On the 1995 Geneva Auto Show, Automobili Lamborghini SpA presented their latest evolution of the Diablo series. The Diablo SV, where the SV stands for Sport Veloce just like it did on the legendary Miura SV 25 years ago.
Some said the SV was the ultimate Diablo, but with the engine modified to reach 510 horsepower driving the rear wheels only, thing could get scary when using the throttle unwisely on damp roads, I would prefer the Diablo VT version, with some minor modifications like an Affolter body kit or at least the SV style engine cover which looks awesome.
Back to the SV, this model became the entry-level for the Lamborghini Diablo, if one could call it an entry, it was however the cheapest of the series, but still cost a bundle, not only buying, but the maintenance alone could bankrupt one easily. Each main service for a Diablo cost a small car and don’t even have to think about spinning the rear wheels, with 335 width and 18 inch tall, prices were high. But if you really loved this car like we do, who cares it cost the price of a decent house, every service stop setting you back a bundle, and to impress people you once in a while dropped the accelerator and burned some rubber.
The SV was still a driving car, not like some other Italian exotics. The seating position was unaltered, but the small dashboard like on the VT was mounted, although the passenger airbag did not come until 1998. At first, the front wheels were only 17 inch, but with larger disk brakes mounted these too became 18 inch versions of the new three-piece, five spoke rims. At the launch, these wheels received a black painted crest, but you could order them to be any color possible, and even chromed, which was very well accepted in the United States.
The black rear spoiler was mounted standard and incorporated an adjustable centerpiece, a function only real enthusiasts would ever use, it became however optionally available to have this spoiler color-coded with the rest of the car or even finished in Carbon Fiber. Between the rear lights, a new black panel was mounted while the lights themselves were also mounted in black surroundings instead of the red ones on the ‘normal’ Diablo. The rear fog light and the reverse light were lowered into the rear bumper and four oval type exhaust pipes were mounted, the engine cover now incorporated two massive air intakes, which looked like the ones used on the Diablo SE30 Jota cars. They pulled air into the V-12 compartment to keep everything cool in there, the front bumper was also redesigned and two new fog lamps were built into it together with new bigger air-intakes.
On the inside the standard leather found on the other Diablo became an option instead of the high quality Alcantara was used on the seats and the door panels, the dashboard now used color coded gauges, a rather nice touch to get a more sporty feel inside the car on most cars the ‘SV’ logo was embroidered on the head rest of the seats, during the 1998 production year a driver’s airbag became standard.
On each side of the car a big ‘SV’ logo was placed on the doors, you could however ask the factory to leave these side panels alone and deliver the decals un-mounted, a very sensible option. Note that in the United States even the VT and later the GT could have decals in the SV-style mounted on the doors.
Auto König in Germany created a Diablo SVS Sport in 1998, with a twin-turbo engine pumping out over 800 Bhp. Using a race type Brembo braking system, heavy duty racing clutch and an open exhaust system with either two big, or four smaller end-pipes. A lowered sport suspension, stabilizer bars and some modified front and rear bumpers were also available. Even a Carbon Fibre rear wing in an innovative design was possible.
For the interior a small diameter (270 or 320 mm) steering wheel and carbon fibre dashboard panels were available, as was a smaller type dashboard for the speedometer and rev counter. Exact performance figures were not available however, but with 800 Bhp, top speed and acceleration should be impressive. Pricing for an SV-S was about 30 % over the standard SV price.