Date posted : September 18. 1999
According to a reliable source at Automobili Lamborghini SpA, the production of the Diablo SV and the Roadster will be discontinued for the Diablo Model Year 2000, only the Diablo VT specifications will still be available. The Diablo VT will however be modified again into a restyled MY 2000 edition and two different versions will be available at a competitive price, probably around the current SV pricing.
The long awaited Super-Diablo (not the Diablo GT), with internal code LS 196, should be presented to the public in October 1999, probably on the Turin Motor Show, this high powered Diablo will use an 8-Liter V-12 engine which in fact is a marine engine used for off shore powerboat racing, fitted with modified Diablo cylinder heads this engine should reach the 700 Bhp frontier, since these off shore marine engines can manage up to 900 Bhp in racing trim. This Super Diablo should be ready for the 2000 Geneva Auto Show, but only in very limited numbers, six of them would make it to the United States officially, while other countries will receive five cars each, pricing is yet unknown, but with the Diablo GT at around US $ 300,000, this Super Diablo will surely be more expensive.
What the restyling on the 'normal' Diablo will mean is yet unknown, but the Bertone Design Studio's are currently working on it together with the styling of the Diablo long awaited successor and a V-8 powered lower budget car to complete the model range. Sources also indicate a 2+2 seater will again be made in the near future as an Espada successor. An LM off road vehicle, the Borneo has been designed but no plans are available yet to put it into production.
The presentation of the successor to the Diablo will probably be delayed until 2001, it should be presented at the March 2001 Geneva Auto Show... let's wait and see !!??
Some sources do claim the Canto project hasn't been completely scrapped, in fact the Canto has been seen completely undisguised at the Nardi high speed test track in Italy but this time different engines were tested in the same prototype.
It is fairly sure the Zagato body design for the Canto will never make it into production, but the chassis is still being used as a test facility. Lately the V12 6-Liter engine from the Diablo GT has been tested, mounted to a six ratio gear box and four wheel drive, pumping out 740 Bhp, the Canto managed to race to 100 Km/h from standstill in only 3.3 seconds, while a top speed of 229.5 Mph was obtained.
A brand new V-10 engine with over 400 Bhp has also been tested in the Canto, but the performance figures were not acceptable according to the Audi expectations, although it still managed to outperform the current Diablo SV with his V-12 engine.
As a final test the big 8-Liter engine destined for the Super Diablo was mounted in this Canto, but the engine suffered from heating problems, although at 700 Bhp the Canto managed a top speed of 235.2 Mph and a 0-100 Km/h time of only 2.9 seconds, figures to take a look at compared to the Diablo GT
It is however becoming very unlikely the Diablo successor will be presented at the March 2000 Geneva Auto Show, because Audi's management has decided the Canto, or whatever the name will be, must be the best super cars on the market when it is launched, outrunning anything else it may encounter on the road. When the tests don't show the wanted results, the presentation will be delayed.
Text © Mark Smeyers - www.lambocars.com
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