Used 2001 Lamborghini Diablo Review

An absolute head-turner that has a hard time functioning in the real world.




what's new

Nothing. The devil hangs around for another year, as its replacement's debut is delayed by parent company Audi.

vehicle overview

Last year was supposed to have been the final year for the Diablo, which debuted back in 1990 as a replacement for the Countach. But with its replacement not yet ready, the Diablo remains on sale for 2001.

Lamborghini started their mid-engine, V12 supercar onslaught with the lovely Miura, which debuted in 1967. With flowing, sensuous contours and a 350-horse V12, the Miura was a hit among the jet-setters of the late 1960's and early 1970's.

After the Miura came the Countach, in 1974. Looking more like an earth-bound spaceship than a sports car, the Countach became even more outlandish as the years went on, as all manner of spoilers, wheel flares and strakes festooned the originally pure body.

Introduced in 1990 as a replacement for the Countach, the Diablo (Spanish for "Devil") has always been a rather brutal machine that offered electrifying response but little in the way of comfort. Upgrades to the cockpit were made last year, however. The footwells were widened, the climate control system revised for easier use and more cooling capacity and the seats revamped. For years Lambos had seats with fixed backrests, meaning you couldn't recline the seatback at all. Now the seats not only have adjustable backrests, they also boast more support for comfort and to hold one in place while unraveling a twisty mountain road.

Mechanical refinements made last year got more thrust out of the V12. The engine size was increased from 5.7- to 6.0-liters, a lighter crankshaft and titanium connecting rods were employed, and a smarter engine-control system installed. The net result is a stupendous output of 543 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. For those who may actually care, fuel mileage ratings stand at 10 mpg/city and 13mpg/highway.

Gearchanges for the five-speed manual tranny are made via a hefty, gated shifter. In Lamborghini tradition, the Diablo is fitted with some of the biggest tires ever seen on a vehicle short of Fred Flintstone's prehistoric ride. Wrapped around the Diablo's 18-inch alloys are235/40 front and 335/35 rear Pirelli P-Zeros. An all-wheel-drive system that can send up to 28 percent of the engine's power to the front wheels has the formidable task of keeping this kinetic frenzy under control.

A mid-4 second zero-to-60 time, 12-second quarter mile and over 200 mph of top end guarantee that nothing short of an F-16 ride will come close to the thrill that this car, a skilled driver and a wide open road can provide. However, for use in the real world, the Diablo is a bit of a handful.






edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.