Lamborghini Diablo: Wikis

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Lamborghini Diablo
Lamborghini Diablo
Manufacturer Lamborghini
Production 1990–2001
2884 produced[1]
Assembly Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy
Predecessor Lamborghini Countach
Successor Lamborghini Murcielago
Class Sports car
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door roadster
Layout Mid-engine, RWD / AWD
Engine(s) 5.7 L V12
6.0 L V12
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Designer Marcello Gandini (initial design)
Chrysler Styling Center (final design)[2]

The Lamborghini Diablo was a high-performance mid-engined sports car built by Italian automaker Lamborghini between 1990 and 2001. It was the first Lamborghini capable of attaining a top speed in excess of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h). After the end of its production run in 2001, the Diablo was replaced by the Lamborghini Murciélago.

Contents

Development

At a time when the company was financed by the Swiss-based Mimram brothers, Lamborghini began development of what was codenamed Project 132 in June 1985 as a replacement for the Countach model. The brief stated that its top speed had to be at least 315 km/h.[2]

The design of the car was contracted to Marcello Gandini, who had designed its two predecessors. When Chrysler bought the company in 1987, providing money to complete its development, its management was unimpressed with Gandini’s designs and commissioned its design team in Detroit to execute a third extensive redesign, smoothing out the trademark sharp edges and corners of Gandini's original design, and leaving him famously unimpressed.[2][3]

The car became known as the Diablo, carrying on Lamborghini's tradition of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bull. The Diablo was named after a ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, famous for fighting an epic battle with 'El Chicorro' in Madrid on July 11 1869.[2] In the words of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the Diablo was designed "solely to be the biggest head-turner in the world."[4]

The project is believed to have cost a total of 6,000,000,000 lira.[2]

Early models

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Diablo

Lamborghini Diablo

The Diablo was presented to the public for sale on January 21, 1990 at a base price of USD $240,000 at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo during the second Lamborghini Day.[2] Power came from a 5.7-litre, 48-valve version of the legendary Lamborghini V12 featuring dual overhead cams and computer-controlled multi-point fuel injection, producing a maximum output of 492 hp (367 kW; 499 PS) and 427 ft·lbf (579 N·m) of torque. The vehicle could reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in slightly under 4 seconds, with a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h). The Diablo was originally rear-wheel drive and the engine was mid-mounted to aid its weight balance.

Even at over $240,000, the vehicle was somewhat spartan, featuring only basic radio functions (with optional CD playback) along with manual windows, adjustable but unpowered seats and no anti-lock brakes, mostly to minimize the vehicle's already high curb weight. A few options were available, including having the driver's seat molded specifically for the buyer, a rear spoiler, a factory fitted luggage set (priced at $2,600) and an exclusive Breguet clock for the dash (priced at $10,500).

It was the fastest production car in the world in 1991 having a top speed of 202mph beating the Ferrari F40's 201mph. The Diablo held the title until the Jaguar XJ220 claimed a top speed of 217mph making it the fastest production car of 1993.

Diablo VT and VT Roadster

Introduced in 1993 the VT featured a four wheel drive system which meant up to 25% of the drive would be switched to the front wheels to prevent the rear wheels losing grip. Externally the main changes were larger intakes under the front warning lights and in front of the rear wheels. The VT Roadster was introduced in 1995.

Diablo SE30 and Diablo SE30 Jota

A Diablo SE30

A lightened, hard-edged racing variant of the standard Diablo, the Diablo Special Edition (SE), was sold in limited numbers during 1994-1995 to celebrate Lamborghini's 30th anniversary.

In total only about 150 cars were made. In 1995 Lamborghini introduced the Diablo SE30 Jota; the SE30 Jota was produced from the Lamborghini factory but SE30 owners also had the option of having Lamborghini upgrade their SE30 to SE30 Jota specifications. The SE30 Jota upgrade consisted of two roof mounted air scoops, a re-tuned L.I.E. chip and a six-speed all-synchromesh gearbox. With these upgrades in place the Diablo SE30 Jota could produce a claimed 595 bhp (444 kW; 603 PS) , about 70[1][2] more than the normal SE30s. In total only about 28 Jota upgrade kits were made.

