'Back to raise hell' - the new Diablo Eccentrica (2024)

'Back to raise hell' - the new Diablo Eccentrica (1)

Somehow the incredible-looking ‘Eccentrica’ passed us by when it was first revealed in Milan a few days ago. Which is strange because a restomod based on the Lamborghini Diablo - precisely the sort of hairy-chested, 200mph Italian hero the ‘90s deserved - is not easy to miss. Fortunately, its maker had the foresight to immediately ship the prototype to England for this year's Festival of Speed, which is where you’ll find it now on stand 9 among many other smaller exhibitors.

Why should you make the trip? Well, its designer makes a salient point: “For those of us who grew up in the 90s, the Diablo is not only a car, but a genuine icon representing all of the enthusiasm and ambition one can dream of.” Indeed. Also, while its name is officially to do with the ‘eccentric’ in an orbital sense, Diablo Eccentrica does have a certain ring to it. Not least because anyone choosing to tinker with the Diablo is probably well served by a hint of the eccentric(a).

In fact, as so often is the case, the chap at the heart of the project was motivated by a deep-seated affection for the car in question. And being the President of the €300m Colombini Group that bears his name also helped. “As a child, I remember seeing the red Diablo in the first release of the Quattroruote magazine. It was love at first sight!” It’s hard for other cars to leave such a strong impression on me. Later, after having had the chance to drive the GT version, I decided to pay homage to it, conceiving of a restomod company built around this project,” explained Emanuel Colombini.

'Back to raise hell' - the new Diablo Eccentrica (2)

'Back to raise hell' - the new Diablo Eccentrica (3)

So what do you get? Well, like most restomod makers, Eccentrica Cars core aim is to ‘revitalize and modernize’ all the hard work Lamborghini did more than three decades ago. The start-up is actually based in San Marino, but has enlisted the help of a number of partners, including the design firm BorromeodeSilva, which cites the Diablo GTR as its inspiration. Accordingly, while the car is unequivocally a Diablo at first glance, much about it is different.

Everything except the windscreen, as it goes. Eccentrica says the bumpers, hoods, flanks and side skirts are all new as it sought to exaggerate the Diablo’s (already pretty extravagant) proportions with wider track front and rear. Overall length and height remain unchanged, although apparently the overhang is shorter and its designer endeavoured to make the thin end of the wedge more streamlined. The famous scissor doors, as you’d hope, remain.

Beauty, as ever, is in the eye of the beholder (and possibly never more so than in the idiosyncratic world of restomods) but for what it’s worth, we quite like the result. It’s not like there was much wrong with the original Diablo, but buoyed by an ability to make new titanium elements through 3D printing, Eccentrica has gone to town on some of the details. Check out the 'pop-down' headlights, roof scoops inspired by the SV and the NACA air intakes intended to recall bullhorns in homage to the Diablo name.

'Back to raise hell' - the new Diablo Eccentrica (5)

Inside it’s even more obviously different. The team suggests its goal was twofold: ‘substituting all the plastic elements which were typical of the 1990s with more modern materials and completely overhauling the ergonomics and user experience’. The result doesn’t completely abandon the ’90s aesthetic (where else could that instrument panel have come from) but does make greater play of some nice exposed technical details and the sort of solid-milled workmanship you’d expect of a restomod in 2023.

In technical terms, Eccentrica is still putting the finishing touches to its upgrades, but it claims to have reinforced the Diablo’s tubular steel chassis in the pursuit of greater stiffness, and has dramatically upgraded the brakes using a six-piston monoblock and slotted discs from Brembo. It reckons Pirelli P Zero R semi slicks are the tyre of choice - which makes sense when it is targeting a weight-to-power ratio of 2.9kg per hp. To that end, the original 5.7-litre V12 has earned new valves and camshafts - not to mention an extravagant-looking aluminium alloy exhaust - and now outputs 550hp at 7,000rpm and 443lb ft at 6,500rpm.

Eccentrica envisages building 19 examples of its updated Diablo, and is confident given the range of paint and trim material options that no two will be alike. That’s probably a good thing because the firm reckons the price of the transformation will start at €1.2m, not including the cost of the donor car. So definitely head along to stand 9 if you happen to be in West Sussex this weekend, but maybe check your bank balance before rushing into anything. Having said that, next stop for the prototype is Monterey Car Week, where Eccentrica will be hoping buyers do exactly that.

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'Back to raise hell' - the new Diablo Eccentrica (2024)
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