mistral Motors in Italy. [37] [38]

Diablo SV-R[edit]

Lamborghini Diablo SV-R competing at the Lamborghini "Supertrophy" event

Unveiled at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show, the Diablo SV-R is a lightweight competition version of the SV and the first Lamborghini to be officially built for motorsport purposes, as Ferruccio Lamborghini had never desired to build "street legal race cars" like rival Ferrari. Rather than comply with the requirements for any established racing series, 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.[39] 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.[40]

The Diablo SV-R featured a stripped-down interior with a rollcage, racing seat, and removable steering wheel; the power glass side windows were replaced with fixed Plexiglass with traditional race-style sliding sections. On the exterior, the electric pop-up headlamps were replaced either with fixed units (similar to those which appeared later on the road cars in 1999) or with open ducting for the front brakes. A larger, deeper front spoiler was fitted, while the rear bumper was replaced with a diffuser assembly and the traditional Diablo "wing" was replaced with a true adjustable carbon fiber spoiler. Side skirts were added for aerodynamics, but this left so little ground clearance that pneumatic air jacks also had to be installed to raise the car for service in the pit lane; similar jacks can be seen in use on the more recent Ferrari F430 Challenge.[41] 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 and were adjusted to about twice the stiffness of stock Diablo SV suspension.[40] With all modifications, the SV-R weighed 1,385 kg (3,053 lb), 191 kg (421 lb) less than the factory SV.

Under the engine lid, the traditional 5.7 liter V12 remained, but 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, which would later appear on production Diablos. The engine was bolted up to a 6-speed manual transmission.[40] Each car sold came with a season's factory support and an entry to the one-make series. All repairs and maintenance were carried out by Lamborghini themselves.[42]

A Lamborghini Diablo SV-R converted for road use

The series' first title winner was BPR regular, Thomas Bscher, who became involved with the business side of the brand in later years. In total, 31 examples of the SV-R were produced.[39] Only a few of these have been modified for road use, including one in the United States which received a Diablo VT 6.0 front clip and was painted with the Stars and Stripes.[40][42]

Diablo GT2[edit]

Lamborghini Diablo GT2 Evoluzione on display at the Lamborghini Museum
Lamborghini Diablo GT2 Evoluzione (rear)

Following the success of the Diablo SV-R, Lamborghini decided to enter the Diablo in GT2 class racing. Primarily because of a failed attempt in 1996 to enter the famed GT1 class with the Diablo GT1 Stradale. A new car was developed based on the Diablo SV which later became the basis for the infamous Diablo GT and the Diablo GTR, the car was called the Diablo GT2 and it featured a detuned variant of the 6.0 L V12 engine used in the Diablo GT1 Stradale capable of producing around 600 hp (608 PS; 447 kW). The interior was stripped of all luxuries and featured a racing steering wheel with integrated digital speedometer, fire extinguisher system, racing cut off switch, removable engine cover with quick release system, plexiglass windows with sliding sections, integrated roll-cage, fast filling fuel cell system instead of the conventional fuel tank, centre-lock wheels and a large CFRP fixed rear wing. Many features of the car were carried out to the Diablo GT along with later Lamborghini models such as the huge air intake at the front, removable engine covers, central dual exhaust system and the engine itself, which was detuned for road usage. The project was scrapped when Audi took over the company. The car was given an update sometime in 2002 and was known as the Diablo GT2 Evoluzione which included different front and rear bumpers, rear wing from the Diablo GTR and a modified air intake system for the engine, but the car never went racing. [43]

Diablo GTR[edit]

After campaigning the Diablo SV-R for four years in the Diablo Supertrophy, 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, and weight reduction.[44]

The GTR interior was stripped down to save weight; the air conditioning, stereo, and sound and heatproofing were removed, and a single racing seat with 6-point seatbelt harness, MOMO fire suppression system and steering wheel, complete integrated roll cage, fixed Plexiglass windows with sliding sections, and fresh air intake were fitted.[44]

The GT had already featured a radically styled body, but the GTR took this a little further with features such as 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 (like the SV-R, it was too low for a rolling jack), and an emergency fuel shutoff switch on the left front fender.[44]

The GTR utilized the same basic 6.0 liter V12 engine that had made its debut on the street-legal GT, but with revised fuel and ignition systems, individual throttle bodies, a dynamic air intake duct system, variable valve timing, titanium connecting rods, and 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 was bolted to the usual 5-speed transmission in a rear-wheel drive layout. Extra heat exhangers were added for the differential and transmission oil to prevent overheating under extreme racing conditions. A fast-filling racing fuel cell replaced the standard gasoline tank. The suspension was stiffened and lowered, and racing brake calipers were installed.[44]