The car went without most of the Diablo's standard equipment to save weight, it featured lots of carbon fiber parts, helping to make it 125 kilograms (276 lb) lighter than the standard Diablo. Lamborghini chose to do without the VT's advanced electronic suspension or all-wheel-drive systems, but the car did get an advanced adjustment system controlled with an interior dial that could instantaneously adjust the stiffness of the car's front and rear anti-roll bars. They also enlarged the brake discs of all four wheels. [5] [6]

Diablo VTTT

Only 6 Lamborghini Diablo VTTT cars where ever produced. The cars were equipped with twin blueprinted, water cooled, Garret T4 turbos with electronically controlled waste gates, custom built intercoolers, competition type valves with race-type guides and polished cylinder heads. A custom twin-plate clutch in kevlar to cope with the extra torque, a new short ratio gearbox to improve acceleration, and reprogrammed electronic fuel injection system were used. Also the brakes were upgraded with cross drilled and ventilated discs using carbon fibre brake pads.

The original asking prices ranged from $350,000 to over $600,000 USD.[citation needed]

Performance was outstanding, top speeds ranged from 220mph to over 235mph depending on the boost. Horsepower ranged from 550hp to 750hp, there are reports of one individual who owns a Blue VTTT that has been rumored to make over 1000hp.[citation needed]

Each VTTT had a special emblem near the engine denoting the number of the car and who it was built for.

Car number 4 is located in Dallas, Texas.

Diablo SV

Lamborghini Diablo SV

The SV or "Super Veloce" variant of the Diablo was an optional add-on package to the base car launched in 1995. It lacked the VT's all-wheel-drive system and electronic suspension, but it featured the VT's revised dashboard and larger brakes, a new 3-piece adjustable spoiler and was powered by a modified version of the 5.7-litre V12 producing 510 hp (380 kW; 517 PS). The car's air intakes were slightly differently shaped, and from 1999 onwards the vehicle had exposed headlamps as opposed to the pop-up units previous versions used.

Diablo SVR

Unveiled at the 1996 Geneva Salon, the SVR variant is a lightweight competition version of the SV, built for its pro-am one make series known as Diablo Supertrophy, which was intended to run for three years, with its inaugural round held as the support race to the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans.[7]

The SVR is 191 kg (421 lb) less than the SV (1,385 kg (3,053 lb)) and boasts 540 hp (403 kW; 547 PS), mainly of a revised fuel injection timing and is the first Diablo to use variable valve timing. There are numerous noticeable cosmetic differences, the covered lights are sometimes used in place of its usual retractable headlights. Other cosmetic differences includes, a deeper front spoiler, side skirts and a redesigned rear valance. Also the most visible modification is a fully adjustable rear aerofoil, lightweight acrylic side windows are used in place of a glass items and a set of 18 inch OZ Racing one-piece hollow spoke cast magnesium wheels.[8] Each car sold came with a seasons factory support and an entry to the one-make series. All repairs and maintenance were carried out by Lamborghini themselves.[8]

The series first title winner was BPR regular, Thomas Bscher, who became involved with the business side of the brand in later years. In total, 31 versions of this model have been produced altogether.[7] Only a few of these have been modified for road use.[8]

1999-2001 models

Diablo VT and VT Roadster

1999 Diablo VT Roadster

The second version of the VT coupé and roadster added mostly cosmetic and styling changes. The cars now featured the SV's exposed headlamps (borrowed from the Nissan 300ZX 1990-96, and used under license), new wheels and a newly redesigned dashboard. On the mechanical side, larger brakes, the addition of ABS brakes and a new variable valve timing system on the 5.7-litre V12 were the only mechanical updates. Power output increased to 529 hp (394 kW; 536 PS). The standard 0-100 km/h time was 3.8 seconds, but it could be launched in 3.6 seconds by revving to 6000 rpm and sidestepping the clutch. Despite the money Lamborghini had spent making the updates, the "Version 2" VTs were discontinued after only one year of production.

