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It’s not ev­ery day we write about Lam­borgh­ini, but it’s big news when this sports-car com­pany re­leases its first SUV in more than 25 years. Yes, you read that right: the new Urus isn’t a first for Lam­borgh­ini. Dur­ing the late 1970s, the Amer­i­can army ap­proached the com­pany to cre­ate a pur­pose-built ve­hi­cle; but that deal fell through. The de­sign wasn’t lost, how­ever, and the LM002 saw the light in 1986. Af­fec­tion­ately known as the “Rambo Lambo”, it was one of the cars of its time. Fast for­ward to 2018, and SUVs are all the rage. You find them in all shapes and sizes: from city slick­ers to seven-seat be­he­moths. Lam­borgh­ini has there­fore also de­cided to en­ter the SUV mar­ket. In an­tic­i­pa­tion of the ex­pected global sales, the com­pany has dou­bled the floor ca­pac­ity of its fac­tory in Sant’Agata, Italy from 80 000 m2 to 160 000 m2, and

em­ployed 500 new em­ploy­ees. As ex­pected, the Urus is a show­stop­per on the show­room floor. But don’t ex­pect to walk in and write a cheque; the Urus is al­ready so pop­u­lar, there’s a wait­ing list of 12 months. At the South African Urus launch at the com­pany’s new Cen­tury City show­room and ser­vice cen­tre, Au­to­mo­bili Lam­borgh­ini CEO and Chair­man Ste­fano Domeni­cali an­nounced that 70% of Urus or­ders are from new cus­tomers. The twin-tur­bocharged 4,0-litre V8 en­gine is new, ap­par­ently, and one specif­i­cally de­signed for the Urus; but you see en­gines fea­tur­ing the same dis­place­ment and forced in­duc­tion in the Audi – Lam­borgh­ini’s par­ent com­pany – range of cars. Re­gard­less, the heart of the Urus is ca­pa­ble of peak out­puts of 478 kW at 6 000 rpm and 850 Nm of torque at just 2 250 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, Torsen cen­tre dif­fer­en­tial and torque-vec­tor­ing rear diff. The Urus is im­pos­si­ble to over­look. The body­work is an­gu­lar with strong lines, re­call­ing a plane point­ing at the hori­zon. Un­for­tu­nately we didn’t get a chance to get be­hind the wheel of the Urus, but there’s a lot more space inside than you’d ex­pect. The lay­out and con­trols had us think­ing of the cock­pit of a fighter jet. Turn on the en­gine, and it sounds the way a Lam­borgh­ini should – a throaty roar that turns heads. De­pend­ing on what you like, dif­fer­ent driv­ing modes are avail­able: Strada (street), Sport and Corsa (race) are the stan­dard modes, and then there are Terra (dirt), Sab­bia (sand) and Neve (snow). The Urus makes use of an ad­justable air sus­pen­sion sys­tem and rear-wheel steer­ing as well. As ex­pected, the Urus’ per­for­mance fig­ures are stag­ger­ing. The 0-100 km/h sprint takes a mere 3,6 sec­onds, and to get from 0 to 200 km/h takes 12.8 sec­onds, with a top speed of 305 km/h. Lam­borgh­ini’s lo­cal sales will be man­aged through LSM dis­trib­u­tors, led by man­ag­ing direc­tor Toby Ven­ter (they’re also the of­fi­cial im­porters of Porsche and Bent­ley). Price just un­der R3,5 mil­lion. Con­tact 021 419 0595

RAG­ING BULL. As you would ex­pect from a Lam­borgh­ini, the Urus' looks are jaw-drop­ping – you ei­ther love or hate the hard and sharp an­gles. There's al­ready a lot of hype built up around the Urus, be­cause this model has been on the cards for more than ten years since the name first started do­ing the rounds in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. Prices start at just un­der R3,5 mil­lion.

NEW BRAND IDEN­TITY. Now of­fi­cially im­ported through LSM Dis­trib­u­tors, who also han­dle Bent­ley and Porsche in their port­fo­lio, Lam­borgh­ini should have a stronger lo­cal pres­ence. The new deal­er­ship and ser­vice cen­tre in Cen­tury City is tes­ta­ment to the com­mit­ment the com­pany's made in the South African car mar­ket. Or­der your Urus soon, or wait 12 months.

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