REVIEW: AUTOart Lamborghini Diablo 30 SE Jota •

REVIEW: AUTOart Lamborghini Diablo 30 SE Jota

Rare is certainly what Special Edition Diablos for Lamborghini´s 30th anniversary were meant to be, with only 150 built. Even rarer are those fitted with a Jota upgrade package, with only 28 Jota kits ever produced and yet fewer fitted to the cars. How many exactly is under debate, probably only 12 kits were installed directly in Sant’Agata from the get-go, others as later upgrades of “ordinary” SE30s. The almost 600 horses propelling the car to 60 mph/100 kph in under 4 seconds and up to 211 mph/ 343 kph were spectacular, the roar deafening … and hence not road-legal in most places. Given the rarity of the real thing, it makes you wonder whether AUTOart´s balloon white and red interior model of the Diablo SE30 Jota is a fantasy or a replica of an existing vehicle.

“On the outside the Jota kit consisted of a new, redesigned engine cover featuring two large air scoops peaking above the roof, pulling air onto a pressure plate that was mounted on top of the engine manifold”, which is exactly what we find on the model. My pictures don´t do the pearly white paint job justice, but believe me, it does have the mother-of-pearl effect. On the rear, the Diablo has the “30 Special Edition” badge, the raging bull badge and a Lamborghini script facing upwards underneath the wing, but no Jota badge. However, that needn´t be wrong as it was optional and could be deleted. The rear lights have a nicely opaque transparency to them and the red-ringed quad-exhaust tips aggressively bend upwards from underneath the rear.

Underneath the engine cover lifting on struts, you can find the golden upgraded V12 engine, with all too orderly cables and a carbon-engine cover featuring a golden bull and the firing order. Amazingly this is the exact same firing order as in a balloon white Diablo SE30 Jota recently sold in the Netherlands, which might be a clue of this model being the exact replica of it. It would be interesting to learn whether AUTOart´s other colour options have the same firing order.

Moving on to the interior, lifting the well-closing signature scissor doors on struts with ease, you find the red interior that the Dutch car has and a four-point-fabric-harness with 30SE markings nicely contrasting with the seats in a carbon tub. A difference to the Dutch Diablo is that the model does not have red carpeting behind the seats that look more utilitarian on the real deal. But all in all, it fits its spec rather closely. Buttons on the centre console look almost sterile, but have markings for their functions printed on them in white. In the little window behind the driver´s door, you find the Special Edition plaque that states the chassis number of the car. Zooming and squinting it reads 022/150, and hence betrays that this number does not match a balloon white, but comes back as a purple on blue Diablo 30SE Jota and will most likely be found on the AUTOart´s purple variant. It does not surprise that AUTOart has carried over the correct chassis number of this Jota kit no.1 on the 30SE´s signature colour to its secondary choices instead of tooling their individual numbers for each, but it disappoints a little nonetheless.

The wheels are very nicely detailed with scripts on the Oz-rims, tire markings for the Pirellis and the valves that have become standard now on upmarket models. The door mirrors strike the observer as nicely sculpted true to the original.

Upfront we find a frunk opening on struts again, completely empty. The tiny air-intakes on the sloping front have breakthru-photo-etched grilles. A detailed Lambo-badge correctly faces forward instead of sitting on the upward slope on ordinary Diablos. A little switch underneath the front makes the headlights pop up and down neatly and they as all the other lights up front have little light bulbs in them that may be mistaken for ugly mounting pins on lesser models. What is different from the Dutch Diablo is that the four fog lights ought to be round, not square and no lenses amber, but transparent, including the little indicator pins on the sides.

So all in all, this model is definitely one of the nicest colour options AUTOart offers for this Lambo, while probably the historically least accurate of them. Laudably, AUTOart manages to sell the Diablos not crossing the 300 Euros threshold, which will surely be welcomed by all the collectors who had to wait for almost 30 years for this 30-year-anniversary Lamborghini.

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11 Responses to "REVIEW: AUTOart Lamborghini Diablo 30 SE Jota"

  1. DS Team says:

    Thanks, Karsten! We’ve seen this one in the flesh, and it’s as good as the picture portrait to be, Don’t feel too bad about capturing the true essence of the exterior Balloon White; even experienced photographers would be challenged! Great set of pics as always too. Fantasy or not, you are hard-pressed to find a better-looking Lambo with a white and red interior. We’re sure all colours will sell well, this replica has been on the shortlist for many, and we would consider it the definitive replica to date!

  2. Veneno says:

    Greatest post and photos. One thing that I want to know is, is this Balloon white on this Diablo the correct tone of the colour? Because when I compared it with the Balloon white Aventador S, the one on the Diablo is more cream/yellow, as with the Aventador’s more silver/white tone. Did Lamborghini offer different tones of Balloon white depending on year and models?

