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Why is this Lamborghini Diablo restomod the best thing you’ve seen this year?

Got a spare £1m and a Diablo lying around? A Sammarinese furniture entrepreneur has created just the thing for you

Published: 12 Jul 2023

If the baggy trousers and bucket hat comebacks weren’t proof enough already, we’re here to inform you that the Nineties are back in fashion. So, what better way to celebrate than with a restomod version of the most Nineties supercar imaginable – the Lamborghini Diablo

We’re already in love. But let’s start with something simple – the name. Madonna, Prince, Adele, Plato (the Greek philosopher, not the Touring Car driver). All the greats are known by just one moniker, and the same can be said for this reworked Diablo. It’s called the Eccentrica, and it’s the work of a San Marino-based startup calling itself Eccentrica Cars. Right.

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Anyway, the firm has been founded by a man called Eccentrica. Just kidding – he’s called Emanuel Colombini and he’s the President and former CEO of the Colombini Group, a family furniture business that has 1,200 employees and a revenue of €300 million. Not bad. We’re also told that Mr Colombini is a Lamborghini collector and an amateur driver in Lambo’s one-make Super Trofeo series. That sounds like a decent CV for someone who wants to make a restomod Diablo. 

“As a child I remember seeing the red Diablo in the first release of the Quattroruote magazine,” says Colombini. “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. 

“At its essence lies the idea that the hypercar and supercar market will require a product with a more authentic soul, precisely like the sensations drivers experienced while driving these speedsters.”

All sounds good. So, to the Eccentrica itself. The first prototype version is based on a standard early Diablo that has had its chassis beefed-up and its 5.7-litre V12 altered with new valves and camshafts to produce 542bhp and 443lb ft of torque. Testing is apparently still taking place, but apparently virtual simulations project a 0-62mph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 208mph. 

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The Eccentrica will be road legal and Eccentrica the company says that it has used plenty of titanium and carbon fibre to reduce the Diablo’s weight. There’s a new Brembo braking system too, plus a Capristo exhaust and brilliantly retro new 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres.

But let’s get onto the looks, because this is a big V12 Lambo after all. We’re told that all of the Eccentrica’s bodywork is all new and only the windscreen remains from the donor car. It’s pretty true to Marcello Gandini’s original wedge, though, with Italian design firm BorromeodeSilva introducing some elements of the Diablo GT, GTR and SV. The latter of those three is why the Eccentrica gets those excellent roof scoops, and elsewhere there’s a sea of carbon fibre and titanium. 

There are some fundamental changes to the design though, not least because this restomod actually has a wider track than the standard Diablo. The length and height remains unchanged, but the wheelbase is longer and the overhangs shorter. There’s modern lighting too, and although the pop-ups have gone there are new ‘pop-down’ units that are still pretty cool and comply with modern standards. Oh, and don’t worry – the scissor doors are still present and correct.

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Inside things get even better. Eccentrica says that it aimed to swap out “all the plastic elements which were typical of the 1990s” while also “completely overhauling the ergonomics and user experience". Sounds about right. 

What it has done is create an 8-bit dream. The dash now features retro dials and screens aplenty, with a new air conditioning system and a vent that stretches right across the car. The simple steering wheel takes pride of place and leaves its workings uncovered on the rear, while behind it is a stunning carbon steering column as a tribute to the Diablo GTR.

The glorious open-gate manual gearbox uses bits milled from solid aluminium, while the toggles ahead of the gearlever operate a complicated and dramatic ignition procedure. This we like. The seats have been redesigned too and trimmed in blue leather and Alcantara, and there’s a new high quality sound system made by Marantz.

All of this work won’t come cheap of course. In fact, Eccentrica plans to build just 19 examples of the Eccentrica, with each one built to a unique spec and costing a cool £1 million. Yikes. And that’s before you add in the cost of buying the donor car.

Still, fairly special thing, isn’t it? We’re told the car will make its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed before it heads off on a world tour to drum up interest. We don’t think it’ll struggle to do that…

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