How the Lamborghini Urus Will Work

Fine Italian Design
The all-new Lamborghini Urus
The all-new Lamborghini Urus
(Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.)

The Urus' ultimate success depends on a few things we've already discussed. The timeliness of its release, for one. And the global appetite for luxury sport utility vehicles (when that time comes), for another. But, as Porsche can (and probably has) told Lamborghini (based on Porsche's experience with the Cayenne), it's essential that the Urus has the look and feel of the brand, even if a sport utility vehicle isn't quite what the loyal customers are looking for. Loyal customers are, of course, important for any brand to cultivate, and Lamborghini has its share of deep-pocket devotees. Whether they'll spring for a Urus remains to be seen. But, remember, Lamborghini is trying to attract new markets here, too. Those buyers will want what a Urus has to offer ... but they'll also want a Lamborghini. Based on preproduction versions of the Urus, Lamborghini is off to a good start.

Let's take a quick look at Lamborghini's history for a moment, and its first sport ute, the LM002 -- aka the Rambo Lambo. It was a military truck that was produced between 1986 and 1993, and some production LM002s were allocated to civilians. An Italian parallel to the Humvee, if you will -- and there was a physical resemblance to the Humvee, too. So, anyone bemoaning that Lamborghini is selling out by making an SUV is just wrong. It's not only the automotive press pointing out the ties to the Rambo Lambo, either. Lamborghini is quick to assert the Urus' street cred, pointing out that the LM002 marked the creation of the super-luxury sport utility vehicle class [source: Lamborghini].

Relax a bit, though, because while the LM002 was a bit rough and tumble, the Urus is a lot more modern. If the concept car is an indication (and it should be) the Urus will definitely have the look and the feel of a Lamborghini. "Powerful, but not bulky" is Lamborghini's description of the vehicle's profile. Rest assured that Lamborghini will make sure its new high-priced SUV will be loaded with the same kind of amenities as its more established high-priced sports cars. The Urus offers seating for four people, which, to be fair, is a little below average for a sport utility vehicle; however, that's above average for a typical Lamborghini. Since Lamborghinis are mainly designed to please the driver (who, presumably, is also the buyer) and maybe to show off a little, a great deal of attention has been given to the cabin design. The interior of the Urus features a lot of carbon fiber, and the driver can use paddle shifters to improve the driving experience. There are also rear-view cameras in place of side-view mirrors to enhance safety, which is a feature common on upscale cars, but hasn't really been a priority on super-elite sports-oriented vehicles, so far.

Driving dynamics are the wild card, though. Not since the Rambo Lambo has anyone really experienced the sensation of a Lamborghini supercar from an elevated ride height. The Urus hunkers low (at least, low for an SUV) over 24-inch wheels and features a permanent all-wheel-drive system. The low (but high for a Lamborghini) ground clearance might even be a benefit -- plenty of surface-skimming Lamborghinis are sold in areas where the roads are perfectly smooth. However, it's a bit risky to drive a Lambo or any other exotic car over even slightly bumpy terrain. The Urus boasts variable aerodynamics and adjustable ground clearance. So, the Urus solves the problem of how to physically handle a car in an emerging global market, even if it's a problem that wasn't really being asked.

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