Developed as one of the very last traditional mid-engine supercars, the 1990 Lamborghini Diablo had big shoes to fill. Not only did it have to deliver the performance that buyers would expect from anything with the Lamborghini badge, but it had to do so in the footsteps of the Countach, one of the most popular and enduring supercars of all time. Thankfully, the Countach had become a parody of its former self, with tons of plastic and hood scoops and vents and spoilers everywhere, so creating a new, purer shape mustn’t have been so complicated for designer Marcello Gandini, creator of the original Countach. The Diablo lines were simpler and flowed better, helping the car achieve even greater speed, but were not as spectacular as some would have liked. For my part, I like the subtle understatement.
The original 1990 Diablo was fitted with a 5.2-liter V12 developing 492 horsepower, which was upgraded to 5.7-liters, and 525 horsepower (and more torque) in later models. Needless to say, performance followed: 0-60 in under 4 seconds, and a top speed of 207 miles per hour, thanks to the incredible pushing power of the V12 and the car’s own aerodynamic shape. For those uncomfortable with the level of traction offered by the regular Diablo (which was awesome by the way), a grippier VT all-wheel-drive version was soon made available.
The 1990 Lamborghini Diablo, in the end, managed to satisfy everyone’s expectations for the Countach successor. It was incredibly fast, it handled superbly (although the steering was a little heavy), and it looked as fast as it went. It was also tremendously expensive. Noblesse oblige!