Lamborghini Diablo: if the devil had a car it would be this sports car

Following the path set by the legendary Countach was no easy task for Lamborghini when it introduced the Diablo in early 1990.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 August 2023 Thursday 17:10
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Lamborghini Diablo: if the devil had a car it would be this sports car

Following the path set by the legendary Countach was no easy task for Lamborghini when it introduced the Diablo in early 1990. Its successor had to not only offer exceptional performance but also achieve evolved driving sensations, typical of a modern supercar, highly efficient and at the forefront of a category in which the bull's firm was already a benchmark: supercars. The Devil propelled the manufacturer from Sant'Agata Bolognese into the modern era of production, development and technology.

After a difficult development phase, the Diablo arrived with a configuration similar to that of its predecessor: a 5.7-liter V12 engine with multipoint sequential electronic injection and 492 hp at 6,800 rpm with rear-wheel drive. Over time and successive evolutions, its displacement increased to 6 liters and its power to almost 600 CV.

It was, at the time of its launch, the fastest production vehicle in the world, with a top of 325 km/h. Despite its luxurious finishes (leather, air conditioning, electric windows and seats…) it was a pure sports car, unadulterated and without electronic aids; power steering and all-wheel drive didn't arrive until 1993.

Another turning point for the Diablo, and for Lamborghini itself, is marked by the year 1998, with the purchase of the company by Audi. More elegance, refinement, better finishes since then, as well as greater reliability and the availability of the necessary resources to have the best components translated into enormous success around the world, boosting its total sales to 2,903 units in the 11 years it was in production, from 1990 to 2001, the highest figure for the same model in the brand's history to date.

The Diablo that we were fortunate to drive, in Gold Elios color with brown leather interiors, was an SE 6.0 AWD and corresponded to one of the last units manufactured and, therefore, at the peak of its evolution and with the best setting. on point of all previous series. To this we must add that it was a "new" copy, never marketed, which came off the assembly line in 2001 to be directly integrated into the fleet that makes up the Lamborghini Museum collection.

The sensations were, therefore, those offered by the Devil at its peak of maturity as a model, and those of a car without aging due to wear, original, without restoring or modifying. In short, an intense driving experience that is pure, raw, rabid and stark.

The impression that the Devil conveys as soon as he starts driving is that it is a very serious beast, a car that is somewhat threatening and imposing due to its savage bravery, its untempered genius and its rebellious, rebellious and brash nature and deliberately ultra-sporty.

But, in any case, (and despite being 22 years old, and almost 30 since its conception), the Diablo was shown at all times as a "modern" car, current, with which you can drive, travel, enjoy and have fun at full capacity, with a general feel of a "car of the present", without missing anything and without suffering from the problems of imprecision, discomfort, or low intensity of braking typical of "oldtimers" or directly classic cars.

The most impressive thing about the Diablo is its abysmal “kick”, demonstrating an unusual force in its thrust from very low revs. It should be remembered that we are talking about 550 CV ¬–of those of before– that emanate from a 6-liter atmospheric V12 block (more “fat” and “full”, impossible) for a set of only 1,625 kg and that are transmitted to the ground through a 4WD drive system.

His personality, aggressive and radical, almost violent, is what most surprises this asphalt beast. Serve as proof that on a stretch of road set up for this purpose, it climbed with astonishing ease up to 200 km/h (when its peak is 320...). And that almost without effort, without the need to stretch the gears too much or demand anything special from the engine. A true running machine.

It goes without saying that accompanying its extremely powerful acceleration capacity with the mechanical roar of its Herculean engine becomes an indescribable pleasure. The monumental roar of its V12 and its intimidating raw power are elements that are no longer achieved in today's more filtered and "denatured" supercars despite their power figures being even higher.

The experience behind the wheel of the Diablo is an exciting, authentic and shocking volcanic eruption, with the ferocity that only the sports cars of yesteryear displayed and the safety that the technology and components of the 21st century cars provide.