After 17 years in production, the legendary Countach was replaced by the Diablo, which on its arrival was the fastest, most advanced and most expensive Lamborghini ever built. First exhibited publicly at Monaco in January 1990, the Diablo improved on its illustrious predecessor in every way, setting a new benchmark in supercar design. Nobody can have been surprised to learn that it had been styled by Marcello Gandini, the man responsible for the Lamborghini Miura and Countach, for the family resemblance was obvious.
Beneath the skin there was a steel spaceframe chassis, developed from the Countach's, but constructed of square-section rather than round tubing and incorporating 'crumple zones' at front and rear. The use of carbon-fibre composite panels, first seen in the Countach Evoluzione model, was extended in the Diablo, which also featured revised suspension capable of accommodating the envisaged future developments of four-wheel drive and active suspension. Stretched to 5.7 litres for the Diablo, Lamborghini's 48-valve V12 engine gained fuel injection for the first time, producing its maximum of 492bhp at 7,000rpm. Of equal, if not greater significance, maximum torque went up to 428lb/ft, an improvement of 55% over the Countach. Catalytic converters were standard, enabling the reworked V12 to meet emissions requirements worldwide.
With more power and a lower drag coefficient than the Countach, the Diablo easily eclipsed its forebear, exceeding 200mph (322km/h) on test. More importantly, its acceleration and top speed figures were marginally better than those of the Ferrari F40. Although one of the world's most expensive cars, the Diablo was not a limited edition model like the latter but a series production car with a luxuriously appointed interior reflecting its designers' intention to produce a civilised Gran Turismo as suited to city streets and motorways as the racetrack. Four-wheel drive Diablo VT and Targa-style open roadster versions soon followed and then came the Diablo SE (Special Edition) only 150 examples of which were built to celebrate Lamborghini's 30 years as a car manufacturer.
This left-hand drive Diablo VT coupé was first registered in the UK on 17th March 2009 to Gulf Resources Corporation of Hambrook, Chichester, the current registered keeper. Its original UK registration was 'F1 FHS'. Invoices on file totalling over £36,000, issued by Italian sports car specialists Joe Macari Motors of London SW18 and dating back to May 2009, indicate a no-expense-spared approach to its upkeep over the last five years, which has included a full interior re-trim. Finished in Grigio Titanium with black leather interior, the Diablo is described as in generally excellent condition and ready to be enjoyed, currently displaying a total of little over 12,500 miles on the odometer. A pre-sale check and MoT test will have been carried out by Emblem Sports Cars prior to sale. Accompanying history consists of the aforementioned invoices, V5C registration document and expired/current MoT certificates.