Amazing Car for Sale: 1989 Lamborghini LM002 - The Real Lamborghini SUV
When we talk about Lamborghini’s history, the Miura, Countach, the 350 GT, and the Espada come to mind. One model, however, that barely makes it to the conversation is the LM002 – the company’s off-road truck.
This may come as a surprise for the non-Lamborghini fanboys, but yes, the Italian automaker produced an off-road truck in the past. Lamborghini made the LM002 between 1986 and 1993 and, surprisingly, only 328 examples were built. Of these, 49 were built for the U.S. market. Now, one of them has arrived at Bring-a-Trailer’s auction and we can’t stop admiring it.
A Japanese-Rooted Automobile College Has Combined Lamborghini and Toyota DNA to Create the Urus 86 Pickup for the Tokyo Auto Salon
We’ve been dreaming about a pickup truck version of the Lamborghini Urus ever since the luxury SUV broke cover, but we’re pretty sure the Italians won’t make one. Fortunately, the folks over at Nihon Automobile College in Japan created one for the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon. There’s a catch though, - it’s not exactly a Urus.
A Lamborghini Urus Pickup Truck? Yes Please!
Lamborghini ended 2017 on a high note by unveiled the Urus, its first utility vehicle since the LM002. The Italians are calling it the world’s first SSUV, as in super SUV. And I can’t blame them for doing that. It’s mean, it’s awfully powerful and incredibly fast. Sure, it doesn’t have the V-10 or V-12 engine found in the Huracan and Aventador, but it’s pretty cool with a twin-turbo V-8 too. And word has it a hybrid version might follow soon. But what if Lambo decided to give us a spiritual successor to the LM002 and build a pickup truck version of the Urus?
Ready your preconceptions for shattering, because they aren’t long for this world: the behemoth SUV pictured here is from Italian exotic sports car manufacturer Lamborghini. Dubbed the “Rambo Lambo”, this particular example represents one of only 328 vehicles produced between the years of 1986 and 1993. It’s the byproduct of Lamborghini’s “Cheetah” program, which began in 1977 as the development platform for a new military off-roader. The original design, featuring a rear-mounted Chrysler V-8, went to Mobility Technology International (MTI). MTI ended up contracting for the US military, and in some respects, the Cheetah could be considered the precursor to the Humvee.
After the Cheetah, Lamborghini created the LM001, which was similar, but came with a V-8 from AMC. When it was determined that a rear-mounted engine was responsible for unfavorable off-road handling characteristics, Lambo decided to build an entirely new chassis with the V-12 from the Countach sitting up front. Thus, the LM002 was born, making its official debut at the 1986 Brussels Auto Show.
In 1988, Lamborghini attempted to enter an LM002 in the Paris-Dakar Rally, with preparations including a stripped interior, a roll cage, suspension enhanced with heavy-duty components, an engine with output upped to 600 horsepower, and GPS. Unfortunately, funding ran out before the rally took place, but the beefy rally variant did eventually manage to compete in off-road races held in both Egypt and Greece.
Another interesting story finds one particularly unfortunate LM002, owned by Uday Hussein, son of the dictator, blown to smoldering chunks by US service members in 2004 during the invasion of Iraq to help demonstrate the effects of a car bomb.
With such a tumultuous genesis, it’ll be interesting to see what Lamborghini decides to do when it comes to an off-roader/SUV offering. With concepts like the Urus making headlines in the past few years, it certainly looks like Lambo is searching for the right way to reenter the market. Only time will tell if this latest effort is more successful than the LM002.
Updated 9/1/2015: Our man Jonathan Lopez took some pics at Monterey Car Week. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read more about the Lamborghini LM002.