In June 1985, financed by the Swiss-based Mimran brothers, Lamborghini began development of what was codenamed Project 132 as the replacement of the Gandini-styled Countach, and was soon to be known as the ‘Diablo’.
When introduced in 1990, the Diablo was powered by a 5.7-litre, 48-valve V12 engine; in its time this was the fastest car to ever wield the ‘Raging Bull’ badge. With a mid-mounted engine producing 499bhp, the Diablo was a well balanced and incredibly powerful car that could achieve 0-60mph in little over four seconds and had an unmatchable top speed of 202mph.
Introduced in 1993, the VT variant (standing for viscous traction) differed from the standard Diablo in a number of ways, but most notable by far was the addition of four-wheel drive. The new drivetrain could direct up to 25 percent of the torque to the front wheels to aid traction during rear wheel slip, thus significantly improving the handling characteristics.
Other improvements debuting on the VT included front air intakes below the headlamps to improve brake cooling, larger intakes in the rear arches, a more ergonomic interior with a revised dashboard, electronically adjustable dampers, four-piston brake calipers, power steering, and minor engine refinements.
The VT Roadster was introduced in December 1995 at the Bologna Motor Show and set a new benchmark for open top sports cars. It had a highly sophisticated electrically operated carbon fibre targa top that was stored in the top engine lid when not in use, and could also withstand an incredible amount of force that it was exposed to at top speed.
By 1999 engine power had been increased to 530bhp which brought the top speed up to 208mph.
Believed to be just one of three rare examples of VT Roadsters built with the ‘exposed headlamp’ specification, this wonderful low mileage, original RHD example certainly stands out with its vibrant yellow paintwork over black leather interior and complementing yellow stitching. XLA 12053 is a 1999 model that is one of 20 RHD VT Roadsters ever made, and has had to all of the upgrades of the 1999 production year including increased power output to 530bhp, bigger brakes, ABS, revised dashboard and integrated airbags. This is the most desirable and powerful model and is a truly refined supercar.
Previously owned by British rock star Rod Stewart, which can be seen and verified on the car’s log books, he appreciated the car for several years until it was bought by the iconic mystic former British wrestler Kendo Nagasaki in 2007.
This is a very special and original Diablo that that has been very well maintained which is supported by the car’s history file, with all invoices and bills for all services having been done before the requisite mileages, including all belts, the fitting of a new clutch in 2010 which necessitated an engine removal, at which point the engine bay was thoroughly detailed.
We have been informed that between its occasional sunny-day drives, XLA 12053 has been kept as part of a private collection and has been sitting on axle-stands in air-conditioned storage.
Sold with original tool kits and owner’s manuals, instruction booklets and fitted with new tyres and with an odometer reading of only 19,500 miles, this must truly be one of the most sought after Diablos in existence, and one that you can drive away in this weekend.
For further information or to arrange a viewing, please contact our sales department.