Although many may think that Lamborghini is launching its first-ever SUV with the all-new Urus, the company actually made a SUV – though it wasn’t known as that 31 years ago. Produced between 1986 and 1992, it was known as the LM-002 and it was a very powerful off-roader that has become a collectors item today.
The Urus is very different from the LM-002 though. It is a response to the growing trend in SUV popularity but also a unique model in its own right.
Presented as ‘the first Super Sport Utility Vehicle’, it is said to create a new niche in the luxury segment with benchmarking power, performance and driving dynamics which qualify it as a true Lamborghini.
The Lamborghini SUV has taken a while to reach production, having first appeared as a concept car in 2012. The long development period could be due to sharing the MLB platform with models in the Volkswagen Group such as the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7, with the Urus being the last to be launched.
“The Lamborghini Urus is a visionary approach based on the infusion of Lamborghini DNA into the most versatile vehicle, the SUV. The Urus elevates the SUV to a level not previously possible, the Super SUV. It is a true Lamborghini in terms of design, performance, driving dynamics and emotion as well as drivable every day in a range of environments,” said Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman & CEO. “The Urus fits perfectly within the Lamborghini family as a high-performance car. It is the culmination of intensive development and passionate skill to create a new breed of bull: a Super SUV that transcends the boundaries of expectations and opens the door to new possibilities, for both our brand and our customers.”
With a curb weight of less than 2,200 kgs, Lamborghini designers and engineers focused on weight reduction throughout the car’s chassis, with an intelligent mix of materials to ensure maximum stiffness for the best possible comfort and handling as well as lower fuel consumption. The chassis is a blend of aluminium and steel, with frameless aluminium doors, torsional beams replacing a C-pillar, and cross-members in aluminium contributing to the lightweight Urus, as does the chassis floor in a high-strength steel material. The seats are designed and constructed for light weight and the rims are in forged aluminium.
The Urus features a 4-litre V8 twin-turbo engine delivering 650 bhp at 6000 rpm (redline at 6800 rpm) and 850 Nm of torque generated from 2250 rpm. With a specific output of 162.7 bhp/litre, the Urus can lay claim to one of the highest numbers in its class and the best weight-to-power ratio at 3.38 kgs/bhp. This gives a claimed 0 – 100 km/h time of 3.6 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 12.8 seconds, and a top speed of 305 km/h, which makes it the fastest SUV available today.
The compact engine optimizes the car’s centre of gravity through its low-mounted position. With a central turbocharger layout close to the combustion chambers, optimum engine responsiveness is assured. The twin-scroll turbochargers run in parallel, providing maximum power in full-load conditions. This reduces turbo lag and ensures maximum torque and smooth provision of power throughout the torque curve, even at low speeds.
Two separate exhaust flows complement the cylinder firing sequence by eliminating cross-interference in the exhaust gas cycle. With a double overhead camshaft and variable valve timing, new cylinder-liner technology reduces weight while ensuring the highest performance from the eight-cylinder engine. Cylinder deactivation reduces fuel consumption for a perfect balance between vehicle performance and efficient engine function.
Depending on the driving mode selected, the engine has been calibrated to vary the sound and feel, from the quietest and most comfortable low-frequency sounds, to a sportier and more exciting Lamborghini sound and feedback. A specially-developed exhaust system also customizes the sound output dependent on engine speed: at high acceleration, the Urus produces a more guttural, sporty sound and chassis feedback.
An automatic 8-speed gearbox with a specially-developed torque converter transmits the output to the 4-wheel drive system. A Torsen central self-locking differential provides maximum control and agility in all driving conditions, particularly off-road. Torque is split 40:60 to the independent front/rear axle as standard, with a dynamic maximum torque of 70% to the front or 87% to the rear, enhancing traction to the axle with higher ground friction.
There’s active torque vectoring via a rear differential, enabling propulsive power to be instantly distributed to each individual wheel for enhanced traction, depending on the driving mode, driving style and the road grip. Torque vectoring also provides additional steering control: less steering effort is required, with enhanced agility allowing higher cornering speeds and a more sporty drive.
