Lot 2114

1998 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster

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$467,500 USD | Sold

United States | Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Chassis No.
ZA9RU31B9WL12080
Documents
US Title
  • One of only 200 Diablo VT Roadsters produced
  • One-owner car; odometer indicates only 4,936 km (~3,067 mi) from new at cataloguing
  • 485 hp, 5.7-liter V-12; five-speed manual transmission with advanced permanent all-wheel drive system
  • Silver metallic over a black interior; appealing Series I styling with pop-up headlamps
  • Accompanied by tools and owner’s manual in pouch
language

Lamborghini’s reputation for shocking the automotive world, which began with the revolutionary Miura, continued with the brash Countach in 1974. As the 1990s approached, however, it was clear a new Raging Bull was needed if the Sant’Agata Bolognese marque was to keep its edge. Enter the Diablo.

With aluminum coachwork penned by the celebrated Marcelo Gandini and refined by parent company Chrysler (which had acquired Lamborghini in 1987), the Diablo instantly became the poster car for a new generation of enthusiasts—many of whom would cement their appreciation for the radical new Lamborghini after experiencing it, virtually, in the era’s driving video games. The Diablo continued to employ the Countach’s groundbreaking mid/rear engine layout, using a development of the prior model’s aluminum V-12, which now displaced 5.7 liters and developed 485 brake horsepower. With a top speed of 205 mph, the Diablo joined a very select group of supercars capable of top speeds over 200 mph.

In 1992 Lamborghini laid the groundwork for an open variant with a one-off spider shown at the Geneva Salon. The idea remained a design experiment while the company prioritized powertrain refinement, which most notably took shape with the appearance of the Diablo VT in 1993. Standing for “viscous traction,” the VT employed a version of the LM002 SUV’s all-wheel-drive system to provide superior traction and acceleration. This system brought a welcome dose of technological sophistication to a marque that had become best-known for flamboyant styling and extreme performance—starting a trend that would only accelerate after Lamborghini joined the Audi AG corporate family in 1998.

At the 1995 Geneva Salon, Lamborghini finally combined the idea of an open-air, all-wheel drive Diablo, introducing a production roadster built on the VT platform. The Diablo VT Roadster featured an electronically retractable soft top, as well as a revised front bumper and headlamps and new, larger wheels. Advanced features like electronically adjustable Koni coil-over shock absorbers, plus four-piston Brembo brakes, added to the Diablo VT Roadster’s overall refinement.

Only 200 examples of the model were built in total. The car offered today is one of them, and as it was built in the final year for Series I Diablo styling, it desirably retains its retractable headlamps for a cleaner front-end look. Finished in silver metallic over a black interior, it represents a time-capsule example of this open-top wedge: It has recorded just one private owner from new, and its odometer indicates a mere 4,936 kilometers—just ~3,067 miles—from new at time of cataloguing.

This Diablo’s tidy cabin features amenities including air conditioning and a stereo with CD player, yet it remains wholly driver-focused. Its open-air configuration, meanwhile, offers its next owner the exciting opportunity to appreciate the glorious soundtrack of its naturally aspirated V-12, paired with the tactile thrill of shifting the gated five-speed manual transmission—a visceral experience simply not offered by the supercars of today.

Offered out of single ownership and accompanied by tools and owner’s manual, this low-mileage Diablo VT Roadster would be an ideal acquisition for a dedicated Lamborghini aficionado or a collector of noteworthy contemporary supercars.