Supercar

The Lamborghini Diablo VT: When The Raging Bull First Ditched RWD

And now AWD is the norm.

Back in 1993, Lamborghini began a trend that continues to this day. In fact, it’s become the norm. This was the year when the first all-wheel-drive system was added to a Lamborghini, and it happened to be the Diablo. Called the Diablo VT (Viscous Traction), we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that at least some Lamborghini enthusiast were quite alarmed by this development, concerned that an AWD Diablo wouldn’t be the same as its beloved V12 RWD predecessors, such as the Countach.

But as Motor Week learned in this 1996 retro review, the Diablo VT was still something of a lunatic on four wheels. ABS brakes? "Screw 'em," Lamborghini decided. They’re weren’t required by law (yet) anyway.

What Lamborghini engineers did do to turn the standard RWD Diablo into the Diablo VT was improve the power steering system, add four-piston Brembo brake calipers, and a computerized suspension system. Power still came from the 5.7-liter V12 with 492 hp and 427 lb-ft of torque mated to a five-speed manual. The AWD Lamborghini worked so well it soon became the norm; today’s Aventador can’t be had with RWD, unlike the Huracan. Definitely not the end of the world, especially since Lamborghini is thriving today. Evolutionary changes are required for long-term survival.

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