With financial problems of its own to deal with, Chrysler got out from under Lamborghini in January 1994, by selling it to a company in Indonesia, a country not widely known for its automotive expertise. The company, MegaTech, with participation by the reigning Suharto family of thieves and thugs, stumbled around for 4 years, trying to run an Italian company on a leash 10,000-miles long. They even hired Mike Kimberly of Jaguar and Lotus fame to help them out, but Kimberly resigned in late 1996.
During this period, Lamborghini introduced the 525-bhp Diablo Sport Veloce or SV, and produced a small fleet of Diablo SVR spec racers for a worldwide race series. Lamborghini won the world offshore boat racing championship again and again with its huge marine racing engines.
On July 24, 1998, the company was sold by the Indonesians at MegaTech to Audi, which, at the direction of VWAG ber-meister Ferdinand Piech, immediately reorganized the board, the company, the factory and the product plan. The car company, the marine engine company and a third entity for licensing and merchandising the Lamborghini name, were created in January of 1999. The new Diablo, with variable valve timing, 530-bhp, huge new ventilated ABS brakes, and other improvements, debuted in Paris.
With a serious, well-funded German owner in place, Lamborghini introduced the Diablo GT at Geneva in 1999, a near-race car with carbon-fiber body parts, and a new 575-bhp 6.0-liter V12. At the end of the year, a GTR race-only version, with 590 bhp, a full rollcage, fuel cell and onboard fire system, was introduced.
Three years ago, in 2000, the production Diablo got the tuned-up 6.0-liter engine, a whole new interior design, a carbon-fiber body, and wider front and rear tracks, modifications that would take the fabulous car to the end of its life. The reinvigorated company showed the world both its new headquarters complex and the all-new in-house-designed Murcilago sports car in September of 2001, closing the book on the low-slung, lightning quick Diablo. With 6.2 liters of V12 and 580 bhp on tap, the new car is capable of speeds in excess of 205 mph.
In February 2002, the company took a small fleet of Murcilagos to the Nardo circuit in Italy to attempt some new FIA world records, and came away with three: 189.543 mph for one hour, 198.853 mph over 100km, and 198.996 mph for 100 miles, all at the hands of brave 26-year-old factory test driver Giorgio Sanna, staggering performances from an absolutely stock production sports car.