After 17 years in production, the legendary Countach was replaced by the Diablo, which then became the fastest and most expensive Lamborghini ever built. First exhibited publicly at Monaco in January 1990, the Diablo improved on its illustrious predecessor in every way, setting a new benchmark in supercar design. Nobody can have been surprised to learn that it had been styled by Marcello Gandini, the man responsible for the Lamborghini Miura and Countach, for the family resemblance was obvious.
Beneath the skin there was a steel spaceframe chassis, developed from the Countach, but constructed of square-section rather than round tubing and incorporating ‘crumple zones’ at the front and rear. The use of carbon fibre composite panels, first seen in the Countach Evoluzione model, was extended in the Diablo. In addition to this, revised suspension was capable of accommodating four-wheel drive and active suspension.
Stretched to 5.7 litres for the Diablo, Lamborghini’s 48-valve V12 engine gained fuel injection for the first time, producing a maximum of 492bhp at 7,000rpm. By similar merit, maximum torque went up to 428lb/ft, an improvement of 55% over the Countach. Catalytic converters were standard, enabling the reworked V12 to meet emissions requirements worldwide.
With more power and a lower drag coefficient than the Countach, the Diablo easily eclipsed its predecessor, exceeding 200mph (322km/h) on test. More importantly, its acceleration and top speed figures were marginally better than those of the Ferrari F40. The Diablo though, was not a limited edition model like the F40 but a series production car. This is clearly demonstrated with the luxuriously appointed interior reflecting its designers’ intention to produce a civilised Gran Turismo suited to both road and track in equal measure.
This highly desirable ‘VT’ model comes with extensive history documented by the previous 2 owners, and shows just 13,000kms on the odometer. This is low owner, low mileage example is a rare chance to own a well looked after poster car for a fraction of the cost when new.