The Diablo was presented to the public for sale on January 21, 1990. Its power came from a 5.7 L (348 cu in), 48-valve version of the existing Lamborghini V12 featuring dual overhead cams and computer-controlled multi-point fuel injection, producing a maximum output of 499 PS (367 kW; 492 hp) and 580 N·m (428 lb·ft) of torque. The vehicle could reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h). The Diablo was rear-wheel drive and the engine was mid-mounted to aid its weight balance.
The Diablo came better equipped than the Countach; standard features included fully adjustable seats and steering wheel, electric windows, an Alpine stereo system, and power steering from 1993 onwards. Anti-lock brakes were not initially available, although they would eventually be used. A few options were available, including a custom-molded driver’s seat, remote CD changer and subwoofer, rear spoiler, factory fitted luggage set (priced at $2,600) and an exclusive Breguet clock for the dash (priced at $10,500).