The Lamborghini Diablo was a high-performance mid-engined sports carthat was built by Italianautomaker Lamborghini between 1990 and 2001. It was the first Lamborghini capable of attaining a top speed in excess of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h). After the end of its production run in 2001, the Diablo was replaced by the Lamborghini Murciélago. Diablo is “devil” in Spanish, which is diavolo in Italian.
At a time when the company was financed by the Swiss-based Mimran brothers, Lamborghini began development of what was codenamedProject 132 in June 1985 as a replacement for the Countachmodel. The brief stated that its top speed had to be at least 315 km/h (196 mph).
The design of the car was contracted to Marcello Gandini, who had designed its two predecessors. When Chrysler bought the company in 1987, providing money to complete its development, its management was uncomfortable with Gandini’s designs and commissioned its design team in Detroit to execute a third extensive redesign, smoothing out the trademark sharp edges and corners of Gandini’s original design, and leaving him famously unimpressed. In fact, Gandini was so disappointed with the “softened” shape that he would later realize his original design in the Cizeta-Moroder V16T.
The car became known as the Diablo, carrying on Lamborghini’s tradition of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bull. The Diablo was named after a ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, famous for fighting an epic battle with ‘El Chicorro’ in Madrid on July 11, 1869. In the words of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the Diablo was designed “solely to be the biggest head-turner in the world.”