The Lamborghini Diablo debuted on 21st January 1990 as the replacement for the Countach. Marcello Gandini's design language of a wedge shape and cabin-forward design carried over to the Diablo, but it was considerably refined and made less angular, both in the pursuit of aerodynamic performance and to increase its appeal to a wider audience. Power was sent rearward from a 5.7-litre, fuel-injected version of the evergreen Giotto Bizzarrini V-12 engine, capable of 485 horsepower and a top speed over 200 mph. This latest Lamborghini also introduced creature comforts such as power windows and mirrors—though the steering remained unassisted (for the early cars), and an air-conditioning system was optional (until 1997).
At the 1993 Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the Diablo VT, an all-wheel drive variant with cosmetic and mechanical improvements, which altogether greatly improved its high-speed tractability over the base model. Looking to increase driver and passenger comfort, upgrades included a lighter clutch, slightly bigger seats, a restyled dashboard, and an improved air-conditioning system. Intakes were added to the VT’s front fascia near the driving lights, to assist in cooling the new four-piston Brembo brakes. The driving lights themselves were also increased in number and output to aid visibility. Power steering now helped to make the car easier to control, along with an active suspension with electronically adjustable dampers.
The all-wheel-drive “viscous traction” platform was borrowed from the limited production GT model, as was the 6.0-litre V12 engine, with mechanical and electronic revisions, the output was rated at 549 hp and a hugely impressive 457 foot-pounds of torque. The already quick Diablo was now capable of covering the 0 to 60 mph dash in just 3.8 seconds, and on to a storming top speed approaching 210 mph, only being outpaced by a handful of exotics that included the McLaren F1 and Jaguar XJ220.
This example of the desirable, late model Diablo was delivered new to America in the year 2000. It arrived finished in the distinctive and appealing hue of Blu Ely, an exceptionally rare colour of which only 3 Diablos are known to have been painted in; with the interior adorned in Ivory and black leather, carbon fibre, and navy blue carpets.
During its recent ownership, the car has built up a collection of documents, including frequent servicing invoices with recent work, including the annual service, being completed in November 2019. Since then, the vehicle has been driven less than 1,000 kilometres. Despite the low distance covered in later years, the car has seen thorough and comprehensive work, with no fewer than 11 services completed since 2016.
As well as the mechanical and performance focussed improvements that were brought to the diablo when the VT 6.0 debuted, there also were also advancements in terms of NVH and interior build quality, which can largely be attributed to the takeover of Lamborghini by Audi as part of the Volkswagen group, post Chrysler merger. To many, this makes later Diablos the sweet spot in the longstanding and iconic Lamborghini V12 lineage, with earlier cars simply being more compromised and less well constructed, and more contemporary cars being too sterile thanks to the increase in VAG involvement.
The pleasant hue of Blu Ely was introduced to the Lamborghini pallet late into the 2000 model year, and the Diablo was the only model to be available in the colour, until it was brought to the Ad Personam pallet when the studio expanded in 2013. A shade comparable to the more contemporary Blu Cepheus, although the latter is a touch lighter and pearlescent. It can also remind one of alluring Porsche Paint to Sample blues such as PTS Rivera Blue or PTS Mexico Blue in certain light, which demonstrates well the depth and versatility of Blu Ely, despite it being a non-metallic and non-pearlescent finish.
This Diablo currently reads 42,250 kilometres from new, and comes with the original toolkit in great condition, as well as its fuse and bulb kit, service records and history documents. This car presents a great opportunity to own a more modern, more refined Diablo in great mechanical and visual condition, adorned in a rare and attractive colour combination.