After 17 years in production, the legendary Countach was replaced by the Diablo, which on its arrival was the fastest, most advanced 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’s, but constructed of square-section rather than round tubing and incorporating ‘crumple zones’ at front and rear. The use of carbon-fibre composite panels, first seen in the Countach Evoluzione model, was extended in the Diablo, which also featured revised suspension capable of accommodating the envisaged future developments of 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 its maximum of 492bhp at 7,000rpm. Of equal, if not greater significance, 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 forebear, 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 latter but a series production car with a luxuriously appointed interior reflecting its designers’ intention to produce a civilised Gran Turismo as suited to city streets and motorways as the racetrack.
Finished in Yellow with a black leather interior, this nicely presented example was first registered to former Formula 1 constructor Walter Wolf racing, subsequently finding its way to the United States, and now being offered from a UK-based Lamborghini collection. During its time the US the Diablo benefited from much care attention, supported by bills of c.$28,000. Since being repatriated into the EU the Diablo has joined a small Lamborghini collection, and has been treated to a service and other minor repairs as required, which were completed by road and racecar specialist Simpson Motorsport. In In 2018 the car was the star in the Lisa Riley show Sooty and Sweep, which was subsequently featured in the Lamborghini Club magazine Rivista Veloce.
Offered with the relevant service history and owners manual, and supplied on a UK V5, we really feel this car merits further inspection.