Milestones

Happy 30th birthday, Diablo! See the Lamborghini super sports car through the years

The diablo ruled the Lamborghini roost in the 1980s and 1990s.

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

It's been 30 years since the Hubble Telescope launched, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and Tim Berners-Lee created the first web server, which created the foundation for the World Wide Web. In 1990, Automobili Lamborghini debuted the Diablo, but its story actually began give years earlier.

The year was 1985 and the Diablo was codenamed Project 132. Its aim was the replace the Countach at the top of the Lamborghini lineup. The Countach had been in the Lamborghini stable since 1974 and would end up sticking around until 1990.

Lamborghini Diablo (1990)

Lamborghini Diablo (1990)

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

Legendary car designer Marcello Gandini is responsible for the clean and aggressive lines of the body of the Diablo, just as he was responsible for the design of the Countach and Lamborghini Miura. Chrsyler's design center (Chrysler owned Lamborghini from 1987 to 1994) partially revised Gandini's plans.

Gandini was unimpressed with Chrysler's revisions. Two years before the Diablo went on sale, Gandini was able to realize his true design in the Cizeta-Moroder V16T.

Lamborghini Diablo VT (1993)

Lamborghini Diablo VT (1993)

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

When it launched, the Diablo was the fastest production car in the world. It was capable of achieving a top speed of 203.1 mph. The car could get from zero to 62 mpg in 4.5 seconds. Diablo's dynamics were developed in partnership with rally champion Sandro Munari.

The Countach successor took was offered in its predecessor to the next level, featuring many features and equipment that are commonplace on modern vehicles including adjustable seats and steering wheel, electric windows, a high-end stereo system, power steering, anti-lock brakes, and rear spoiler. Buyers could choose to add a remote CD changer.

Lamborghini Diablo Roadster (1996)

Lamborghini Diablo Roadster (1996)

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

The Diablo was powered by a 5.7-liter 12-cylinder engine that featured four overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. It had multi-point electronic injection that led it to be capable of developing 485 horsepower and 427 pound-feet of torque.

Lamborghini Diablo SE (1994)

Lamborghini Diablo SE (1994)

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

The first Lamborghini Granturismo with four-wheel drive was the Diablo VT. It launched in 1993 and brought with it a number of styling changes and mechanical innovations. Among the changes was the addition of a viscous center differential. It was that merchaincs that gave the car its name. "VT" stands for viscous traction. The Diablo VT featured new front air intakes below the headlights and larger intakes in the rear arches. The car's interior was revised to be more ergonomic.

Lamborghini Diablo SV (1996)

Lamborghini Diablo SV (1996)

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

In 1993, the special SE30 series was presented to commemorate Lamborghini's 30th anniversary. The model received a power increase to 523 horsepower. It had enough differences with the traditional Diablo to render it unique. There was a revised front fascia that included a deeper spoiler and the raging bull emblem was moved from the front lid to the nose panel. There was just one fog lamp and one backup light. The car also featured special magnesium alloy wheels and SE30 badging.

The Diablo SV debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1995. It was only available with two-wheel drive but it made 510 horsepower and had a adjustable rear wing. The car received black tail lamp surrounds, repositioned rear fog and reverse lamps, dual front fog lamps, and an extra set of front brake cooling ducts. Buyers could add SV decals to their model.

Later that year, the automaker brought the Diablo VT Roadster to market as Lamborghini's first 12-cylinder, open-roofed, mass-produced Lamborghini. The car was offered only with a four-wheel drive transmission.

Lamborghini Diablo SVR (1996)

Lamborghini Diablo SVR (1996)

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

The Diablo SVR was made for just one year, 1996, and was designed for racing. The Diablo GTR followed in a similar vein. The company sold just 32 of those models from 1999 to 2000. The GTR was a lightweight version of the Diablo that had the air conditioning, stereo system, soundproofing, and heatproofing removed. The former two-seater had a single race seat installed, compete with a six-point seatbelt harness. A roll cage, fixed Plexiglass windows, and new air intakes were among the other modifications.

Lamborghini Diablo GTR (1999-2000)

Lamborghini Diablo GTR (1999-2000)

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

In 1998, Lamborghini was sold to the Volkswagen Group who soon placed the brand under the control of its Audi arm, where it remains today. In 1999, a restyled Diablo SV was revealed after design revisions by Luc Donckerwolke, the company's first in-house designer. Donckerwolke is currently the Chief Creative Officer at Hyundai Motor Group.

With the revisions, the car became capable of achieving 529 horsepower and 446 pound-feet of torque. For the first time, a Lamborghini came with an antilock braking system.

