Don’t Expect Lamborghini To Start Making More SUVs Now
2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Lamborghini. This is the year the Urus SUV goes on sale, becoming only the second Lamborghini SUV in history after the Hummer-like LM002 enjoyed a seven-year run from 1986 to 1993. To be clear, the expectations for the Urus are much higher than they ever were for the LM002. Lamborghini expects its new SUV to spearhead another record-breaking sales year, and by all accounts, the Urus is more than capable of doing that. Just don’t expect Lambo to start having illusions of building another SUV model to complement what it already has. That’s not happening, at least not in the near future.
Urus vs. LM002: Lambo’s Utility Vehicles - 30 Years Apart
The Lamborghini Urus was unveiled in 2017, five years after the Italian carmaker unveiled its first SUV in the form of a concept car. But even though it’s Lambo’s first SUV, the Urus isn’t the first utility vehicle coming from Sant’Agata Bolognese. Lamborghini began meddling with the idea all the way back in 1977 and launched its first production model in 1986 as the LM002. That’s a few good years before AM General introduced the iconic Hummer H1 for civilian use in 1992.
In many ways, the LM002 is the spiritual successor of the Urus, but the two utility vehicles are actually very different. They were conceived for different purposes, have radically different designs, and deliver different performance figures. With the modern SUV now official and on its way to showrooms, we take a look back at Lambo’s history with utility vehicles and the iconic LM002. How does the Urus compare to Lambo’s first venture into this market and what sets the two SUVs apart? Find out below.
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Table For Two: Comparing The Lamborghini Urus And The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
The hype surrounding the Lamborghini Urus is real. It’s not just that the Urus is 650-horsepower horsepower; it’s because the Urus is a Lamborghini. The legendary Italian supercar brand has only released one SUV in its lifetime — the LM002 — and back then, SUVs weren’t as popular as they are now. That’s why the Urus is being talked about in glowing terms, even if it hasn’t been launched yet.
But is it really the most exciting SUV to hit the streets in recent memory? That’s a debatable question because there are others of its kind that are just as appealing, for one reason or another. The Bentley Bentayga is one of them. So is Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. But for the purpose of this discussion, I’m turning my attention to an American SUV that can give the Urus a serious run for its money. It may not have the same prestige as the Urus, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is every bit as potent as its Lamborghini counterpart.
Which of the two is better? That’s a question I’m looking to answer. Be advised, though. This isn’t a walk-over for the Lamborghini like some of you might think.
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2019 Lamborghini Urus
The SUV assault continues, filtering into every niche of every market imaginable. With so much demand out there, just about every automaker on the planet is getting in on the action, including some with a history that deviates quite a bit from the SUV norm. That includes Lamborghini, which just unveiled the Urus, a follow-up to the cult classic LM002. This time around, Lambo is doing it right, giving the Urus super car-esque agility, speed, and performance, all with a sharp (yet jacked-up) body style crammed with luxury and even a little off-road worthiness. Lambo is calling it the first Super Sport Utility Vehicle, but makes like Porsche and Bentley might have a few words to say about that.
Either way, this is a breakthrough moment for the Raging Bull. While the LM002 was arguably the brand’s first “real” SUV, you can’t really compare it to the hyperspeed Urus. While the old Ramboghini got square styling and somewhat plodding performance, the Urus looks and acts like a Lambo should. It’s also got the first-ever turbocharged engine in a Lambo. All told, Lamborghini claims this thing has a “dual personality” and is “multi-dimensional” in what it can do. But the question is this – where does it land amongst the bevy of fast luxury SUVs already on the market?
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The 2019 Lamborghini Urus Makes Its Glorious Debut
Tasked with the demanding position of being the first SUV in 25 years to wear a Lamborghini badge, the Lamborghini Urus has finally made its debut. It rides on the same MLB platform that underpins the Bentley Bentayga, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne, but carries a face and an attitude all its own. The body style is as aggressive, if not more so than the concept that came before it while its mean-as-hell attitude comes via a turbocharged, 4.0-liter, V-8 that’s good for a potent but modest 650 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. And, when I say “mean as hell,” I’m not kidding. It can hit the 62-mph sprint (that’s 100 kph for our Euro readers) in a devastating 3.59-seconds with launch control in effect and a top speed of 186 mph. Want to know more? Keep reading…
SUVs have been around for more than eight decades. Though most early SUVs were descendants from commercial and military vehicles such as the Willys MB (1941-1945) and the Land Rover Series I (1948-1958), longer-wheelbase, wagon-type SUVs were available as early as the mid-1930s, with the most iconic example being the second-generation Chevrolet Suburban (1935-1940).
