P132, early prototypes heading

P132, early prototypes - the STORY

Automobili Lamborghini contacted Marcello Gandini to design the successor to the Lamborghini Countach, after the 25th Anniversary was created in a hurry, the Diablo was supposed to be ready by now, but design and testing took longer than expected and the Countach was redesigned to make it more up to date, hence the 25th Anniversary.

The Gandini design was very futuristic and aggressive looking, like the Countach was back in the Seventies, now the engine cover was made in glass, but in the early testing phase this arrangement didn't cool the engine enough, so the idea was abandoned.

The original Gandini design was later used for the Cizeta Moroder because at this time Automobili Lamborghini SpA was bought by Chrysler, and they changed the original design completely, two images on this site show in fact a rolling prototype that was half Gandini and half Chrysler designed, this way it was easy to compare both against each other, also this hybrid was compared to the Countach and a Ferrari TestaRossa on an enclosed part of the factory parking lot. This way it was easier to get an overall impression of the new Diablo super car compared to the rival TestaRossa.

Even Lee Iacocca was present at this comparison, the new Diablo didn't quite live up to the expectations and the Chrysler design was altered again, this time to something much closer to the final Diablo.

The famous dark gray P1 prototype pictured here was the first real Diablo or P132 as it was called inside the design department, this car was filled with measurement equipment and tested at the Nardi circuit for thousands of kilometers before it was retired at the factory where it still is located now, hidden away from the normal visitors, both orange prototypes are also still at the factory at this time. The first crash tests of the new Lamborghini Diablo were performed with P3, the third prototype built, finished in a bright blue, it managed the toughest crash tests without any problems.

Print this article


Interesting articles about 'Prototype' found on LamboCARS.com

Lamborghini Miura SV from 1971 most expensive Bull ever

For a staggering $1.7 million the Lamborghini Miura SV prototype was sold at an auction
(added on March 21. 2011)

Early Canto prototypes

It was time to develop a new flagship that could take over the reign from the Diablo
(added on March 24. 2000)

Aventador Roadster Prototype

Brand new photos of an almost undisguised Aventador Roadster have surfaced showing a stunning engine cover design
(added on August 23. 2012)

A first look at the new Lamborghini Spyder prototype

No official images yet, but we've managed to get hold of a nice digital rendering anyway
(added on June 30. 2002)

MurciƩlago, from prototype to production

The Diablo successor had a very impressive evolution
(added on February 27. 2005)

QUICK search Yes / No

Return to top of page


P132, early prototypes

March 6. 2005

Text © Mark Smeyers

Extras :

IMAGE gallery

Our extensive image gallery

Leave a comment

What do you think about this ?


One of the final Lamborghini Diablo prototypes, this was chassis number P1.

The first Gandini designed Lamborghini Diablo, note the glass engine cover.

The Lamborghini Diablo as Gandini saw it, before Chrysler had it modified into a less dramatic design.

The Lamborghini Diablo as Gandini saw it, rear view.

14 more IMAGES

in our extensive image gallery

236 - 13244 - 213

Sponsored links


DMC Exotic Car Tuning

Lamborghini Club America