The Diablo 6.0 was a transitional model as the brand prepared to launch Diablo's successor, the Murciélago. It featured a revised front fascia that included two large air intakes, smoothed features and larger turns signals. The rear of the car remained mostly unchanged by taillight surrounds went from red or black to body-colored.

Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 (2001)

Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 (2001)

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

Lamborghini brought back elements of its past models, 18-inch OZ wheels were styled to look similar to a design that was on the Countach. Air conditioning and pedal alignments were improved.

Software updates and new intake and exhaust systems gave the car a power output of 549 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. Lamborghini did not sell the Diablo VT 6.0 in anything but a coupe body style.

The Diablo was Lamborghini's most produced car to date with 2903 units in total whenn it was replaced by the Murciélago.

Lamborghini Diablo GT at MUDETEC

Lamborghini Diablo GT at MUDETEC

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

MUDETEC is Lamborghini's museum. It's no longer just a showcase of cars, but also an homage to the technology, from cars to production lines, that helped make Lamborghini the brand it is today, and in the future. The Museum of Technologies is located in Bologna, Italy.

Lamborghini Diablo 30th Anniversary Celebration

Lamborghini Diablo 30th Anniversary Celebration

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

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Toyota patented a dog-walking robot.

Toyota

Pets are one of life's great pleasures, but there's no disputing that they're a ton of work. Cleaning, vet visits, and walks are just the beginning, so it's always interesting to see the products that promise to make pet ownership more manageable. Toyota, the world's largest automaker, filed a patent for a self-driving dog-walking robot that looks nearly as advanced as many cars today.

Toyota Dog Walk RobotLogic helps the bot determine when to clean up a mess. Toyota

The main structure appears to be a platform with various attachments, and though the intention is for the machine to walk the dog for you, there's space for a person to ride. The vehicle is completely autonomous and does not require a person to guide it on walks. Sensors keep the robot from running over the dog and maintain speed.The patent paperwork includes several decision trees and logic for how the vehicle responds in various dog walking scenarios. One uses the vehicle's sensors to gauge the dog's distance from the robot. If the dog wanders too far, the machine can lock the leash and adjust its speed to maintain proper distance. It's the same sort of "thinking" done by autonomous cars on the road, just adjusted for scooping poop and leash management.

Speaking of number-two, dogs tend to poop when they walk, so Toyota had to prepare the robot for some poop scooping. In its decision-making process, Toyota added logic that asks, "Is it detected that the dog has pooped?" If the answer is yes, the machine is then instructed to "Execute collection process." A camera helps determine when the pooping has happened so the machine can do its job. If the dog pees, there's a water sprayer with an onboard tank to rinse the ground.

If your dog is anything like some of ours, it's likely you don't make through more than a few walks without some antics. Our lazy pups frequently get tired of walking and decide it's time for a mid-sidewalk nap, but Toyota's dog walker isn't going to tolerate any of that. The platform features paw sensors that can sense the dog's position and even let it do some driving.

Toyota Dog Walk RobotThe bot will scoop poop and wash away pee during a walk.

Toyota's patent filing is fun to think about and imagine what could be, but it's still just a patent. The automaker could turn its idea into a line of puppy walkers sold at dealers across the country or file it away as a thought exercise, never to be seen again. Either way, Toyota's got an exciting year ahead of it with the GR Corolla release and bZ4X hitting the streets, and there are rumors of a Crown SUV coming to the automaker's lineup.

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This 2020 Ford GT drew over $1 million at the auction.

Mecum

The world may be going through some tough times right now, but you'd never know it looking at auto auction results. One of the largest, Mecum, just reported sales from the auctions it held in Arizona last week, and the results are astonishing. Mecum says it took in $66.3 million in sales, which is a big increase over the previous year's auctions. Attendance was also up, and the event was packed with high-dollar, desirable vehicles.

Mecum Arizona AuctionHow about a 1967 Ferrari for a little over $3 million?Mecum

Mecum says that private collection sales generated $20 million of the $66.3 million, as some brought dozens of vehicles to participate in the auction. The Hooked on Vettes Collection, for example, brought 13 cars and sold every one of them. It even sold a load of neon signs for well over a million dollars.

The top ten vehicles sold at auction drew big dollars. A few include:

  • 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4: $3,025,000
  • 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Coupe: $2,365,000
  • 2005 Porsche Carrera GT: $2,200,000
  • 2020 Ford GT: $1,100,000
  • 2017 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster: $698,500

Mecum Arizona AuctionThere was even a Duesenberg, which sold for almost $2.4 million.Mecum

If you've got money to burn and you're sad to have missed out on the Arizona auction, your next shot will be at the end of this month when Mecum hits Houston with 1,100 vehicles. The flagship Mecum auction in Indianapolis takes place in mid-May, and will feature 3,000 cars.

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