Automobili Lamborghini celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Diablo this year, one of the most iconic models in the history of super sports cars, and originally on the market from January 1990. The Diablo story began in 1985, codenamed Project 132, with the aim of replacing the Countach at the top of the Lamborghini range. Winning the hearts and appreciation of fans since day one, the Diablo was officially the fastest production car in the world at launch, capable of a top speed of 325kmph.
The Diablo sports the classic Lamborghini 12-cylinder set-up, with a 5.7-litre engine, four overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, equipped with multi-point electronic injection capable of developing 485bhp and 580Nm of torque, in a rear longitudinal position. Despite being luxuriously finished, with leather interior, air conditioning, electric windows, and electrically adjustable seats, the Diablo is still a hard and pure car with traction on the rear wheels only, no electronic driving aids or power steering were available until 1993.
In 1993, Automobili Lamborghini launched the Diablo VT, the first Lamborghini Granturismo to be equipped with four-wheel drive, which also brought a series of mechanical improvements and stylistic changes also to be soon adopted on the two-wheel-drive version. In 1993, the special SE30 series was presented to commemorate 30 years since the birth of the company, with a power increase to 523bhp. The Diablo SV debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1995, available only as a two-wheel drive version with a maximum power of 510bhp, and with an adjustable rear wing. In December of the same year, the Diablo VT Roadster came to market, Lamborghini's first 12-cylinder, open-roofed, mass-produced Lamborghini, with slightly revised lines and offered with the four-wheel-drive transmission only.
The Diablo, also launched in special series or for competition with 6.0-litre engines, was Lamborghini’s most-produced car to date with 2903 units in total. It remained available until 2001 when it was succeeded by the Murciélago model.