Yaw motion is controlled, avoiding understeer into corners and tire slip during acceleration. In the driving modes STRADA, TERRA (off-road) and NEVE (snow), torque vectoring reduces understeer for safe and simple driving. In SPORT and CORSA, torque vectoring allows the Urus to become more agile with a greater oversteer character: interaction between the 4WD system and ESC manages oversteer to enable a precise and fun drive. In SABBIA (sand) mode, the system is calibrated to guarantee agility and precision on terrains with reduced grip such as on gravel or sand dunes, making it the ideal mode for off-road fun.
The rear-wheel steering system introduced in the Aventador S is also available in the Urus. The rear steering angle varies up to +/- 3 degrees, according to car’s speed and driving mode selected. At low speeds, the rear-axle steering angle is opposite to that of the front wheels (counter-phase steering), effectively shortening the wheelbase up to 600 mm for increased agility and a reduced turning circle for increased maneuverability. At high speeds, the rear axle steering angle is in the same direction as the front wheels (in-phase steering), elongating the wheelbase up to 600 mm for increased stability and ride comfort as well as optimum driving dynamics.
An electromechanical active roll stabilization system is used for the first time in a Lamborghini. The stabilization system ensures maximum reduction of the roll angle on bumpy roads in both a straight line and around corners through active decoupling of the stabilizer halves, while ensuring the most agile drive and responsive steering.
The specially-tuned damping system incorporates new damper valves, continually adjusting to different driving conditions: harder when cornering and softer in a straight line. The adaptive damper concept is automatically adjusted to different driving modes through ANIMA, or can be fully customized by the driver via the EGO mode, choosing the required rigidity for a very comfortable ride to an extremely sporty, aggressive setting dependent on driving style and road conditions.
Unlike the LM-002 which had the chunky profile typical of SUVs in those days, the Urus has sleek coupe styling that is well integrated with the high ground clearance. It has styling cues from other Lamborghini models and the proportions adopt the two-thirds body, one-third window ratio of the brand’s sportscars. Its short overhangs communicate its strength, muscularity, dynamically assertive character and commanding road position. An optional Off-Road Package provides specific metal-reinforced bumpers and additional underfloor protection for off-roading in snow, forest or even dune surfing.
The cabin has space for up to five occupants. The low roofline and position of the frameless windows allude to the seating position of driver and passengers low within the car. The sharply-inclined windscreen and strongly-angled rear windows with glass-on-glass replacing the C-pillar, are emotive of Lamborghini models including the Huracan and accent the sporty silhouette. The hexagonal wheel arches at both front and rear are a significant design detail from the LM002 and Countach, housing wheels up to 23 inches.
The Urus embodies the Lamborghini principal that a car’s design, power and dynamic capabilities means every driver should feel like a pilot. Oriented around the driver, the slim Y design of the dashboard, like double silver wings and connected to the climbing centre console, is inspired by the LM002 as well as by current Lamborghini super sports cars.
The Lamborghini hexagonal theme echoes throughout the interior, in elements such as air vents and door handles, and even in items such as the cupholders and airbag modules.
A multi-function, 3-spoke steering wheel incorporates a vibration damper to enhance comfort in all driving conditions. Multifunction switches are intuitively located on the steering wheel to control the Lamborghini Infotainment System. A fully-digital TFT display shows the main information in an animated 3D representation and is customizable by the driver.
The standard front DNA memory sport seats are fully electric with 12-way adjustment – and for extra money, the number of adjustments can be increased to 18! The rear bench seat as standard comes with a movable and folding seat back and ISOFIX fixings. Providing a comfortable 5-seat configuration, the ability to fold and move the rear seat offers maximum versatility and increased luggage capacity for daily use. When the rear backrest is folded, the boot capacity can be expanded from 616 litres to 1,596 litres. As an option in conjunction with the fully-electric front seats, a more exclusive two-seat rear layout can be specified providing exceptional rear passenger comfort.
The first customers will take delivery of the Urus during the first quarter of 2018 and those in England will be paying prices from 131,500.00 pounds (equivalent to about RM718,000).