- From the final year of Diablo production; the first new Lamborghini model of the Volkswagen era
- First owned by French Formula 1 ace and Monaco Grand Prix winner, Olivier Panis
- Powered by a 549-horsepower V-12 engine mated to a five-speed gated manual transmission
- Odometer displays 20,443 km at time of cataloguing
The Lamborghini Diablo represented a huge leap forward in 1990, presenting enthusiasts with an all-new V-12 supercar to replace the ageing Countach—a model that had evolved and developed far beyond its original brief and pure Gandini design. An instant hit and genuine rival to Ferrari’s 512 TR, the Diablo was poster material from the moment of its launch, but it was the final variation—the VT 6.0—that represented the biggest milestone for the Sant’Agata manufacturer, as ownership transferred from an Indonesian consortium to Volkswagen in 1998, with the marque falling under the auspices of Audi.
Arriving a year later, the updated Diablo was styled—courtesy of Audi’s Luc Donckerwolke, who assumed the role of chief designer—in the image of the upcoming Murcielago, with a revised, smoothed front-end featuring fixed headlamps, body-coloured taillight bezels, and 18-inch Teledial-style alloy wheels. The all-wheel-drive “viscous traction” platform was borrowed from the limited production GT model, as was the 6.0-litre V-12 engine, though with mechanical and electronic revisions that increased output to 549 horsepower and a hugely impressive 457 foot-pounds of torque. The already quick Diablo was now capable of covering the 0 to 60 mph dash in just 3.8 seconds, and on to a storming top speed approaching 210 mph, only being outpaced by a handful of exotics that included the McLaren F1 and Jaguar XJ220.
This 2001 example was finished in the special-order shade of Grigio Iris over matching leather interior, and was first registered on 11 September 2001 by French racing legend, Olivier Panis, who famously steered his Ligier-Mugen Honda to victory ahead of just two other finishers at a sodden Monaco in 1996; he remained the last Frenchman to win a top-flight grand prix until Pierre Gasly’s unexpected triumph in Italy in 2020. The car comes complete with the original registration document bearing the French ace’s name, as well as his signature on the left rear wing. Panis is reported to have owned the car until 2014, having covered some 19,200 km in the Lamborghini. Used sparingly since then, the odometer was displaying 20,443 km at the time of cataloguing.
Accompanying service books note regular servicing at Lamborghini, beginning with a complementary service in 2001 (at 4,245 km), followed by stamps in 2004 (11,350 km), 2010 (17,062 km), 2013 (18,595 km), and 2021 (20,257 km). Invoices accompanying the car document a €2,989 service from August 2017 that included replacement of the clutch, in addition to a further €3,782-worth of work—including an oil and filter change, fresh plugs, and brake fluid—from Imperiale Sport Car Service, Italy dated May 2021; a German TÜV certificate was issued in March 2022.
One of the quickest and most desirable supercars of its generation, the VT 6.0 is arguably the most accomplished and investable iteration of Lamborghini’s flagship model, serving as a touchstone linking the excess of an earlier generation with the engineering excellence of the Volkswagen era. Continuing to prove hugely desirable for collectors and drivers alike, the appeal of these run-out Diablos is undeniable, with this example proving even more attractive due to its low mileage, rare colour scheme, and its fascinating link to one of France’s racing greats.