Diablo SV

Just like the updated versions of the VT coupé and roadster, the 1999 model year SV's changes were primarily limited to cosmetics. It received slight bodywork updates (keeping the exposed headlamps), new wheels and larger brakes in addition to the new VVT-equipped, 529 hp (394 kW; 536 PS) engine. The 1999 Diablos also gained a new dashboard. Instead of the traditional flat dashboard with a separate upright instrument binnacle, as on so many Italian sports cars, the new dash was of a more fluid, wave shaped design. A thin strip of black glass runs the length of the dash, and instruments lights such as main beam, headlight operation and low fuel warning appear within this strip. The concept was inspired by Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi products.

Otherwise, the 1999 Diablo remained fundamentally unchanged. Like the updated VT, it was produced only as a production model for the 1999 model year. A limited edition 2000 model was produced, available only in metallic silver - most of these cars are in the United States.

Diablo GT

As much as the SV (Super Veloce) was already a near race-ready version of the Diablo, the limited run GT model went even further in the same direction. It boasted a modified version of the V12 engine, bored out to 6.0 litres and producing 575 hp (429 kW; 583 PS), while enlarged brakes, an improved and lower-riding suspension and owner- Ygnacio Lamborghini changes. More aggressive bodywork with flared fenders and wider wheels were introduced. Only 80 units were produced in total and the vehicle was only officially sold in Europe.[9]

Diablo GTR

After campaigning the Diablo SV-R for four years in the Diablo Supertrophy Lamborghini launched a completely new car for the 2000 season. This Diablo GTR is a modified version of the 6 litre GT version of the Diablo launched in 1999. In comparison with the Diablo GT, the GTR's most important features are a modified chassis frame with integrated roll bar, improved suspensions, central fixing nut for the rims, race braking system, additional radiators for transmission oil cooling, very high performance rear wing (directly bolted to the chassis), simplified interiors and weight reduction. The engine is basically the same V12, 6 litre, of the Diablo GT which thanks to the adoption of a specially tuned exhaust system, without catalyser, delivers 590 hp (440 kW; 598 PS) (575 in the GT model).

The engine management system is based on the proprietary Lamborghini LIE electronic engine control system tuned for racing. Fuel injection is sequential multipoint and ignition is static with individual coils. Lamborghini Data Acquisition System, LDAS, and diagnostic functions are integrated in the engine electronic management system.

For the engine cooling, two water radiators in parallel are side mounted to the engine and an engine oil cooler is front mounted as in the Diablo GT. Additional coolers for gearbox and differential oil are installed in order to better match the racing overloads.

The transmission is on the rear wheels through a Lamborghini 5 speed gearbox with one basic gear ratio option and an alternative option for a shorter 5th gear ratio. The gear box lever is in an asymmetric position on the central tunnel in order to be closer to the steering wheel, for better control. The steering system is power assisted.

The tubular chassis frame integrates the roll bar and is directly connected to the rear wing. The front suspension is modified for racing. Shock absorbers and anti-roll bars are adjustable. The rims are lightweight magnesium alloy with central fixing nut and they accept racing type tyres. A special racing fuel tank with fast filling system has been installed. The braking system is based on the Diablo GT high performance module. New racing brake calipers have been adopted to better match the very severe racing conditions.

Most of the body is carbon fibre made, except for the roof, which is made of steel for torsional rigidity, while the doors are made of aluminium, for safety reasons.

The cockpit fittings are simplified to meet racing requirements. The driver seat has been moved towards the longitudinal axle of the car, reducing the size of the central tunnel, to ensure a better driving position. Racing switches for ignition and for other functions have been adopted instead of the series push buttons. The fire extinguisher system is installed on the right side of the cockpit with activating switch on the tunnel. The driver's seat is of racing type with a six-point safety belt and the steering wheel is also racing type.

A production run of 30 cars was planned at the launch of the car at the 1999 Bologna Motorshow, but at the end of the run 40 cars were built.

