On the 1996 Auto Show in Strasbourg, Roland Affolter presented a very special Diablo, finished in a bright blue with a watch painted on the side of the car, it attracted a lot of attention of the public, but the listed price was rather high : a cool 2 million French Francs was needed to acquire this beauty.
The Garage Roland Affolter is the official Lamborghini importer for the Swiss area, he’s located in Porrentruy, close to the border in the Montbéliard area. Mr Affolter was already many years in the prestige car business when he took on the Lamborghini concession in 1984. During 1996 only 6 Diablo were sold in Switzerland, five of them were sold through Affolter. Since Affolter started his shop in 1980, 99% of his original customers still remain, showing how much can be gained by good service and great cars.
Mr. Affolter liked the Diablo styling very much, but since the introduction in 1990, only the 30 SE showed a change in the original design, therefore Affolter decided to restyle his favorite exotic himself. Some of his customers complained about this fact, since they weren’t tempted to buy a new car if you couldn’t tell the difference with an older one, so Roland Affolter wrecked a few 1/18th scale models and started working on his dream.
He wanted to integrate Carbon Fiber parts in the design, the pop-up headlights seemed out of date to him and the rear bumper was badly integrated into the overall design. So he started to change all this, he contacted one of the best composite bodywork specialists in Switzerland and built his Affolter special.
His first car was almost immediately sold, even if the conversion was listed at about 200,000 French Francs, during the next two years he was able to sell over 20 cars like this, first only coupe’s but later the Roadster was modified too.
His first attempt was based on the 2wd Diablo, he mounted a new front spoiler and constructed two big air intakes on the roof to pull fresh air into the engine bay, the rear bumper and spoiler remained standard, as did the rear wing, as you can see on the yellow car.
After this first try, he was confident he could do better, so he started working on the other parts of the Diablo he didn’t like, the rear, he mounted a new rear bumper and designed a very nice rear spoiler.
If you check out some of the other cars you can notice that in fact only the two doors remain the same as on the ‘normal’ Diablo, all other body panels were changed or replaced. The front bumper was replaced by a new one, incorporating turn signals swinging around the side, eliminating the use of the ugly looking (according to Affolter) little lamps on the side of the car. The air intakes in this bumper were bigger to allow better cooling for the front disk brakes, naturally he removed the original headlights and replaced them with covered ones, the units themselves were actually the same !
Between these light units, Affolter mounted a small Carbon Fibre spoiler, creating more down-force at high speeds.
On the roof he mounted two air-intakes similar to those later used on the Diablo SV, and bigger side-air intakes just in front of the rear wheels. On the bottom half of the doors the inscription Diablo Evolution was placed, the color of this text was matched to the exterior paint of the Lamborghini. He also redesigned the rear bumper, incorporating four central mounted exhaust pipes.
The rear lights were mounted in Carbon Fibre surroundings, between these lights Carbon Fibre was mounted covering the rear backup light and the fog light. A completely new rear spoiler was mounted, on which the center piece was finished in Carbon Fibre and could be adjusted to allow more down force.
The suspension of the Diablo remained, so under 30 Km/h the body still lifted up a few centimeters to allow you to pass over speed bumps. Affolter judged the original rims to be too classic, so he mounted 18 inch Magnesium five-spoke wheels, built especially for Garage Affolter.
If you would like your Diablo modified in the same way, take at least a 3-week holiday in Switzerland, because that’s how long it would take to convert your Diablo into an Evolution type.
But the story didn’t end there, if you really wanted to you could mount a supercharger on the engine, pumping out 130 Bhp more than the original 5.7 Liter V-12 engine.
If you own a Diablo Roadster, fear not, Affolter could replace your original hardtop with a tinted glass one, showing you the stars if you drive at night in freezing Switzerland, also another very nice touch was the possibility to open and close this rooftop by remote control, powered by several small electric engines, sliding the roof over the engine cover automatically.