The Diablo (devil) was created to chew up Ferraris
One hell of a sports car This demon can take driver and passenger to 330kmh, the kind of speed that reduces bladder control

THE first thing you need to know about Lamborghini is this: One day in the Italian province of Bologna, Feruccio Lamborghini, a tractor builder who made his own sportscars for fun, saw a Ferrari zoom past and in a snit of one-upmanship, thought he could do better himself. That was in 1963, when Feruccio Lamborghini Automobili was founded.

His car company has since gone through Swiss, Indonesian, American and now German ownership, but one thing has remained constant.

Lambos are still meant for chewing up Ferraris.

Dr Ferdinand Piech, the chairman of the Volkswagen Group, which now owns Lamborghini, recently said that Ferraris had become too easy to drive, and that the Lamborghini of the Volkswagen-era would be "more of a man's car".

As things stand, the company does not have all that far to go.

Need an example? The Lamborghini brand itself was relaunched in Singapore on March 23 with EuroSports Auto as its new distributor, and the occasion was marked by the launch of the latest Diablo.

Named after Satan himself ("Diablo" is Spanish for "devil"), the Lamborghini Diablo packs a monstrous six-litre V12 engine with 550 horsepower. That makes it, say, five times as powerful as the average 1.6-litre family runabout.

With four-wheel drive and a six-speed gearbox, the Diablo will launch itself to 100kmh from standstill in just 3.95 seconds.

Space permitting, it will take its driver and one passenger to 330kmh, the kind of speed that can induce bladder failure.

This latest model features numerous improvements, including a stiffer body for better handling, a wider track, various suspension tweaks and improved ergonomics for the interior. Except for the doors and roof, all the body panels are now rendered in carbon fibre, the stuff Formula One cars are made of.

Tempted by the devil?

The price is strictly on application, but you will need a very long cheque to be able to fit in all the numbers for a Diablo.

Somewhere between $1.2 and $1.3 million would be a decent guess.

Buy one, and assuming your wife allows you to live, you can spend your days scaring the daylights out of Ferrari owners.

Not to mention yourself.