Lamborghini’s first SUV, the unmistakably ’80s LM002, was a military-grade brute powered by a screaming V-12 engine. While it seemed completely offbeat at the time, it turned out to be prescient given today’s ever-expanding array of ultra-luxury, high-performance SUVs from the likes of Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Maserati, and, soon, Ferrari.
So there’s no time like the present for Lamborghini to jump back into the fray with the 2019 Urus. The company’s second-ever SUV is over the top, too, but for completely different reasons than the LM002. The Urus, which derives its name from an ancient species of cattle, stuns with its anticipated 641 horsepower, its dramatic wedge-shaped silhouette, and its ambition to be as capable around a racetrack as it is on the sand dunes.
Under the hood is the first turbocharged engine ever to be installed in a Lamborghini, and the first V-8 in many decades. It shares its 4.0-liter displacement with the twin-turbocharged V-8 installed in many other Volkswagen Group products, but Lamborghini insists that the design is its own—a claim augmented by the V-8’s distinctive sound. The Urus also will eventually be home to Lamborghini’s first hybrid drivetrain, though we don’t yet know any details about the gas-electric model.
The underpinnings of the Urus aren’t as distinctly Italian, as it shares the Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform used in the Audi Q7, the Porsche Cayenne, and the Bentley Bentayga. Of course, the Lamborghini will feature its own chassis tuning, and rear-wheel steering and an air suspension are expected to be part of the package. A lineup of driving modes including Corsa (race), Sabbia (sand), and Neve (snow) will diversify the Lambo’s skill set. The Urus also is expected to outperform its sibling the Bentayga, which currently holds the title of World’s Fastest SUV with its claimed 187-mph top speed.
When it goes on sale in the United States late next year, the Urus will share space at the “entry-level” end of the Lamborghini lineup with the Huracán, as it’s expected to start at roughly the same $200,000 as that V-10 supercar. A vast expansion of Lamborghini’s factory in its hometown of Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, already has been completed to build the Urus, as the company expects to considerably increase its annual production output with the SUV’s addition to its portfolio. After all, among luxury brands, super-SUVs are all the rage right now, and this Italian is shaping…