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Lamborghini Diablo’s 30th anniversary with Cesare Cremonini

3日 12月 2020

It was the 1990s, the record industry was flourishing in Italy and CDs had replaced vinyl. You could still become a pop star and make a name for yourself just with your records and not with “likes” or the number of streamings. In Sant’Agata Bolognese, the beginning of this magnificent decade was inaugurated with the roar of the Diablo first series in 1990, and ended with the Diablo VT 6.0 SE in 2001, the last one produced. While this special series in the gold Oro Elios color was coming off the production line, the radios were broadcasting the enveloping voice of Cesare Cremonini, at the time the frontman of Lunapop, the most famous boy band in the history of Italian music. Twenty years later, the two Italian legends met in Bologna, their hometown.

A career began in 1999 with 50 Special, a generational anthem. How do you see the 20-year-olds of today?

I always have confidence in young people and I tend not to judge the new generations through the filter of what I see on the social networks. I believe we can learn a lot from them, because they were born in a world that sometimes seems too fast to us.

What are the values you built in your career?

Professional ethics. The future of the economy and of art will be based on this. Consistency and integrity, the quality of what is created will set the boundary between those who endure and those who disappear like a soap bubble.

Tell us about the emotions you feel when performing on stage.

No one teaches you how to be a good performer. It’s an innate predisposition that feeds on the warmth of the audience in order to be released. It’s one of the few moments in life when you’re allowed to overcome your limits, physical or expressive, until you realize that you’re in perfect balance between the rational control of what’s happening in the performance and instinct, something that emerges only during the performance. There’s nothing random, and yet it’s all spontaneous, a alance between reason and passion.

You are a big motor enthusiast, and references to Ayrton Senna echo in your songs...

Senna marked an epoch and a piece of life for millions of teenagers, including me; as a boy, I used to go and watch him race in Imola with my father. I was fascinated by the athletic and poetic gestures of those artists of the track. The world of motors is very much linked to passion, and it’s the same reason why cars like Lamborghinis are exciting even for children, who play with a toy car without even knowing why. There’s something very primal about the bond between cars and human beings.

You recently drove a Huracán EVO on the track at Imola. What were your sensations?

Driving a car made by a historic Italian brand like Lamborghini on a track about which I have memories that are lost in time was an incredibly strong emotion, an extraordinary combination. I’m convinced that sport – motorsport – and music have similarities. The tension before the start of a race is similar to the moment before going on stage, and the heartbeat of racing is like your heartbeat during a concert. Also as a singer, you know when you have to slow down and when you can push. The joy following a victory is like the angelic feeling after a concert because, “in a race you get closer to God,” as Senna would say. Maybe this is a bit too much, but surely you free yourself from a series of mental barriers that everyday life asks you to maintain.

You speak to people’s souls. Do you have a secret talent?

Everything comes from my sensitivity, which as such is unique but extremely shareable. My secret talent is on a different level: I know how to lose and then get back up.

Lamborghini Diablo: Key Facts

Winning the hearts and appreciation of fans since day one, the Diablo was officially the fastest production car in the world at launch, capable of a top speed of 325 km/h (203.1 mph). Its impressive dynamic behavior was the result of intense development work involving the rally champion Sandro Munari.

The Diablo sports the classic Lamborghini 12-cylinder set-up, with a 5.7-liter engine, four overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, equipped with multi-point electronic injection capable of developing 485 HP and 580 Nm of torque, in a rear longitudinal position. Despite being luxuriously finished, with leather interior, air conditioning, electric windows and electrically adjustable seats, the Diablo is still a hard and pure car with traction on the rear wheels only: no electronic driving aids or power steering were available until 1993.

In 1993, Automobili Lamborghini launched the Diablo VT, the first Lamborghini Granturismo to be equipped with four-wheel drive, which also brought a series of mechanical improvements and stylistic changes also to be soon adopted on the two-wheel drive version.  In 1993, the special SE30 series was presented to commemorate 30 years since the birth of the company, with a power increase to 523 HP. The Diablo SV debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1995, available only as a two-wheel drive version with maximum power of 510 HP, and with an adjustable rear wing. In December of the same year, the Diablo VT Roadster came to market: Lamborghini's first 12-cylinder, open-roofed, mass-produced Lamborghini, with slightly revised lines and offered with the four-wheel drive transmission only. 

In 1999, following the purchase of Automobili Lamborghini by the Audi Group, there was the unveiling of the Diablo SV "restyling" designed by Luc Donckerwolke, Lamborghini's first in-house designer. It followed the VT and VT Roadster: all three models evoked clear signs of modernization through its revised lines and interior. From a mechanical point of view the engine, now with 529 HP and capable of 605 Nm of torque, was equipped with the variable valve lift system and, for the first time on a Lamborghini, the brakes were completed by ABS.

The Diablo, also launched in special series or for competition with 6-liter engines, was Lamborghini’s most produced car to date with 2903 units in total. It remained available until 2001, when it was succeeded by the Murciélago model.