Joined: Oct 19, 2009
If you think the Mazda Miata was hot, try buying a Lamborghini Diablowhen the first copies reach showrooms in November.
``We`re going to market the car as a great Christmas present-for 1994,``said Chrysler spokesman Tom Kovalesky. ``Production is sold out until then.`` And if you think it was a bit absurd that people lined up to pay $25,000for a $13,800 Miata, what would you call it when the folks who purchase a$211,000 Diablo will have to shell out an extra $12,000 to get a Swiss clock?
Diablo will appear in November as the first replacement for theLamborghini Countach in 17 years and the first Lamborghini to be introducedsince Chrysler purchased the exotic Italian automaker in 1987.
Kovalesky said 500 Diablos will be built annually but only 250 will beshipped to the U.S. and all cars now built or to be assembled between now and 1994 are sold.
Diablo is a two-seat exotic machine that sits millimeters off thepavement and features what might have been called gullwing doors circa JohnDeLorean, but are called scissor doors now. Suffice it to say they openupward.
Diablo is powered by a 5.7-liter, 48-valve, 485-h.p. V-12 engine teamedwith a 5-speed manual transmission that boasts a 0 to 60 m.p.h. time of 4seconds and a top speed of 202 m.p.h., which will make it the fastestproduction vehicle on either side of the Equator.
``There`s only three options,`` Kovalesky said, ``a Breguet clock fromSwitzerland for $12,000, a rear wing spoiler for $5,000, and a set of leather luggage for $3,000.``
The rear-engine Diablo has a compartment up front for luggage, butbecause of the limited space available, the bags had to be specially designed to fit. ``You get three pieces and perhaps a makeup case,`` Kovalesky said.
As for the clock, he explained that a special timepiece was desired forthe car so Breguet was asked to come up with one. After Breguet designed andbuilt the dashmounted jewel, it mentioned that, oh, by the way, that`s$12,000, and have a good day.
``The clock is spring mounted and is removable,`` Kovalesky said. ``Infact, at $12,000, we would hope owners would remove the clock and take it withthem whenever they leave the car.``
For $12,000 you`d expect the timepiece to talk bilingually or at leastflash day, date and time in a variety of colors.
``It`s not self-winding and has hands and not digits,`` Kovalesky said.``In fact, if you don`t drive the car for five days the clock will stop andyou have to rewind it to start it again.``
While Diablo carries a $211,000 sticker, Kovalesky said prices quoted sofar typically top $300,000-and that`s without the clock.
Diablo will be followed in 1992 or 1993 by the P140, the code name forthe eventual replacement for the Lamborghini Jalpa. It will be powered by a40-valve, V-10 engine and become the entry-level Lamborghini at a mere$100,000 or so. No word on a clock.