LAMBORGHINI Diablo Roadster
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Lamborghini introduced the Diablo in 1990 as a replacement for the famous Countach, which was in production for more than 25 years.
Then, it added what the Countach never had: an open-top version.
The Italian supercar manufacturer traded hands several times before entering into the Volkswagen Group in 1998. About the same time, it introduced the facelifted version for its entire range, losing the base version and offering the SV as the new base-model. Obviously, the changes were already made when Volkswagen took over the company, but it enjoyed the refreshed lineup’s success.
Even though the 1999 Diablo Roadster lost some of the ’80s details that made the car famous, it brought it closer to the look of a proper supercar that guided the company into the new millennium. Its pop-up headlights were gone, and there was an option for a carbon-fiber rear wing over the engine compartment. The carmaker offered a new set of light-alloy wheels and new colors to fit into new trends that didn’t appreciate that much the white and gray colors, and yellow was the new black.
Inside, the carmaker installed a waved-shaped dashboard that replaced the vertical one offered before. It lost its industrial look and welcomed the modern one. Its instrument cluster was rounded with the dials arranged in a semi-circular shape. But the Diablo kept the tall center console with horizontally mounted controls and a sloped center stack.
Lamborghini kept the same engine under the hood, but with an increase in power from 492 hp up to 530 hp. The VT Roadster received a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that produced 575 hp.
Lamborghini showcased a roadster version for the Diablo in 1992 as a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, and customers asked the carmaker to make it a series product.
The Italians were surprised by the customers, and, moreover, the German tuner Koenig Specials asked Lamborghini for permission to cut the roof on existing Diablo models. Lamborghini gave the OK, but it worked hard to develop an original version. TThe Italian engineers managed to introduce an all-wheel-drive system on the Diablo in the next year, and Lamborghini was able to offer the roadster with that traction system. This is how the Diablo VT Roadster was born and appeared as a production model in late 1995 as a 1996 model, and Koenig Specials stopped cutting the Diablo’s roof.
With its radical design, the Diablo offered an unmistakable view on the road. Besides being a very quick supercar, it offered a light, removable roof, which could have been stored behind the seats. But the carmaker didn’t want to compromise the car’s handling abilities and left a transverse bar behind the cockpit and included a small roll-down windscreen. Thus, it managed to offer a roadster sensation into an almost targa vehicle.
Inside, the open-top version sported the same interior as the coupe, with the same flat areas on the center console and the center stack. Its raised instrument cluster displayed the same layout with up-mounted dials for the speedometer and tachometer and the engine’s gauges at the bottom.