Lamborghini Urus: A Powerful Conflict Of Interest
by Martin Green
Long awaited and now finally a reality: Lamborghini’s SUV has arrived, and it’s name is Urus.
While most Lamborghinis are named after fierce fighting bulls, the Urus refers to the ancestors of these animals. Also known as the aurochs, these were large, wild animals that roamed through Europe, Asia, and North Africa until they went extinct in the seventeenth century.
So Urus does appear to be suitable name for a large, imposing car designed to roam a wide variety of landscapes.
A short history of Lamborghini SUVs: the LM002
In the 1970s Lamborghini wanted to expand beyond supercars and created the Cheetah prototype. With this SUV, the Italian brand had hoped to land military contracts, but instead this car would evolve into the LM002.
Known as the “Rambo Lambo,” this car was so ugly that it became beautiful! It was unlike anything else, and because of that far ahead of its time. Powered by the same V12 found in the Countach, it was capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds and had a top speed of 210 km/h. When you take into account that the LM002 was first introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in 1982, with the first deliveries to customers in 1986, these performance figures are all the more impressive.
And the LM002 was not limited to paved roads: it was was capable of tackling nearly any terrain thanks to its four-wheel drive system. The LM002 was the first Lamborghini to be fitted with four-wheel drive, and it also benefited from having specially designed tires by Pirelli.
The inside of the LM002 was luxurious, complete with leather seats and air conditioning at a time when most SUVs were nothing but spartan workhorses. As a concept, the LM002 is the forefather of not only the Urus but also the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne, Maserati Levante, and Jaguar F-Pace just to name a few, as it combined an off-road vehicle with incredible performance and a luxurious interior.
No time for retro
Part of me would have wanted to see a modern version of the LM002, preferably fitted with the V12 from the Aventador (although I would also settle for the V10 of the Huracán) with a boldly shaped body ready to tackle the most extreme terrains. However, such a car would probably receive a warm welcome from enthusiasts, but remain a niche product in terms of sales just as its predecessor was.
And sales is what it is all about!
If you still think that Porsche is a maker of sports cars, you are unfortunately mistaken: it sells more Cayennes and Macans than all other models combined. This is the main reason why brands like Bentley, Jaguar, and Maserati were so eager to follow suit. High-end, high-performance SUVs are big business, and Lamborghini would be crazy not to claim its part of that pie.
That pie will also consist of quite a few Lamborghini owners, who were up until now forced to look elsewhere for a car that holds more than two people, the last being the predecessor of the Urus, the LM002.
Those people will be quite happy that they can now complete their garages with a car in the same style as their Huracáns or Aventadors.
No surprise, yet still slightly disappointed
The appearance of the Urus that is going into production is very similar to that of the prototypes Lamborghini has been showing us for the past couple of years. That is a good thing because it is a beautiful car, which has a lot of Lamborghini “DNA.”
The only thing I thought a bit odd on the production model is the location of the rear door handle, which is placed on the hip near the wheel arc. It looks out of place and particularly un-Italian.
Under the bodywork there is also a lot of DNA, but not that of Lamborghini, rather from its parent company, the Volkswagen group. The Urus is built on the same platform as its siblings, and main competitors, the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, and Bentley Bentayga. This is not surprising, and frankly not even that disappointing as this platform will do just fine.
The engine is a different story, though.
Although incredibly powerful, providing 650 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, it is a turbocharged V8. In the history of Lamborghini, this is the first turbocharged engine, and although the brand has used a V8 before . . . it has been a while.
A V10 or V12 would have made the Urus stand out more in the increasingly crowded and competitive market of high-performance SUVs as it would also continue the concept of the LM002. Would many of Lamborghini’s customers have a problem with the V8? Probably not! With a 0-100 km/h sprint in only 3.6 seconds and a top speed of over 300 km/h, it outperforms even the Bentley Bentayga.
An all-wheel-drive system, air suspension, and locking center differential combined with several driving modes make the Urus a decent performer in the field – and I mean any field. Of course, the choice of tires will significantly influence whether it is merely an imposing autostrada stormer or whether it can actually tackle more seriously challenging terrain.
For its driver and passengers, this will always happen in comfort even greater than what the LM002 offered all those years ago.
Next to climate control, the Urus also features heated and ventilated leather seats, which are not only electronically adjustable in 18 ways, but also come with a massage function. In a way, high-performance SUVs like the Urus are the gran turismos of our age: powerful, capable, and comfortable to drive wherever you can imagine yourself going.
Despite what we might have wanted the Urus to be, it is exactly that, only in a slightly different package. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes the bestselling Lamborghini of all time.
Cue Roger Dubuis
Lamborghini only recently announced its partnership with Roger Dubuis, which delighted us with the tantalizing Excalibur Aventador S described so eloquently by my colleague Joshua Munchow.
That tasted like more to me, and now with the Urus joining the Lamborghini lineup I would love to see Roger Dubuis develop a watch to go with this car as well. Bold, yet a bit more mainstream and you might even create a new bestselling Roger Dubuis too!
For more information, please visit www.lamborghini.com/en-en/models/urus.
Quick Facts Lamborghini Urus
Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
Power: 650 Hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,250–4,500 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds
Top speed: 305 km/h
Price: expected just above $200,000
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Also published on Medium.