However, the XJ-generation Jeep Cherokee, launched in 1984, is now considered to be the first true sport utility vehicle in the modern understanding of the term, as it was aimed at urban families as a substitute for traditional station wagons. The Cherokee had four-wheel drive, a more premium, station wagon-like interior, and a more manageable size compared to full-size utility vehicles.
Nowadays, SUVs are often sold with premium features, while some crossovers are built with lower ride heights for comfortable on-road driving. Though some brands still develop their SUVs with off-road capabilities, the focus has shifted toward luxury and performance. From the Jeep Wagoneer of the late 1980s, often regarded as the first luxury SUV, to the 2015 BMW X5 M and 2015 Porsche Cayenne, the SUV concept has evolved at an incredible pace, to the extent that modern SUVs have very little in common with their forerunners besides high-riding bodies.
As we approach 2016, the SUV is about to enter yet another era, one that will see the introduction of ultra-luxury utility vehicles built by manufacturers known for providing transportation for royalty the world over. A new niche is about to be created by brands such as Bentley and Rolls-Royce, which are working on some of the most luxurious and expensive SUVs mankind has yet seen. Let’s have a closer look at the most promising luxury SUVs set to hit the market by the end of the decade.
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Dolph Lundgren, prior to portraying Ivan "I will break you" Drago in Rocky IV, got a degree in chemical engineering. The same guy who once worked as a bouncer — that Swedish mountain of muscle with a 3rd degree black belt, has an IQ of 180. Remember that as you read about Lambo’s newest SUV, the Urus.
Like Dolph, the Urus comes off a bit like a brutish caveman; big, primitive, unsophisticated, stupid even. Maybe that’s why Lambo chose the unusual name. It certainly isn’t as sexy as "Reventon" or "Murcielago," which follow the recent Lambo scheme of naming cars after famous fighting bulls. Rather, the Urus (aka "Aurochs" or "Aurox") is the wild progenitor of modern domestic cattle. A big, nasty beast as sophisticated as a boulder, and about half as smart.
But all modern bulls share DNA, and so it is with modern Lamborghinis, SUVs and tractors. Recall, Lambo started out making tractors, and produced the LM002 military SUV from 1986 to 1993. The LM002 "Rambo Lambo" was at the time considered almost universally superior to the AM General Hummer, and not just because it was the fastest four-wheel-drive vehicle in history. It was only the price, fuel economy and (most importantly) production capacity and the promised availability of spare parts that won AM General a place in military history.
But the LM002, for all its brutish strength, was a bit dumb compared to its modern descendant, the Urus. If tractors were Lamborghini’s upright monkeys, and the LM002 was Cro Magnon man, then the now-confirmed-for-production Urus is Ivan Drago. Sure, it might look like a caveman...but with carbon fiber bones and a twin-turbo hybrid heart, this heavy hitter may end up being the smartest brute on the road today.
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Lamborghini was at the forefront of the performance SUV trend when it introduced the LM002 in 1986, and then the Urus in 2012, but the future of the Urus still remains up in the air despite the growing popularity of luxury SUVs in global markets. In an interview with Lamborghini’s Asia Pacific general manager, Andrea Baldi, Australian site Car Advice reports that the biggest holdup so far is that Lamborghini still has some “convincing” to do to its parent company, Volkswagen AG, to get the green light.
One area where Baldi suggests that more convincing is still required is making sure that a Lamborghini SUV won’t break from the Italian automaker’s 52 years of tradition – both in terms of styling and performance. At this point if Lamborghini were to get the go-ahead to build an SUV, it would most likely split the difference between more conventional SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and perhaps a newer-style, coupe-inspired SUV like the Aston Martin DBX.
Baldi seemed to quash the idea that sales are a limiting factor for the Lamborghini SUV by stating that customers in countries such as India and China would likely appreciate such a vehicle not only for its increased ride height but also for the fact that it isn’t a “super sports car."
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The Italian super bar builder Lamborghini launched their flagship dream machine Murcielago back in 2001 and the slightly smaller Gallardo followed suit in 2003 and aside from a few special edition variations and the limited edition Reventon the automaker hasn’t come out with much else. However things are about to change as the Murcielago is being replaced by the all new Jota, a model that will be built on top of an all new carbon fiber chassis and utilizing more of the woven black stuff along with aluminum to create the skin under which a 6.0 Liter direct injected V12 that will put down around 700 HP.
Instead of numbing things down and introducing an entry level V10 version, sources say that Lamborghini is also working on an even more powerful model called Urus. The new car will be built from a modified version of the Jota and feature a full carbon fiber body. The Urus should be powered by a modified version of the Jota’s V12 engine except that it will be tuned to deliver up to 800 HP. The added output should bring the Lambos 0 to 60 MPH sprint to sub three second levels and will compete head to head with the Enzo’s successor, the Ferrari FX70.