1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster
Prod. #1612. Originally to Lamborghini USA on 11 Oct 96. TN, USA. Previously FL,
Unlike the Diablo VT, the second generation Diablo VT Roadster was produced from 1999 until 2000. As with all Diablos from the 1999 model year onward, the second generation VT Roadster received an updated interior, as well as larger brakes and the new fixed headlamp units. Among other improvements, the updated VT Roadster was fitted with a more powerful version of Lamborghini’s 5.7 liter V12, which saw a power increase to 529BHP.
While production for the standard second generation VT Roadster ended in 1999, a special run of 30 Millennium Edition Roadsters were built in 2000. These cars were almost identical mechanically to the VT Roadster, but featured a different differential, as well as cosmetic changes unique to the Millennium Edition.
Introduced at the 1992 Geneva Motor Show, the Lamborghini Diablo Roadster prototype showed the world what an open top Supercar could look like. With the roof removed and the windscreen shortened dramatically, the famous scissor doors remained and the chassis was reinforced to make up for the lack of a permanent roof.
The initial response from attending media and public was overwhelmingly positive creating demand from Lamborghini dealers and their customers. They were finally satisfied with the debut of the production version of the Diablo Roadster VT in 1995.
Over the following five years, Lamborghini built 200 VT Roadster versions which featured removable targa top made entirely of carbon fiber that was stored above the engine bonnet when not in use.
The Roadster, the first widely produced convertible by Lamborghini, originally appeared at the Bologna Auto Show in December of 1995 in much the same guise as the 6.0 liter VT with minor cosmetic changes, notably the revised front bumper and head lamp arrangement which featured two rectangular and two round lights. The front brake cooling ducts moved inboard of the driving lamps where the rear ducts featured a vertical painted design as seen on the SE30.
The most substantial design changes included a slightly lower windscreen, larger air intakes, new O.Z Racing wheels and most notably the engine bonnet treatment. In order for the engine heat to vent properly as well as accommodate the targa top, a redesign of the engine cover was crucial and the ingenuous method Lamborghini came up with to solve this issue was a masterful compromise which featured larger air intakes on the atop the rear wheels which were likewise increased from 17” to 18”. The roof snaps securely into place right into the top of the engine bonnet, which may be done in seconds.
Engine enhancements also included the addition of the variable valve timing system to the 492BHP, 6-liter, DOHC V-12 engine mated to the five-speed manual transmission, top speed was increased to 208MPH with 0 to 60MPH in four seconds, the Diablo Roadster remains to this day among the fastest open top cars ever produced, even against the group of modern Supercars.
The Diablo Roadster began a new tradition of Lamborghini producing an open top version of their flagship V12 models which has passed down their later models, such as Murciélago, Aventador and Reventon combining rarity, aesthetic design and performance while keeping an important place in Lamborghini lore.
This Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster (#2612) is a U.S. market example finished in rare and stunning Nero black with Champagne leather interior. It’s build was completed July 8, 1996 and is one of 466 examples produced with only 4,038 original miles (estimated) over three owners.
2004 Lamborghini Murciélago LP580-4
1986 Ferrari Testarossa Straman
1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster
1994 Lamborghini Diablo SE30
2003 Lamborghini Murciélago 40th Anniversary
2005 Porsche Carrera GT