Diablo 6.0 VT and 6.0 VT SE

After Audi AG took over Lamborghini from its former South East Asian owners in 1998, Mycom and VPower, they set out to modernize and refine the Diablo, while its replacement, the Murciélago, was developed.[10] Audi tasked Luc Donckerwolcke with designing a more refined, more civilized, and more modern Diablo. The 6.0 VT was the result of that design. It featured heavy styling changes both inside and out; the front bumper now featured 2 large air intakes and the nose was flattened. It sat on large 18 inch monoblock alloy wheels reminiscent of the 5 hole dial wheels of the Countach. Significant changes were made to the interior too, the drivers seat was moved in line with the pedals, and climate control air conditioning was standard. There was a much larger use of carbon fibre too, to the point that only the roof and doors were metal. (alloy and steel respectively) Magnesium was used for the wheels, cylinder heads and inlet manifolds, and the con-rods were made from titanium. The centre console was one large piece of carbon fibre.

The 6.0 VT featured the new 6.0 litre V12, based on the motor that powered the Diablo GT (which in itself was essentially a modified version of the 5.7) The motor had updated ECU software in addition to new intake and exhaust systems and a refined variable valve timing system with slightly less aggressive camshafts than had been used in the earlier versions. With a power output of 550 BHP directly from the factory, the Diablo VT 6.0 was again to be considered a major competitor in the super car league, and Automobili Lamborghini SpA focused all their resources on this final Diablo model and the successor, all other models in the range were halted, no more Roadster or SV models were offered. The 6.0 VT had higher comfort levels, came with air conditioning as standard, the seats were much improved and the interior draped in glistening carbon fibre. The build quality was superior to any previous Diablo model. These improvements would make the 6.0 VT the most practical of all the Diablos.

As a final hurrah to the Diablo, they made one last final edition of the Diablo called 6.0 VT SE, which was available in either gold or bronze, symbolizing sunrise and sunset.[11] A gold Diablo 6.0 VT SE is in the Lamborghini museum in Bologna.

Modified Diablos

Lamborghini Coatl

During the 1990s, the then head of Automobili Lamborghini S.P.A, Michael J. Kimberly had given permission for Automóviles Lamborghini Latinoamérica S.A. to build and distribute Lamborghinis in South America. This acquisition meant that Sr Ing Jorge Antonio Fernández Gracia, could badge any of his designs as official Lamborghinis. The first of which was the Lamborghini Coatl,[12] which was presented to the public as the Lamborghini Eros 2000.[12] The Coatl, meaning serpent in Aztec, could reach speeds up to 385 km/h (239 mph) and could reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 3.54 seconds. Its power was boosted to 635 bhp (474 kW) and a larger displacement of 6.3 litres was needed.[12] The chassis was modified to cope with this much power, it was upgraded by using chromium-molybdenum steel. Although the engine was still relatively a Diablo engine, both the engine and chassis had been designed in England by none other than McLaren.[12] A further development of the Coatl appeared publicly in 2001 and was referred to as the Eros GT1.[13]

Lamborghini Alar

An even further development was introduced in 2008, badged as the Lamborghini Alar.

Lamborghini Diablo Replica

In early 1993 former Lamborghini Replica builder IFG set out to build the worlds first Lamborghini Diablo having achieved building the first "Stretched" Countach to the proper wheel base on a Fiero chassis. Often IFG built these Fiero based Diablo replicas using a Chevy 350 with a Porsche 914 transaxle. As time moved on other companys like D&R Replicars and Shelby Supercars of the SSC Ultimate Aero also was one of the first companys to build a Diablo Replica on a Tubular chassis and use a high performance LS1.

NAERC North American Exotic Replicars which became the worlds most accurate Replicator of the Diablo Supercar on the market today being the first the mold the body close to the original and build a replicated chassis like a real Diablo. Cars retailed from $85.000USD to over $100.000 costing as much as a real Lamborghini.

Only Parallel Designs is the only builder today. http://www.paralleldesigns.co.uk/

References

External links

Preceded by
Ferrari F40
Fastest street-legal production car
325 km/h (202 mph)
Succeeded by
Bugatti EB110

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