May 21, 2024

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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 and Aston Martin.

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 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 production Lamborghini—and the first V-8 in many decades. It shares its 4.0-liter displacement and twin turbochargers with the 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. Output sits at 641 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, each number second among sport-utes only to the decidedly lower-rent, 707-hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The Urus also will eventually debut Lamborghini’s first hybrid drivetrain, although we don’t yet know any details about the gas-electric model.

The underpinnings of the Urus aren’t as distinctly Italian as its V-8, as it shares the Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform used in the Audi Q7, the Porsche Cayenne, and the Bentley Bentayga. At 201.3 inches long (and riding on a 118.2-inch wheelbase), the Urus is 1.7 inches longer than the Q7 and 7.4 inches longer than the Cayenne Turbo. And at 64.5 inches high and 79.4 inches wide, the Urus is quite a bit lower and wider than the Q7 and the Cayenne. Lamborghini assures us that the Urus will outperform each of those corporate cousins, with a claimed top speed of 190 mph (3 mph higher than the Bentayga) and a reported zero-to-62-mph time of 3.6 seconds.

Of course, the Lamborghini will feature its own chassis tuning, too, and rear-wheel steering and an air suspension that offers up to 9.8 inches of ground clearance are part of the package. The all-wheel-drive system uses a locking center differential with a default 40/60 front/rear power split that can send up to 70 percent of the torque to the front or up to 87 percent to the rear. A rear differential allows for torque-vectoring capability. The carbon-ceramic brakes are absolutely enormous, with rotors measuring 17.3 inches in front and 14.6 inches in the rear, the better to decelerate the roughly 4850-pound Urus.

A lineup of driving modes including Corsa (race), Sabbia (sand), and Neve (snow) will diversify the Lambo’s skill set. In Corsa, for instance, the all-wheel-drive system routes more power to the rear, and the torque-vectoring and stability-control thresholds allow for a bit more slip. In Sabbia, the stability control is similarly recalibrated to accommodate the low-grip surface. Good luck off-roading, though, with the Urus’s available 23-inch wheels mounted on unique Pirelli summer tires, size 285/35R-23 in the front and 325/30R-23 in back; 21- and 22-inchers will be available, too, as will all-season rubber.

Predictably, the interior takes a form-above-function approach, with numerous exotic leather, wood, carbon-fiber, and metal trim options available. Screens are everywhere, including a large digital gauge cluster, a fairly conventional-looking central infotainment display, and a lower control touchscreen that is reminiscent of the unit in Range Rover’s new Velar. Sitting inside the Urus, we found rear-seat room to be adequate, although headroom is a bit pinched by the sloped roofline. Both four- and five-seat configurations are available, while the roofline and the sharply raked liftgate mean that the cargo area is deep but not tall.

When it goes on sale in the United States late next year, the Urus will share space with the Huracán at the “entry-level” end of the Lamborghini lineup, as it will 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 up to be one of the most super of all.

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