Words: Sammy Chan
Photography: Sammy Chan
Published: January 21, 2018
DETROIT, Michigan - Hot on the heels of its first ever unveiling at Sant’Agata Bolognese, the 2019 Lamborghini Urus Super SUV stole the show at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. And what a statement it makes. The Urus was unclothed not in Cobo Hall where all the others were but at a nearby separate location. If attendance numbers are anything to go by, it could very well be the hottest exhibit ever at Detroit’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
Being one of the few lucky Canadian journalists to witness it in the flesh, I was actually disappointed with how the Urus took its visual form on-stage compared to on-screen. But then it could be due to the fact that I was already mesmerized by the red LM002 (Lamborghini Militaire) Lamborghini had brought along before I saw the Urus in person. Yes, the LM002 was the Italian’s first foray into the SUV market in 1986, but it still has a special place in my heart. Despite having “been and done” that type of thing, a Lamborghini SUV to me is nevertheless an oxymoron for no better use of the word.
The Lamborghini Urus shares the same platform with the Bentley Bentayga and the Porsche Cayenne transforming their humble Volkswagen beginnings from “The People’s Car” into “The Wealthy’s Possessions.” Billed as the world’s first super sport utility vehicle, the Urus blends the off-road performance of the latest Cayenne with the design DNA of a Huracan. It is near impossible to fathom how Lamborghini could render a high center of gravity and lofty curb weight into relevance, but its slogan of “making it possible” is certainly no propaganda without base.
Luckily, Lamborghini has the LM002 and Countach handy to draw its inspirations from, all while making sure that the signature Y shapes and hexagon elements are retained. The famed Gandini Line, a single uninterrupted line that connects the front to the rear used from the Countach to the Aventador, is used here but is instead broken at the base of the windscreen to give shape to the coupe-like silhouette. Trapezoidal wheel arches inspired from LM and bulging side lines project a muscular yet sophisticated look - undeniably and unmistakably a Lamborghini.
Space, or the abundance of it, is probably one area where we would all need to reset our processor of what a Lamborghini should look like. Our exclusive shots of the back seats and the trunk tells the story loud and clear, that three adults in the back would not seem like a bad idea. The dashboard design was inspired by the T layout of the LM and as if the “fire alarm” red flap is not Lamborghini enough, an “ANIMA” cockpit slider is added for show. An acronym for Adaptive Network Intelligent Management, this electronic brain of the Urus varies steering, suspension and traction settings to provide six different driving modes: Strada (Road), Sport, Corsa (Race), Sabbia (Sand), Terra (Dirt) and Neve (Snow). An extra Ego mode slider on the other side further fine tunes the vehicle’s dynamics to suit individual preferences.
Fancy ploughing through snow or tumultuous terrain to your retreat up in the mountains? Then this beastly SUV is here to please. With 650 horses on tap, the Urus is nothing to sneeze at. Save for the Aventador, the Urus actually has one of the highest horsepower figures in the Lamborghini stable, more than the 640-hp Huracan Performance too. In fact, not only is the Urus the fastest SUV on Earth, but its 0-100 km/h time is at par with the Huracan RWD Spyder, needing only 3.6 seconds to shoot to the moon. Its 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 engine is derived from the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, gaining an extra 90 hp after all is said and done. The 8-speed automatic is also snatched from the same source bin.
Cancelling out pitch and roll are dampers that elevate (literally and figuratively) the Urus to a whole new category, the Sport Utility Supercar territory. Thanks to a viscous Torsen differential that handles front and rear torque distribution and a four-wheel steering system, power and traction are always available should you want to venture to places where no other Lamborghini has ever gone before. No compromise is necessary either for on-track enjoyment with employment of huge carbon-ceramic brakes; 440 mm at the front and 370 mm at the rear. The Urus also wears uniquely engineered Pirelli P Zero tires.
The Urus may be shrouded in controversy over whether or not it should even exist, but I am fairly certain that the numbers will be there. Just look at the Bentayga. Even Ferrari is coming up with an SUV. I call it inevitable, but I will leave it up to you to decide when it hits the Canadian market later this year. No word on pricing just yet.