An SUV With an Attitude

Lamborghini’s Urus combines fashion, speed and utility.

Brian Douglas

For most people, Lamborghini stands for supercars that transport no more than two occupants in flamboyant style and speed. Now the sportscar brand’s new Urus model allows owners to frighten up to four additional victims with blistering acceleration while basking in the admiration of onlookers. And all this fun starts at an MSRP of $200,000, a whopping $61,274 less than the Lamborghini’s Huracan EVO, the former entrance-level Lambo.

Second SUV Act

Unlike its ultra-luxury rivals from the British Isles, the Urus isn’t Lamborghini’s first sports utility journey. That honor belongs to the LM002, a tarted-up truck that was conceived in 1986 as a military vehicle to compete with Humvee. Add a bit of leather, wood trim and the big 12-cylinder engine lifted from the Countach and the LM would create quite a stir rumbling down posh boulevards. Some of us scoffed at this wholly impractical creation, but the few nice, low-mileage examples that remain sell easily for $350 to $400,000. That’s good return from the LM’s original $158,000 base price.

Our Urus test sample, on the other hand, was a draft dodger with no armed forces ambition. Instead, Lamborghini shopped the parts bins of its parent VW Group to create what it calls a Super Sports Utility. The process begins with chassis architecture shared with Audi, Porsche and Bentley then adds a modified Audi twin turbo, 4.0-liter TSFI V8 powerplant tuned up to 650HP, nearly 80 more horses than the Italian automaker’s V10 sportscar. Or enough oomph to sprint to 60 MPH in just 3.5-seconds on the way to its 190 MPH top speed, performance that Lamborghini claims makes Urus the fastest SUV available.

Jet Fighter Style

Lamborghini sportscars have long looked like fighter jets without wings and the Urus designers kept that tradition alive, especially in the cockpit. A bright red cage covers the start/stop button and is always a conversation as well as engine starter. Lift the cage, press the button and your gearhead ears are rewarded with growling splendor. A gearshift lever is AWOL so you pull a center mounted handle to reverse or the steering wheel-mounted paddle shift for a forward selection.

When I encountered the drive mode selection switch, I wished that I hadn’t napped during Italian language studies. The ANIMA handle cycles through six modes; STRADA, SPORT, CORSA NEVE, TERRA and SABBIA. The first three are roughly comfort, sporty and track followed by off-road programming for ice, rough terrain and sand. Or you can program your very own driving algorithm, perhaps sporting in the sand, and save it in an adjacent EGO switch.

During my few fun-filled days in the Urus, I experienced suburban roads, the New Jersey Turnpike, Manhattan taxi faceoffs and early winter snow. Through it all, the Urus performed flawlessly, pampering driver and passengers in soft Italian leather. Just the attributes one expects from a vehicle in this lofty price range.

 

THE FINE PRINT

2020 Lamborghini Urus

TYPE:  Front-engine, all-wheel-drive

ENGINE:  4.0-liter Twin-Turbo V8

HORSEPOWER:  650 @ 6,000-RPM

TORQUE:  627 lb.ft. @ 2250-RPM

BASE PRICE: $200,000

AS TESTED:  $244,605

FUEL CONSUMPTION:  12-city, 17-highway, 14-combined