What goes 0-60 in under four seconds, rides on air, has a locking center differential, a 1700 watt, 21 speaker stereo system, and the styling of a Transformer? Yes, a Lamborghini SUV. Is life really that predictable?
It’s hard to act surprised when Italy’s most mental marque has been promising to deliver a competitor for the Porsche Macan, Bentley Bantayga, and Range Rover Sport for over five years now. So here it is, the 2019 Lamborghini Urus. All at once overwhelming and self-contradictory.
NOT YOUR DAD’S LM002
You might not know it, but Lamborghini has just as much right to this market segment as any other automaker, if not more. They basically invented the hyper-SUV back in the 80s with the “Rambo-Lambo” LM002. Based on a failed military all-terrain vehicle, the LM002 was crazy enough to be a Lamborghini, and it featured the V-12 from the fabled Countach, but it proved to be less than practical even with four-wheel drive.
This time around, the team from Sant’Agata Bolognese decided to start with more domesticated DNA. Mechanically, the Urus is a close relative of the Porsche Macan. However VW group probably expects the Lambo-buying customer to be of a slightly different demeanor than your average Macan owner, so there shouldn’t be too much self-predation. Also, the Urus will cost substantially more at roughly $220,000.
WANT VS. NEED
Certainly, the Urus’ performance accomplishments are remarkable. We’ve waited over 20 years to see what it takes to make an SUV that can comfortably seat five go 190mph. The answer, all-wheel-drive and 641 Italian stallions developed by a 4-liter twin-turbo V-8, all while maintaining a low center of gravity and a sense of style. So what’s not to love? For some people, the Urus is a bit too much of a dancing bear. Or should we say dancing bull?
It’s impressive, but if you’re going to have supercar performance, you might as well spend the money on a supercar. And if you want an SUV, you probably don’t want it to ride on the highway like a supercar. And if you have a supercar, you probably won’t like taking it off-road, even if it’s shaped like an SUV. This is Lamborghini outright admitting that they’ve abandoned any loyalty to the purist crowd, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
It’s been suggested that the Urus will appeal more to female buyers than other Lambos. Youthful celebrities will adore it unquestionably because “Lamborghini truck” sounds cool and sells music videos. But the Urus genuinely lack’s what the French call “raison d’etre.” There’s no reason this thing should be real.
COOLER THAN YOUR FRIEND’S X5
Those who sidle up to the local Lamborghini dealer to take home a new Urus will be utterly un-phased by this. After all, no one goes to purchase a Lambo out of common sense. From one perspective it’s really not necessary that we have cars to drive at all. The Lamborghini Urus represents the opposite extreme.
Most of all, though, Lamborghini is making the Urus because like other exclusive high-end SUVs, it will print money. Unlike the low-slung Aventador and Hurucan supercars, people who have no concept of how to drive a car fast, or appreciation for racing pedigree will buy the hell out of this thing.
Ok. Maybe those people occasionally buy other Lamborghini’s too. You have to admit, though, Urus is a helluva lot easier to say than “Bantayga.
Photo Credit: Lamborghini