Lamborghini has unveiled the 2019 Urus super SUV. It is their first four-seater and four-door production vehicle, but it also has the honour of being their first production car to sport a turbocharged V8 mill. However, it isn’t Lamborghini’s first SUV and for that we have to go back to 1986 and the mighty LM002.
The LM002 came to life when Lamborghini attempted to provide an APC (armoured personal carrier). When there weren’t too many takers for the APC, they decided ‘bling it up’ and direct it at the Middle East where it would appeal to people from oil industry as well as the wealthy sheiks who liked to live by the statement ‘bigger is better’.
The result was 4.7-meters of shaped metal, massive bespoke Pirelli scorpion tyres, a luxurious interior (by 1986 standards) and last but not the least, a massive hunkering 5.2-litre V12 mill lifted from the Countach. Sounds like a good deal, well we thought so too but the reality was that it was produced in limited numbers and outside of a few European countries and the Middle East, the LM002 did not see much success.
Now fast forward to nearly 21 years later and the world today is a vastly different place for Lamborghini. It achieved major success with Gallardo and that gave it the confidence to go further and for the first time it decided to step away from its safe zone of hyper cars and make something different.
The result is the Urus which will go into production later this year and then be offered on sale in early 2018 to global markets including India. The aim of the Urus in the larger scheme of things is to help the automaker boost its numbers and its arrival means that every manufacturer under the VW umbrella now produces SUVs.
On the face of it, the Urus and the LM002 reflect the design philosophies of their time. The Countach was designed to look like nothing that had ever existed before and in accordance, the LM002 took the same approach but with a softer tone. It’s a similar story with the Urus but the design philosophy is much closer this time around. The Urus looks like a raised version of the Huracan and that is not a bad thing at all as the Huracan is what I would like to term vehicular Special Forces. The baby Lambo is chiseled right down to the bone in every corner and looks to be doing 300kmph even when standing still.
Be it 1986 or 2017, the interior concept hasn’t changed much. You get the same interiors from the hyper car but in a softer tone to reflect a family value. What’s more you get every conceivable luxury in the Lamborghini kitty to ensure that you are pampered even at crazy triple digit speeds. Though, if you take a closer look, the two cars give you an idea of how far Lamborghini has progressed in terms of ergonomics and interior design.
Then there is the bit that makes these cars exciting. In the case of the LM002, it is the V12 that produces around 450bhp/500Nm while in the Urus, it is a brand new twin-turbo V8 producing 635bhp/850Nm. The LM got a five-speed manual and adding to the SUV DNA was a 4X4 system, a low range gearbox and even a height adjustable suspension. The Urus too gets all the off-road trickery, but in a more automated form thanks to the heavy advancement of computers since the era of the LM002. In, fact you get something called the ‘ego’ mode that lets you customise the setup of the car to just the way you want it.
Well, you must have figured out by now that Lamborghini has stuck true to the heritage of the LM002 but has brought it up to modern standards and a modern design withthe Urus. Both the times, the SUV design was meant to open Lamborghini to new buyers and this time around, it looks like they may actually succeed!