One of the world’s fastest SUVs. The Lamborghini Urus is what happens when the maker of the planet’s most outlandish supercars turns its hand to a large five-door family car with proper ground clearance and off-road ability. On paper it’s a clash of purposes, in reality it’s a mouth-watering prospect. Can Lamborghini inject some real supercar DNA into a 2.2-tonne SUV that shares its underpinnings with the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne? Can it justify the £165,000 price tag when you can have a SQ7 for £74k? And can someone tell us why it put the rear door handle where it did?
It’s been an agonising six year wait for the 2012 Urus concept to turn into the production car here, but Lamborghini is a tiny company don’t forget, selling just 3,500 cars a year (a figure it hopes to double with the Urus). Getting this car right could catapult Lamborghini into a different orbit - with more money to build more hairy-arsed supercars we know and love. It’s why there’s a tangible feeling, at the launch event in Rome, that this car matters, deeply, to each and every employee. Failure is not an option.
The Urus arrives surfing on the wave of an SUV explosion. Bentley has taken off-road luxury to a new level, the £300k Rolls Royce Cullinan is just around the corner, Jeep is busy shoving Hellcat engines into the Grand Cherokee and even Ferrari is exploring its options. But, for now at least, the Urus stands alone as the world’s first and only true Super SUV. Let’s hope it can live up to the billing.
Let’s cut to the chase. Yes we’re all sad that Lamborghini hasn’t plumbed in either its psychopathic V10 or operatic V12, but we’re told they will live on in the replacements for the Aventador and Huracan, albeit with hybrid assistance. And let’s get some perspective here, a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 641bhp and 627lb ft of torque (from just 2,250rpm) is an able substitute. What it lacks in revs (the redline is 6,800rpm), it makes up for in rib-crushing torque, whenever you need it, whatever ratio you find yourself in the eight-speed auto.