Lamborghini Urus 4.0 V8 BiTurbo
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Building the Lamborghini Urus was the price the company had to pay to help it continue to build supercars. After all, it worked for Porsche, so why shouldn't the Italians try it too? It's not Lamborghini's first SUV - the boxy, often forgotten LM002 was the ultimate off-roader of the 1980s and 1990s - but the Urus is aiming to take sales in what has become an intensely competitive market; the high-performance SUV sector.
The Urus arrived in the UK in 2018, and it's for sale alongside the company's Huracan and Aventador models, but it has very different specs to those two. For starters, it's front-engined, and it doesn't have a V10 or V12, instead, it gets a twin-turbo V8 that is also found in two of the Urus' closest rivals, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Bentley Bentayga.
Other rivals include the masterful Aston Martin DBX, the aggressive-looking Range Rover Sport SVR, along with the Audi SQ7 and Maserati Levante.
Controversial looks help the Urus to stand out, and its mix of acute angles and sharp creases, high sides and small windows mean it certainly looks like no other SUV on the road. It has the performance to match the Lamborghini badge on the nose, though, as that engine is tuned to produce 641bhp, which gives the Urus a claimed 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds. Top speed is rated at 190mph.
Like Lamborghini's supercars, and ideal as it's an SUV, there's a four-wheel-drive transmission, while a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic gearbox helps get that power to the tyres. This set-up is designed to deliver unbreakable traction on the road, rather than off-road ability, although air-suspension can raise the car to help it deliver that if needed - Lamborghini also offers reprofiled front and rear bumpers to help boost approach and departure angles.
There's just one version of the Urus available at the moment, which has a price tag of around £170,000. But that's just the starting point to a catalogue of personalisation options available to customers. There are a range of wheel options, carbon fibre and leather packages for the cabin, additional tech and extra off-road equipment all designed to make the Urus as individual as you like.
Whatever spec you choose, the Urus delivers a driving experience that does the Lamborghini badge proud and makes it one of the most engaging performance SUVs you can buy.
You might approach the Lamborghini Urus thinking it’s a colossally inappropriate symbol of excessive consumption that proves the traditional car industry has nowhere left to go. Or you might think it’s a joyful celebration of the modern day automotive space race, where ultimate power and cutting-edge engineering brutally force the laws of physics into submission. Either way, it’s unlikely you’ll be unmoved by any encounter with the Urus – even the Porsche Cayenne Turbo didn’t manage to be this divisive when the idea of an SUV with supercar handling was mooted.
Having driven the Urus, it’s hard to imagine anyone failing to be impressed with its sheer size-defying pace in a straight line and around corners. Or its sheer drama and road presence – the Urus really does feel like a supercar on steroids, with your partner, kids and dog along for the ride.