Ital­ian brand to re­turn to SUV mar­ket

CLAS­SIC NEWS

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Motor News Re­porter

Twenty-five years af­ter the LM002 ceased pro­duc­tion, Lam­borgh­ini will re­turn to the SUV mar­ket with the re­veal of the Urus in Sant’Agata Bolog­nese, north­ern Italy in De­cem­ber.

The black LM002 (chas­sis #12231) from the Lam­borgh­ini mu­seum, re­stored by the clas­sic depart­ment Lam­borgh­ini Polo Storico, rep­re­sents the brand’s orig­i­nal SUV cre­ation.

Turn­ing heads in city streets, the LM002 was equally at home on dirt, gravel and snow.

Its de­vel­op­ment started as a project to de­velop a high per­for­mance off-road vehicle for mil­i­tary use at the end of the 1970s. Lam­borgh­ini en­gi­neer Gi­ulio Al­fieri res­ur­rected the project in 1981 with the LM001: an in­no­va­tive con­cept with a rear­mounted en­gine, fol­lowed by the LMA pro­to­type with a front­mounted pow­er­train. The fi­nal pro­duc­tion model of the LM002 was first pre­sented at the Brus­sels Auto Show in 1986 us­ing the V12 en­gine from the Coun­tach Qu­at­trovalv­ole.

In an alu­minium and fi­bre­glass body, with four-wheel drive trans­mis­sion, trans­fer case and three self-lock­ing dif­fer­en­tials, the SUV could ex­ceed gra­di­ents of 120%. Reach­ing speeds of more than 200km/h, it was equipped with spe­cial Pirelli Scor­pion tyres, al­low­ing “float­ing” ca­pa­bil­i­ties across soft sur­faces such as sand, and highly durable in hot con­di­tions.

The pro­duc­tion of the bodies started in a com­pany near Bil­bao, Spain. Then the semi­assem­bled parts were shipped to Sant’Agata Bolog­nese for com­ple­tion with the pow­er­train, me­chan­i­cal parts, fin­ish­ing, test­ing and de­liv­ery. A lux­u­ri­ous in­te­rior match­ing the in­di­vid­ual needs of the cus­tomer com­pleted the LM002.

It at­tracted sig­nif­i­cant at­ten­tion when launched, as a vehicle un­like any other, with per­for­mance to match its su­per sports car sta­ble­mates as well as sig­nif­i­cant off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties and an im­pos­ing de­sign and pres­ence. A to­tal of 300 were pro­duced from 1986 to 1992.

Lam­borgh­ini says that like the LM002, the Urus will cre­ate a new su­per SUV class of its own, although we sus­pect it will be just a lit­tle more lux­u­ri­ous than its pre­de­ces­sor.

As if its im­pos­ing looks were not enough, the LM002 fea­tured the V12 en­gine from the Coun­tach.

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