2022 is a special year when Lamborghini celebrates the legendary V12 engine that has “breathed life” into the brand for more than 60 years. Diablo is one of the first Lamborghini super sports cars equipped with a four-wheel drive version. When it first launched, the Diablo was so ahead of its time that it was destined to become a mass-produced supercar.

Officially introduced on January 21, 1990 during the Lamborghini Day at Sporting in Monte Carlo, the car was equipped with an initial 12-cylinder engine block with a capacity of 5.7 liters and later a 6.0 liter engine. liter, producing a maximum capacity of nearly 600 horsepower in the street version and 655 horsepower in the racing version, of which only two were produced. The “pure” V12 internal combustion engine in its final form will cease production before the end of 2022, when the last Aventador Ultimae will be produced. From next year, the Aventador successor will be equipped with a new V12 plug-in hybrid engine.

The Diablo holds a special place in Automobili Lamborghini’s history and in the hearts of enthusiasts, not only for its impressive performance but also for its driving experience. This is the model that brought the automaker into the modern era. The Project 132 was born in 1985 to replace the Countach, so the model had to convey the full power of the Sant’Agata-based automaker.

During its commercial production run until 2001, Diablo also demonstrated its ability to transform itself and adapt to market needs and customer expectations. With 2,903 units produced during its 11 years of production, the Diablo was considered a huge success.

The turning point for Lamborghini came in 1998 when Audi bought the company. The automaker finally has the resources to develop a more refined industrial plan and access to impressive components and technology. The new owners also see Diablo as a product worth keeping and developing further. It was this factor that led to the decision to develop a second Diablo line, designed by the all-new Centro Stile division.

Initially, the Lamborghini Diablo was equipped with a basic setup including a longitudinal rear engine with four chain-driven camshafts, electronic fuel injection, rear-wheel drive and a mechanical transmission. Power steering only appeared in 1993 and electronics were developed to manage the engine. Diablo VT, Lamborghini’s first all-wheel drive supercar introduced in 1993, became the benchmark for road holding ability and driving safety in all conditions.

“VT” stands for “Viscous Traction,” because torque transfers from the rear axle to the front wheels via a viscous coupling. With this system, the VT is typically a rear-wheel drive vehicle with up to 20% of power going to the front wheels only when the rear wheels slip through the viscous coupling and the propeller shaft is connected to the front differential. VT also introduced another innovation for Lamborghini: the electronically controlled suspension system, with five pre-installed operating programs to choose from.

In December 1995, the Diablo Roadster debuted with a carbon fiber Targa roof that was placed over the engine cover when lowered. Lamborghini returned to racing with the Diablo, thanks to the Super Sport Trophy later the Super Trofeo – the racing championship where the model first appeared in a sub-race of the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1996. The 550-strong Diablo SV 34 horsepower was once created for racers competing in one-hour races.

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