1992 Lamborghini Diablo
If one had to place a wager on the make and model of a car that graced the wall of a car loving kid’s wall in the 80’s, the smart money would be on the legendary Lamborghini Countach. It was the iconic supercar which followed in the footsteps of the Lamborghini Miura, which is considered the first supercar.
Unfortunately for Lamborghini, success on the walls of school kids did not translate to financial success and Lamborghini had a slew of owner changes in the 80’s. When Lamborghini started development of the Countach’s successor in 1985, the company had just been purchased by the Mimran brothers. In 1987, the company was purchased by Chrysler who continued development of the next poster car: the Lamborghini Diablo.
The original designer of the Diablo was Macello Gandini, the same designer of the Countach and Miura that came before it. However, the new American owners of the company didn’t care much for the sharp edges and 80’s look and sent the design to Tom Gale, who designed the Plymouth Prowler and Dodge Viper, for revision. Not happy with the new design, Macello Gandini took his design along with a handful of ex-Lamborghini employees and produced the Cizeta-Moroder V16T. History will go on to show which vehicle the public preferred as the V16T only sold 20 units as opposed to the 2,884 units sold for the Diablo, which was at the time, the best-selling Lamborghini to date.
The Diablo came equipped with creature comforts not seen in the Countach such as fully adjustable steering wheel and seats, electric windows, an Alpine sounds system and power steering and anti-lock brakes on newer models. The rear spoiler and other items, such as a $10,500 Breguet clock were options. Visibility was still poor but a vast improvement over the previous model through the rear and side windows. The model also retained the scissor door opening mechanism which swung the door forward and upwards from a hinge in the front of the door, now commonly known as “Lambo doors”.
The original design stated that one of the goals of the vehicle was that it needed a top speed of at least 196 mph but the final production vehicle did it better by doing 202 on the top end. The power was derived from Lamborghini’s in house V12 which was originally placed in Lamborghini’s first car, the 350GT in 1964. The upgraded engine was a DOHC 4 valve/cylinder with computer controlled multi point fuel injection and produced 485 bhp from 5.7 liters. The power enabled the vehicle to reach 62 mph from standstill in 4.5 seconds. A newer engine in 1994 shaved that time down to 4 seconds flat and increased the top speed to 207 mph. From a safety perspective, the Diablo carried massive 13 in front rotors clamped down on by Brembo calipers, and the ultra-wide 245 mm front and 335 mm rear tires helped keep the car glued on the road.
Although the Diablo is not considered a classic yet, it will almost certainly earn that title in a few years times when 90’s vehicles are remembered for their technological and style advancements. It may be the best time to purchase one from used car auctions or from a dealer in Japan before prices start heading up. Japan Car Direct can help you find your own Diablo or any other supercar in Japan from Dealer Auctions and used car lots where cars in very good condition can be found at very reasonable prices. Please contact us with all of your import needs today!