LAMBO’S FIRST SUV
News of the imminent arrival on our shores of Lamborghini’s latest t winturbo V8- enigned 4x4 SUV, the Urus, struck a chord with NZ4WD mag Editor Ross MacKay; who remembered the Italian Supercar maker’s first attempt at an off- road capable model. A quick Google search led him to the company’s own website, where – sure enough – was everything you need to know, plus more besides, about the LM002! To whit: “At the end of the 1970s, an American company, MIT, commissioned Lamborghini to design an off- road capable 4x4 vehicle. “The project failed first time around but was proposed again in 1981 and after several prototypes had been built, Lamborghini presented the LM 002 series model in 1986. This powerful off- roader with the Countach engine was liked by kings, actors and racers alike – the first LM 002 was delivered to the King of Morocco in 1987. “Two prototype vehicles, the Cheetah and the LM001, paved the way for LM002. Both vehicles used rear- mounted American power plants and were intended for military use, but were not well received. With the idea of using a front mounted Countach V12 to power the LM001 came the next model, the LM002. “The production model ( dubbed the ‘ Rambo Lambo’) was unveiled at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986 and outfitted with a full luxury interior featuring full leather trim, tinted power windows, aircon and a premium stereo mounted in a roof console. Lamborghini commissioned t yre maker Pirelli to create the huge Pirelli Scorpion t yres complete with custom, run-flat tread designs. These were made specifically for the LM and were offered in t wo different tread designs, one for mixed use and the other for sand use only. “For those requiring even more power, the Lamborghini L804 t ype 7.2 litre marine V12, more commonly found in class 1 offshore powerboats, could be ordered. In 1988, Lamborghini sent an LM002 to a team of engineers with the intention of making it capable of participating in the Paris- Dakar Rally. “Funding ran out before it could officially be entered in that evnet although it did participate in other Raids in Egypt and Greece.
LM002. Lamborghini’s first SUV.
Luxury interior belied ability to get very dirty off-road.