    • Karsten says:

      Thank you, I agree that the pearl effect leans towards the yellow/cream on the model, but I wouldn´t be able to say whether this is correct and/or different from balloon white on other real or model Lamborghinis.
      As for the real cars, legal requirements for paints have changed since the Diablo in that they have to be water-based now for ecological reaons. So that might change the result. As for the models, this is a composite plastic, while the Aventadors were diecast metal/ zinc alloy, so that the paint or its effect might have changed.
      The pearl efffect fascinatingly changes under changing lighting conditions and even then is extremely difficult to capture on photo, so that you´d have to compare side-by-side in the flesh to be able and compare. Comparing photos will not help. This one and the same model can appear differently in different photos. I don´t have any other balloon white Lambo model, so I cannot make any fair judgement here, I´m afraid.

    • MRM says:

      Hi Veneno.
      For some reason my reply on here got erased, but will answer your question again. When Diablos were made, Baloon White was not offered by Lamborghini. The Diablo SE30JOTA was painted in Bianco Perlato. It is a white tri-coat paint with very pearly almost gold undertones. It translates to Pearl White. Balloon white has grey undertones and you may call it a “colder” color. It is more “pure” or “cleaner” white and it was not used on production cars until the Murcielago.
      AutoArt has painted their Diablos SE30 in the CORRECT Bianco Perlato, but for some reason say Balloon White on their boxes. Actually it says Balloon White/Pearl White on the box, which is confusing to me as they are two different colors. Anyway, the color on the Diablo shown here is accurate to the real car and it is different from the white pearl used on AutoArt’s Other Lambos, which are actual Balloon White.
      I hope this helps.

  3. Kostas says:

    Great review as always Karsten! Very informative with great pictures and I really loved the registry website link, it really elevated the SE Diablo’s review with such attention to detail. Kudos for that my friend.

    I always had a soft spot for all the Diablo models and versions and I have waited for a very long time for an SE Jota Diablo version with opening parts. I agree with you that Autoart gave us a very well made and nicely detailed model car and also did a very good job with the paintwork too. My Diablo has the classic purple metallic paint which is spot on and the pearl effect is absolutely stunning under the right lightening conditions. As I can see from your pictures, the balloon white is also a very attractive colour and also very nicely implemented like the purple one.

    I am very happy that I have finally added this rare Diablo version in my collection and I recommend it to any collector that it is also a Diablo fan, as it is an eye candy model car.

    • Karsten says:

      Thanks, Kostas. With your purple version you have the correct limited number badge too. Much more accurate.

  4. Vitaliy D says:

    Nice review of a nice model! It’s definitely a huge step forward from the old die-cast version of Lamborghini Diablo (which a considered one of the worst models made by AutoArt).

    I’m very interested in such an updated model, but its plastic body is a no-go for me.
    Up to date, I had six composite models in my arms. Two of them did not belong to me (and I was happy about it because one of them had a few parts easily broken by an accident); another two of them were sold by me; the rest two are still with me. I almost broke a plastic wing of one of these models; as for the other one, I don’t even want to unscrew from the base because I’m afraid to break something in it if it will not be inside the box.

    So I’ll wait for something really unique such as Lotec Sirius or SSC Tuatara (if AutoArt ever produces either of them). Otherwise, no plastic in my collection.

  5. Giorgio262 says:

    the Se30 and the Jota variant are, in my opinion the prettier Diablos, and this Autoart 1:18 replica has some nice details. the pop up headlights, the valves on the wheels, fabric seatbelts and photoetched buckles, in place of the usual rubber partsbin special, although not very detailed and with the usual simplified lay out of the harnesses. The engine could probably use a bit more refinement in finishing with different shades of metallic colours for the bolts etc. At this point I’m not against the body being moulded in ABS plastic. I think the whole argument against it makes no sense, to be honest. Apart from the ever present risk of paint rash, more traditional die-cast models still have a lot of components made of plastic and rubber. So where’s the extra durability in them? Rubber and trasparent plastic possibly being the parts most vulnerable to the passing of time.
    By the way I’d still pick the metallic lavender on blue interior version.

  6. Atalante says:

    The Diablo SE30 Jota or non-Jota should have probably been selected for the 2022 Model of the Year. I know choosing only two AUTOart models was probably not easy but the Doablo should have been in the race.

  7. Enzo288 says:

    Like most AutoArt models, it looks great but for me, in addition to the look is the feel of the model. When AutoArt went to composite, I bit the bullet and bought 2 or 3. As soon as I received them, I knew right then and there that I was through with them and I haven’t bought one since.
    A great model for me needs to have great details, appearance and heft. It’s that heft that confirms for you the level of quality. Composite models feel cheap and fragile and although this is another great looking model which I would love to own, I’ll take a pass.

    • DS Team says:

      Though we respect your position, equating quality with weight is not necessarily true. These examples from AUTOart’s classic Lamborgini series in general are very good examples.

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