By Robert Zebney, International Business Writer
More than twenty- five years ago, Lamborghini produced their first SUV, the military grade and V12 powered LM-002. At the time, nothing else like it existed and it was not very well received; though it was one of the most powerful vehicles on the planet at the time. Production ran from 1986 to 1992 with only three-hundred being produced. Now, the LM-002 has become nothing short of a classic as it set the precedent for today’s super-sports SUVs from Maserati, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and soon, Ferrari and Aston Martin.
For Lamborghini, there was no better time than the present to revive their SUV production. Their new vehicle called the Urus, which is named after an ancient species of cattle, produces 641 horsepower and is meant to be as capable on the racetrack as it is in the snow.
Generating this amount of power is the job of Lamborghini’s new turbocharged 4.0 Liter V8, which churns outs 627 lb-ft of torque to compliment the aforementioned horsepower. The monster amount of power propels the 4850-pound vehicle from 0-60 in just 3.6 seconds and to a top speed of 190 miles per hour. This twin-turbo engine is a first for Lamborghini who has only produced naturally aspirated engines until this point. In addition, Lamborghini plans to produce a hybrid-V8 powertrain in the very near future.
True to Lamborghini tradition, the drivetrain is an all-wheel-drive set up. Though, this system has more drive modes than found on their cars meant for the racetrack. On all Lamborghinis, the drive modes of Strada (Road), Sport, and Corsa (Race) alter the drivetrain, steering, and exhaust for more comfortable or aggressive driving. On the Urus, two additional modes are found: Sabbia (Sand) and Neve (Snow).
The styling of the new Urus is very similar to Lamborghini’s sports cars with extremely sharp lines and hard angles. Though this SUV does not have flamboyant scissor doors like the Aventador super car, entry and exit of the vehicle will surely be more graceful. A very controversial element for this new super-SUV is it sports Level 2 driver assistance features that will take over at low or moderate speeds, with steering and braking inputs. For Lamborghini purists, this is not a feature they wanted but surely a feature Lamborghini needed to appeal to a mass market.
The Urus goes on sale in the first quarter of 2018 with a base price of $200,000, a relative bargain, considering competitor’s prices of over $300,000. This super- SUV also comes at a great time for Lamborghini who has struggled to sell some of their sports cars sitting on dealer lots. The profit made from the production of the Urus will surely be put to use in Lamborghini’s research and development division that will further the speed at which Lamborghini releases the fastest, most exciting cars in their lineup.
With United Sates lawmakers cutting taxes for businesses, corporations and the wealthiest of Americans, Lamborghini could not have better timed its unveil of the Urus. This new SUV is poised to become Lamborghini’s most popular model and will prove extremely popular on the streets of Palm Beach and Beverly Hills.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, December 12th print edition.
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