If any sports car on the market truly deserves the designation supercar, its the Italian-built Lamborghini Diablo. Known in its current form as the Diablo 6.0, the startling-looking two-seat coupe adopted a new 6.0-liter V-12 engine in 2000, as well as a number of other improvements: a new air conditioning system, wider front and rear track dimensions, a redesigned exhaust system, a new front bumper, new lightweight magnesium alloy wheels, and wider front and rear fenders. The drivers seat was moved toward the center for a better driving position, and gauges were redesigned.
Partly because a Diablo sells for a whopping $265,000, only a handful are sold each year. Automotive News estimates that only 30 Lamborghinis were sold in the United States during 2000. Even though the model has been marketed for more than a decade after replacing the bizarrely shaped Countach, many people have never seen a Diablo on the street. But when they do, a Diablo is certain to grab the attention away from anything else passing by at the moment.
Once an independent company and later affiliated with other automakers, Lamborghini currently is owned by Audi AG. Although open roadsters have been offered in the past, the 2001 Diablo comes only as a closed coupe.
About as long as a Ferrari 360 Modena, at 176 inches, the Diablo is 5 inches wider but stands only 43.5 inches tall thats 4 inches shorter than a Ferrari, which translates to considerable stooping when owners attempt to climb inside. Fortunately, instead of opening outward in the customary way, the Diablos doors swing upward in a scissorslike fashion. The narrow windows, especially at the rear, seriously restrict visibility.
Bodies are constructed mainly of carbon fiber, except for aluminum doors and a steel roof. The front bumper contains integrated air intakes for the Diablos brakes. Tires measure 18 inches in diameter. A rear spoiler is optional.
Diablos provide the look and feel of a racecar cockpit, with twin leather bucket seats complemented by carbon fiber and aluminum interior trim. The carbon fiber steering wheel has a leather grip, and the whole interior is lined in leather.
Under the Hood
Mounted behind the seats is a V-12 engine, which grew to a 6.0-liter displacement in 2000; in the U.S. trim, the V-12 develops 540 horsepower. Permanently engaged four-wheel drive with a viscous traction system is standard. The center-mounted shift lever for the five-speed-manual transmission is positioned asymmetrically, closer to the steering wheel than usual. Lamborghini claims that a Diablo can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 205 mph. That makes it the fastest production vehicle in the world.
Dual front airbags and all-disc antilock brakes are standard.