Just two SV Roadsters left the Sant'Agata Bolognese factory in 1998.
While many wax lyrical about the Lamborghini Countach, the supercar that replaced it is just as iconic. The Diablo SV is, perhaps, one of the most desirable iterations - but this is no ordinary SV. It's one of two factory-built Lamborghini Diablo SV Roadsters ever made, and it's expected to cause quite a stir when it hits the RM Sotheby's auction block later this month.
Offered via the exclusive Sotheby's Sealed service, this rare Italian gem will be offered for sale in Germany between 13 -15 December.
Chassis WLA12960 rolled off the production line on April 6, 1998, and was produced to 1998 specifications. That means the 5.7-liter V12 engine benefited from a new electronic phase management system, one of several refinements applied to the 1998 Lamborghini Diablo. Nestled behind the cabin, the fiery V12 produce 530 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque, which are still impressive figures today.
Unlike the Diablo VT, which was all-wheel drive, Lamborghini removed the front differential from the SV. As a result, it channeled all its power exclusively to the rear wheels, making it even more of a challenge for brave drivers. Interestingly, this made the SV (Super Veloce) cheaper than other Diablos despite the increased engine power. The removal of the front diff reportedly slashed 12% off the purchase price.
Ordered new by official Lamborghini retailer Touring Auto S.r.l, the vehicle left the Sant'Agata Bolognese factory painted in a gorgeous yellow shade called Roadster Giallo. The purchasing dealer knew how to spec a car, ordering black 'Torpedo' Alcantara interior upholstery uplifted by SV-exclusive stitching and yellow piping.
Exposed carbon fiber can be found on the center console inlays with a matte finish, as well as on the door sills, rear wing, and removable roof panel. 1998 was the first year the Diablo was offered with a front suspension lift system, and this example was specified with the desirable option.
While significant, these details pale in comparison to the overall exterior. The Lamborghini Diablo SV Roadster benefited from all the SV-specific styling touches, which include unique front bumpers, black-painted alloy wheels, white instrument gauges, and the signature SV decals.
Despite a healthy interest in the SV Roadster, Lamborghini called it quits after making just two models. This left several customers and retailers disappointed. Reportedly, some clients requested that Lamborghini remove the front differential from their 1999 VT Roadsters, while a dealership in Switzerland took matters into its own hands, creating the 35th Anniversary edition.
Unknowingly, the automaker created the rarest iteration of the Diablo and one of the rarest Lamborghini road cars ever to exist. The SV Roadster would later be sold to a customer in Germany and would find refuge in the garage of three prominent Lamborghini enthusiasts in later years. Kept away from prying eyes, the vehicle was taken out on special occasions, such as outings hosted by the International Lamborghini Owner's Club.
Refreshingly, this 1998 Lamborghini Diablo has been enjoyed and currently has 42,842 kilometers (26,620 miles) on the clock. Despite this, the vehicle is pristine and has been well-looked-after for the last 25 years. Prospective buyers will be pleased to know it was serviced recently and wears new tires fitted 310 miles ago.
As regular Diablos change hands for massive sums of money, we would be surprised if this rare iteration doesn't sell for $1 million or more. RM Sotheby's hasn't provided an estimate, but interested parties can request this from the auction house.
If you want a modern V12-powered Lamborghini supercar, the new Revuelto is your only choice. An electrically assisted twelve-cylinder engine produces more than 1,000 horsepower. Sure, it's faster than the Diablo and probably more fun to drive. But we think the SV Roadster wins by a country mile when it comes to curb appeal and style. Or you could get the best of both worlds with the Eccentrica Diablo restomod.