In 2001, the $265,000 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 was rightly claimed the fastest production vehicle in the world. A decade later, 205 mph and 0 to 60 in less than 4 seconds is still at the very outer limit of street-legal performance. Part of a significant Seattle-area collection, this Diablo VT 6.0 has to be one of the lowest mileage examples extant with just 12 miles on the odometer. Understandably, it shows as new.
Even better, this is the last of 40 Diablo VT 6.0 Special Edition models built. Lamborghini assembled 291 Diablo VT 6.0s in 2000 and 215 Diablo VT 6.0s in 2001. The VT 6.0 SE was only available in 2001, and only in a paint choice of either Oro Elios, a gold metallic meant to represent sunrise or Marrone Eklipsis, a bronze/maroon “flip-flop” to represent sunset. An exclusive SE upholstery treatment, Lamborghini badged brake calipers, additional carbon-fiber trim and a lightweight magnesium intake manifold are easy-to-spot enhancements.
Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, who had designed the landmark Miura and Countach, began work in June, 1985 on what would become the Diablo. Chrysler Corporation bought Lamborghini in 1987, and Chrysler designers in Detroit cleaned up Gandini’s angular concept. Annoyed, Gandini then created the Cizeta-Moroder V16T, a similar Exotic built in very limited quantities from 1991 through 1995 and featuring his original design. Frankly, Chrysler’s version is prettier.
The Diablo debuted in Monte Carlo on January 21, 1990, with a 5.7-Liter V12 of 485hp. It was considerably more luxurious than the Countach, but with a top speed of 207 mph, still gave Lamborghini the honors for building the fastest production car in the world.
In 1993, Lamborghini engineers squeezed the LM002 SUV’s all-wheel drive system into the Diablo, creating the Viscous Traction, or VT. By diverting up to 25 percent of total torque to the front wheels, the VT improved traction and handling under virtually all conditions, transforming the Diablo into a true supercar. The VT also received new front brake cooling ducts, larger engine air intakes, a more luxurious interior, electronically adjustable shock absorbers, standard power steering and four-piston disc brake calipers.
In 1999, under new owner Audi AG, Lamborghini substantially revised the Diablo and Diablo VT. The sooo-Eighties pop-up headlights were replaced with fixed headlamps under clear aerodynamic lenses. The interior was once again updated with a new curvaceous dashboard, 18” wheels were now standard along with ABS brakes and the 5.7-Liter V12 was increased to 530hp, thanks to variable valve timing.
In 2000, Audi engineers continued their improvements. The entire nose was redesigned to be more aerodynamic and more functional, a new carbon fiber center console was installed and one-piece OZ 18” aluminum wheels were fitted along with gigantic Brembo four-wheel disc brakes with Lucas ABS.
The old 5.7-Liter V12 was stroked from 80mm to 84mm to bring the displacement to 6.0-Liters. Thanks to an updated engine control unit and a number of engineering revisions, the Diablo now produced 550hp. And thanks to Audi engineering and manufacturing expertise, the new Diablo VT 6.0, built only in 2000 and 2001, is by far the best Lamborghini of this era.
Obviously, the ultimate Lamborghini Diablo to collect is the limited-production VT 6.0 SE, a rare Exotic even among rare Exotics. When you find one that has been pampered in a private collection since new, has been driven barely 12 miles, comes with every possible feature and is literally the last Diablo VT 6.0 SE built, you’ve struck gold. Or in this case, Oro Elios.
— By Rich Taylor