Thirty cars were planned, 40 were built, and 40 chassis were prepared to replace cars wrecked in racing accidents.[44]

In the hands of multiple Australian Drivers' Champion Paul Stokell, a Diablo GTR run by Team Lamborghini Australia won the 2003 and 2004 Australian Nations Cup Championships. The GTR was also raced by Stokell, Luke Youlden, Peter Hackett and Danish driver Allan Simonsen in the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour race where after qualifying 6th would go on to finish 8th outright after suffering a number of punctures throughout the race.[45]

Aftermarket tuning[edit]

Diablo VTTT[edit]

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, offered as a special dealer upgrade 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, and a reprogrammed electronic fuel injection system. Modifications to the drivetrain included a custom Kevlar twin-plate clutch to cope with the extra torque and a new short ratio gearbox to improve acceleration. The brakes were upgraded with cross-drilled, ventilated discs and 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 commanded a high premium, nearly doubling 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) with the car set at 650 hp, or 255 mph (410 km/h) with all 750 hp being used, although no official number has been produced due to the car's rarity and the fact that it was not a production model.


Year Units
1999 252[46]
2000 291[46]
2001 215[47]


  1. ^ Diablo VT 6.0 Special Edition
  2. ^ "Designer". Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f
  4. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo 6.0VT". 30 March 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  5. ^ Top Gear Supercars
  6. ^ – Lamborghini Costanga (1993)
  7. ^ Revista ERES – Lamborghini Costanga: México Obtiene Diferente Nombre Para Diablo
  8. ^ MotorWeek | Retro Review: '93 Lamborghini Diablo – YouTube
  9. ^ Mark Smeyers (6 March 2005). "1992 Lamborghini Diablo Roadster Prototype". Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  10. ^ Bremner, Richard (24 June 1995). "The Material World". The Independent.
  11. ^ "Diablo VT, the story". 1998–2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  13. ^ "1996 Lamborghini Diablo SV". 28 February 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo SV". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  15. ^ "The Lamborghini Diablo SV Monterey Edition". Lamborghini cars, the enthusiast site. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  16. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  17. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo VT 1995–1998". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo SE30". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  19. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo SE30 Jota". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  20. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo SV 1995–1998". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  21. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster 1995–1998". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  22. ^ Sabre (28 February 2008). "Lamborghini Diablo, part 4". The Fast and Furious. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  23. ^ "Diablo SV (1999)". 1998–2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  24. ^ "Diablo VT (1999)". 1998–2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  25. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo Alpine Edition". Lamborghini cars, the enthusiast site. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  26. ^ "The Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster Momo Edition". Lamborghini cars, the enthusiast site. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  27. ^ "Diablo VT (1999)". 1998–2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  28. ^ "Diablo GT (1999)". 1998–2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  29. ^ "1999–2000 Diablo GT (80 Built)". The International Lamborghini Registry. 2000–2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  30. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo 6.0VT SE". 1 January 2005. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  31. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo SV (1999)". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  32. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo VT (1999)". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  33. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster (1999)". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  34. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo GT". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  35. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  36. ^ Lamborghini Diablo. Rosso Supercar Archives 04 (in Japanese). Tokyo: Neko Publishing Co. Ltd. 2009-03-04. pp. 92–95. ISBN 978-4777007523.
  37. ^ Mark Smeyers (13 February 2007). "Lamborghini Diablo GT1 Stradale". Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  38. ^ Jeff Glucker (15 May 2017). "This is the Lamborghini Diablo GT1 Stradale which you didn't know existed". Motor Authority. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  39. ^ a b [1] Archived 23 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ a b c d "Lamborghini Diablo SV-R". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast Site. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  41. ^ "Ferrari F430 Challenge Debuts at Autosport International". Paddock Talk. 16 January 2006. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  42. ^ a b Lamborghini Diablo SVR Archived 2 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  43. ^ "Lamborghini Diablo GT2". Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  44. ^ a b c d e "The limited edition Lamborghini Diablo GTR". Lamborghini Cars, the Enthusiast site. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  45. ^ Mount Panorama – Bathurst 23/11/2003 Bathurst 24hr 2003 Archived 31 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine. National Software retrieved on 4 April 2008
  46. ^ a b "Volkswagen AG Annual Report 2000, p.55" (PDF). Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  47. ^ "Volkswagen AG Annual Report 2002, p.81" (PDF). Retrieved 7 December 2010.

External links[edit]