Lamborghini Urus - The World's Fastest Accelerating SUV
The idea of a Lamborghini SUV seemed like an oxymoron at one point. Lamborghini is a brand known for lightweight, relatively compact cars with streamlined silhouettes. It is a brand that puts aesthetic and performance into one sleek package, crafting vehicles for adrenaline junkies who like to glide around the roads in style. An SUV? That seemed a bit off-brand. And indeed, the announcement of the Lamborghini Urus toward the end of 2017 came as a bit of a surprise. As it turned out, the Urus was a pleasant surprise that not only kept the aesthetic appeal of the Lamborghini brand, but packed quite a punch for its size.
The Body of an SUV, the spirit of a Lamborghini
The Urus is all sleek lines and curves, with the aggressive look of a sports car on the larger body of an SUV. It has the hexagonal detailing, sloping chassis and peaked bonnet that is characteristic of Lamborghini, and also sits lower to the ground than any other vehicles in its class.
What about the interiors? Like any good Lamborghini, the Urus has a design aesthetic inspired by the world of aeronautics, including fun touches like the start button being concealed under a red flip-up cover and a gear shift that looks like the throttle of a fighter jet. There are two touchscreens at the centre of the console, where you have control of temperature, radio and navigation, among other functions. The screens and a few other functions were taken from Audi, one of Lamborghini’s sister brands under the larger umbrella of the Volkswagen Group.
A Bang & Olufsen 3D Surround Sound system transforms the car into your own private concert hall, with 21 speakers for the ultimate listening experience. You also get a healthy choice of custom finish options including leather, Alcantara (a suede-like material), wood, along with metallic finishes including aluminium and carbon fiber. Whether you opt for a look that suggests a race car with some serious heft or an ultra cool family ride is upto you. And there are also four cupholders and a huge amount of cargo space, which is where the stylistic appeal is muted by more practical considerations and the SUV factor really comes into play.
There are also some driver-assistance features available for the Urus, including a night-vision camera, adaptive cruise control and other features that help you stay in your lane, change lanes safely and monitor your blindspots. Those don’t come standard, however, and will be an additional cost.
Built for Sturdiness and Speed
The real test for any vehicle, and certainly a Lamborghini, is how it actually handles on the road. The Urus features a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that gives you roughly 650 horsepower and a very throaty engine purr. It is the fastest accelerating SUV in the world, able to go from 0 to 60mph in just 3 seconds. With a maximum speed of 189.5 mph it falls just 0.5 mph short of the Bentley Bentayga, though the Urus will easily outpace the latter in a short race.
The Urus also feels very much like a sports car in the way it handles, or at least as much as an SUV can. It’s a smooth ride and at low speeds would be perfect for cruising around the neighbourhood if you felt like showing off a bit. On the highway, it is very much the Raging Bull that marks it as a Lamborghini, and it corners smoothly with an active roll stabilising system.
You have a total of seven drive modes, controlled by the ANIMA selection system. ANIMA, derived from the Latin word for ‘soul’, stands for Adaptive Network Intelligent Management. What it boils down to is that you can control how you want your car to perform under different conditions. The driving modes are:
STRADA - The ‘basic’ drive more, for a smooth and comfortable ride
SPORT - Provides more agility and responsiveness to emphasise the sporty nature of the vehicle
CORSA - Maximum performance, designed to be used in the track and to show off the SUV’s beating sports car heart
TERRA - Your go-to mode when you want to ditch the roads for some adventure
SABIA - Made for tackling sand and an ideal option for an off-road experience in Dubai
NEVE - For traction on slippery surface, mainly for ice and snow but would come in handy during Dubai’s rainy winter season
The seventh mode is known as EGO, an appropriate name as this mode is all about you. With EGO, you can customise the performance parameters of the Urus, including suspension and traction, to create your perfect drive experience.
SUVs by Lamborghini
It should be noted that the Urus isn’t Lamborghini’s first foray into the world of SUVs. That dubious honour goes to the LM002, a military ‘truck’ from 1986 that was born out of two failed prototypes, the LM001 and the Cheetah.
The LM002 sported a blocky design that was a world away from what one would expect of a Lamborghini and more akin to a Hummer or a Jeep. It is in fact part of a series known as Lamborghini Militaria, though only the LM002 ever saw production. It was manufactured primarily for military use, though a consumer version was produced as well, with all of the luxury fittings one would expect of a high-end off road vehicle, including leather trim, power windows and a stereo system mounted into the roof. Pirelli was commissioned to make custom versions of the Pirelli Scorpion tyres that were used exclusively for the LM series and available in two types - one for general off-roading and one specifically for sandy terrain. The LM002 remained in production until 1994.
The Urus is effectively the next generation of the LM series and like any new generation, it has taken the path trodden by its predecessors in a boldly different direction. The Lamborghini Urus fuses the stylistic elements and heart-pounding speed of a supercar with the spaciousness and functional aspects of an SUV, making it the world’s first true Super Sports Utility Vehicle.
All Urus images courtesy of official Lamborghini Facebook page. LM002 image courtesy of Wikipedia.