It was monumentally rapid and turned plenty of heads, but was it Lamborghini enough in other respects?
OUR URUS RETURNED TO LAMBORGHINI before we headed to Anglesey this month, which meant it missed its weigh-in and an opportunity to kill its set of Pirelli P Zeros. Then again, the Huracán STO we did have was the far more suitable attendee for a track session, and what would we have learned from throwing a (claimed) 2200kg around Anglesey’s Coastal Circuit, other than that the Irish Sea looks perilously close when you’re sitting up high, and that 641bhp and that much mass takes some stopping? Not much more, I suspect, because during its time with us Lamborghini’s take on the VW Group SUV never felt like a machine you would dial yourself into, rather it’s a blunt instrument to crack as many nuts as you can find.
But isn’t that true of every SUV that claims to be a performance car? Not really. Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo GT, with which the Urus shares so much of its componentry, has demonstrated that these behemoths can be made to dance to your tune, allowing you to finesse how you use the performance on offer rather than simply unleashing it all and hoping for the best. Then again, the Porsche is the result of an extreme workout carried out by the company’s GT department, so you’d expect nothing less.
Even Aston Martin has achieved a high bar with its DBX, delivering an SUV that’s as much a GT car as it is a rival to the serious end of the supersaloon market. Crucially, both the Porsche and the Aston drive, steer, handle and stop as you’d expect from cars wearing such badges. The Urus? After several months and several thousand miles it never felt like a Lamborghini.
It had the straight-line performance of a Lamborghini and then some. Even when you left the driver modes alone it was feral as it roared its way to the vanishing point on the slightest of throttle openings. Step up the mode ladder and its performance became explosive, its pace frightening as you realised the world really isn’t big enough for an unleashed Urus. Driving an Aventador SVJ on Pirelli Corsas in a monsoon is a less intimidating experience than a Urus at full chat in the dry.
A busy ride and a powertrain that never felt relaxed made for a tiresome car at low speed, but on those days when you needed to cover big miles it would settle down and munch away until you reached your destination calm and chilled. But it feels old inside the Urus, the Audi switchgear and infotainment system missing the mark in a car that
‘Its frightening pace made you realise the world isn’t big enough for an unleashed Urus’
has a £150,000+ starting price; next year’s update can’t come soon enough.
But as with all cars you shouldn’t really like, there were moments when the Urus made you grin like a child. It could, and would, quite regularly fire you through a series of corners with utterly unexpected precision and control, finding grip at the front where it had no right to and relinquishing just enough at the rear to allow you to drive out of a corner rather than simply be fired from the apex into oblivion.
Yet ultimately the Urus struggled to convince us of its purpose. While it has the looks that mark it out as a Lamborghini, it sacrifices the sense of occasion we enjoy and relish from the cars from the Sant’agata stable for a brutish force that’s very un-italian.
And yet the Urus is an unquestionable success. More than 10,000 have been built since its 2017 launch, and just as the financial rewards of the Cayenne benefited Porsche’s sports cars, so the Urus has helped fund a series of reardrive Huracáns, from the sublime Evo to the mad STO and hopefully the best of the bunch, the Tecnica. That residual values for the Urus in the UK are some of the strongest around (a 40,000-mile 2018 example still commands a six-figure price starting with a two) highlights that while it’s far from Lamborghini’s finest and far from what a Lamborghini should be in our book, it’s clearly found favour with new customers who will hopefully one day make the move to owning a real Lambo.
Date acquired December 2021 Duration of test 4 months Total test mileage 3411 Overall mpg 17.1 Total costs £0 Purchase price £215,170 Value today £253,400