The Devil Moves Fast
How Lamborghini? Perfectly Lamborghini. When the devil himself shows up at your door, you don’t just turn him away. You entertain the idea of putting up with him. Just like that idea itself, when the devil in car form comes knocking, you write about it, and show off what was one of the best vehicles Lamborghini ever made. With a 6.0 L V12 and a body designed by Lucifer himself, Lamborghini sold their soul to make one of the most crazy modern cars to date. It’s quite easy to see why the Diablo captured the hearts of so many— il diavolo si mouve velocemente.
Planted in the rear was a 6.0 L fire-breathing V12, Lamborghini’s rendition of the Bible. Its vow? To put out nearly 550 horsepower in a piece of sheet metal ready to rocket you to 60 MPH in a mind-shattering 4.4 seconds while the rear wheels vie for traction. From 1990 the Diablo was breaking necks, boggling heads, and turning crosses upside down. Wide tires in the rear let the Diablo top out at over 200 MPH and are so wide that you cannot comprehend that there are two of them. Pirelli, Lamborghini’s exclusive tire manufacturer had to specially make tires in order for them to fit, and if you buy one, the devil will be in your wallet too. Torque seats itself at 547 lb-ft and makes itself known. Your head pushes back against the leather seating that still somehow smells of the 90’s and stench of Miami cocaine. The 1990’s were a different time, that of the devil, and that of 550 horsepower in a box of sheet metal rolling down I-95 was a spectacle.
It still is, Diablos are a dying breed, and they still are a show to see. Pull up to a Cars and Coffee and you’ll find next to nothing in terms of Diablo. Prices still hover over $200,000 and a quick search on AutoTrader and you’ll end up with no dice in regards to Diablo options. These things are rare and draw just as much attention as your everyday Lamborghini. Cameras out, people clamoring, it’s the Lamborghini way of course.
Put the Devil on the 1/4 mile and watch it exorcise itself of its inner demons. With over 500 horsepower, wheelspin is inevitable. But this monster has a secret. It’s AWD, that’s right, at heavy launch, which pulls just over .78 Gs, 28% of all power is diverted to the front wheels in order for the most perfect launch, and probably to save your pockets from too many burnt tires. Take it to the track and you better be on your A-game because this thing will work you. It somehow seems as if Lamborghini looked at a Bentley and said to themselves, “what would happen if we mashed these two together, but almost ran out of R&D budget while we were at it?” You get features in the Diablo, but for some reason, no basic ones. Power steering? Errr no. But you did get an Alpine sound system! ABS? No dice. But you do get fitted luggage as an option. Airbags for peace of mind because you’re driving a 550-horsepower rear engined vehicle with no guardrails so when you ultimately wrap yourself around a pole you can rest assured that when you make the phone call to the insurance agency your agent will without a doubt, have a heart attack? “YOU WRECKED WHAT?!” Nope. However you do get this cool 6-disc CD changer. So you can listen to “Ice Ice Baby” while you writhe in pain.
Nevertheless, the Diablo is a pure track master. Its beautiful oversteer makes it nimble when it needs to be, but heavy enough to not fly itself off the track and cause it to feel light. That huge wing in the back certainly helps. Looking like it came straight out of a Happy Meal, that wing carries over from the Countach and just like the rest of the article… how Lamborghini. Fun Fact: The Diablo created so much downforce thanks to that wing, a factory option for a tiny little front wing was available. But that looked stupid so no one wanted it.
Put your foot down on the gas, and downshift from 5th to 3rd and you will quite easily hear one of the best sounds of all time. That sonorous behemoth of an engine will roar underneath you like the anti-christ himself. An 100 MPH run will net you 8.5 seconds of time, faster than any other car in this timeframe. Available in a 5-speed manual, who wouldn’t want to bang through their own gears in something that has 4 times the cylinders as a Chevy Trailblazer? For a supercar, it shifts smooth, clutch delivery and travel was short, and throw was short from the factory making it a true drivers’ vehicle. Throttle control was for a 1990’s vehicle… electronic making pedal response as good as it could be. In addition, the VT trim added more bizareness to the fun including a new clutch, wider seats, brake cooling vents, electronically adjustable dampers, and FINALLY power steering in ’93. With a raucous coming out of its dual tail blast pipes, the Diablo sounded and drove like hell. You know it’s real when the firing order for the cylinders is embossed and engrained on the engine cover itself.
On the interior, the Diablo pulled out all the hat tricks for a 200 MPH supercar. AC, all leather everything, a $10,000 clock option (yes that was a thing), custom fitted seats, a subwoofer, and on certain trims, a convertible top. The interior is purely Italian, in the best way possible. Imagine clashing an Italian luxury vehicle like an Alfa Romeo with a heavy hitting demon like Lamborghini, you’d get the Diablo.
Reliability always seems to disappoint with old Lamborghinis, there’s nothing more expensive than an old Lamborghini. While that may be true, this is one worth owning. Everything about it screams Lamborghini, and who wouldn’t like that. It’s the entire point, even if you have to sell your soul. And your arm. As well as your left kidney just to keep up with maintenance costs.
Rowdy, boisterous, and a track demon is how we would put this thing simply. A soft spot for old cars definitely exist, especially with the popup headlights (they were slashed in 2000), and the 11 years of Diablo glory came to an end in 2001. And we miss it everyday, la fine di un era, il diavolo e statto esorcizzato.