Mo­tor­ing news + local 4x4 in­dus­try news

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Even though Lam­borgh­ini has built some­thing sim­i­lar be­fore, we’d never have guessed it would be the first su­per­car man­u­fac­turer to in­tro­duce an SUV.

Thanks to the LM002, it has some off-road her­itage. That mon­ster was pro­duced solely for oil ex­plo­ration pur­poses, which made sense. It was equipped with a rear-mounted 5.2-litre V12 from a Coun­tach. The claimed fuel con­sump­tion was 42l/100km, so you’d need an oil­rig and a re­fin­ery on hand to keep it go­ing.

The LM002 was so ridicu­lous, even the US Mil­i­tary said no thanks. And they said yes to the Hum­mer, re­mem­ber?

At the end of the day, that car was deeply flawed and yet we look at it nos­tal­gi­cally and won­der what it was like to drive. It was a poor 4×4 but it was an ex­cep­tional Lam­borgh­ini.

Lambo has al­ways been at the fore­front of the to­tally ab­surd. One need only look at its his­tory of mad su­per­cars to know that it’s not good at build­ing ev­ery­day ma­chines, which is why we’re so sur­prised that it has gone ahead and built a su­per­car for the school run.

But why call it urus?

It’s sim­ple, ac­tu­ally. The name stems from a now ex­tinct species of do­mes­ti­cated cat­tle, called au­rochs. It sounds cool enough, but is Lam­borgh­ini ad­mit­ting de­feat by nam­ing its SUV af­ter a tamed cow from the 15th cen­tury?

You need only hear it roar once to re­alise that it’s any­thing but tame. There’s no diesel op­tion, and if fuel con­sump­tion is a big con­cern, best look elsewhere for a car. The Urus is equipped with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which de­vel­ops 478kW and 850Nm of torque. Enough for a 0–100km/h sprint time of 3.6 sec­onds and a top speed of 305km/h. Lam­borgh­ini-like fig­ures, in other words.

For cus­tomers to se­ri­ously con­sider the Urus a daily op­tion, those fig­ures are purely for brag­ging rights. The fact of the mat­ter is this: com­fort is key.

Lam­borgh­ini chose wisely

when it came to a plat­form. It’s the same as used by the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Bent­ley Ben­tayga and all-new Volk­swa­gen Touareg. Com­fort comes as stan­dard, but the Urus ob­vi­ously runs its own unique suspension set-up and soft­ware that make it feel like a real Lambo when the op­por­tu­nity presents it­self.

It has var­i­ous per­son­al­i­ties, which can be ac­cessed at the flip of a switch. These in­clude Strada, Terra, Neve and Sab­bia for day-to-day off-road fun, and Sport and Corsa for on-road driv­ing.

Sur­pris­ingly, there is an off-road pack­age avail­able as an op­tional ex­tra. The other cars built on this plat­form are re­mark­ably ca­pa­ble with the right suspension set-up and soft­ware, and it seems to be more of the same with the Urus. Lam­borgh­ini in­sists that it can cope on cer­tain rough ter­rain, but we’ll never know. Off-road­ing a few mil­lion sounds like a stress­ful time to us...

These driv­ing modes cal­i­brate the en­gine re­sponse, ride height, noise, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol and four-wheel-drive sys­tem. It can be as com­fort­able as a Touareg for daily use, while Corsa lets you get a lit­tle side­ways ac­tion go­ing.

In the flesh it’s smaller than we were ex­pect­ing, but there’s enough room for five adults. The driver and front pas­sen­ger sit much lower than any other SUV we’ve ever come across but you do get a great view of the cabin.

For a Lam­borgh­ini aimed at fam­i­lies, the Urus is quite driver-fo­cused. The slim dash­board is aimed to­wards the driver and laid out in a hexag­o­nal pat­tern. It’s ex­tremely daunt­ing when you first see it but it’s easy enough to find the ba­sics. If you al­ready have a Lambo, it should make com­plete sense.

In or­der to jus­tify the nearly R3.5 mil­lion price tag, it had to feel spe­cial and it cer­tainly does. There’s no faux me­tal or leather in­serts. Ev­ery sur­face you touch was ei­ther mined from deep within the Earth, or cut from the body of an ex­pen­sive cow.

The multi-func­tion three­spoke steer­ing wheel is gor­geous, as is the 3D dis­play in the in­stru­ment clus­ter. Nearly all of the driv­ing and in­fo­tain­ment func­tions can be ac­cessed via the steer­ing wheel, which makes sense con­sid­er­ing the per­for­mance po­ten­tial.

Fi­nally, see­ing as it’s a Lam­borgh­ini, no ini­tial im­pres­sion would be com­plete with­out some com­ments on the styling.

The press re­lease men­tions a num­ber of design cues bor­rowed from other fa­mous su­per­cars, in­clud­ing the Mur­ciélago, Hu­racán and the bonkers LM002.

There is so much to take in it might seem over­whelm­ing at first but isn’t that ex­actly what a Lam­borgh­ini should be? This isn’t an SUV which blends, es­pe­cially if you choose a wild su­per­car-like colour like the model on this page.

With a price tag that starts at R3 495 000, the Urus is not a bar­gain but did you re­ally ex­pect it to be? Like the Bent­ley Ben­tayga, the Urus is meant to show­case what’s pos­si­ble in an SUV when money isn’t a prob­lem. And there’s some­thing oddly sat­is­fy­ing about driv­ing in a car which can, for the time be­ing, right­fully claim it’s the fastest off-roader on sale in South Africa.

The only re­al­is­tic chal­lenger at this point is the soon-to-be­launched Jeep Grand Chero­kee Track­Hawk, which we also drove this month.

It gets to 100km/h quicker, but its top speed is a pal­try 290km/h. In a num­ber ob­sessed so­ci­ety, those last 15km/h mat­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.