Lamborghini has just unveiled what it insists is ‘the world’s first super-sports utility vehicle’ in the striking form of its new Urus, via a live online presentation this evening.
While a Lamborghini (S)SUV is not entirely unprecedented, thanks to the wantonly bonkers pseudo-military LM002, the Urus is the first such vehicle since that car went out of production in 1993.
What’s more, as it isn’t the byproduct of a failed attempt to build a vehicle for the Italian army, this purely civilian machine sits on more mainstream hardware, in the form of the VW Group ‘MLB’ platform (also used for the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga), plus the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and eight-speed ZF transmission used by the Audi RS6 and Bentley Continental GT.
Design-wise, the production Urus has the same bold aesthetic as the 2012 concept car, with the bonnet and rakish roofline sitting as low as possible on top of the high-riding SUV platform. The front-mounted engine means it cannot have the single-line side profile of its mid-engined cousins, instead using a down-pointed nose and keeping a relatively short axle-to-dash ratio to accommodate the more upright four-seater cabin.
Surfacing is typically angular – triangular, in fact – with aggressive cuts and slashes to define the proportions further and add menace. Even the wheelarches refuse to be round, perhaps in reference to the half-hexagon arches on the LM002. The shallow rear window, perched atop a very high waistline, is pillbox-narrow and concludes a sharply tapering roof and DLO. The wheels are typically big; 21 inches as standard, with 23-inch optional ones available.
The interior is a little more conventional, save for Lamborghini’s traditional hexagonal graphic theme echoed in the seat pattern and air vents. The very wide-looking transmission tunnel hosts one of two touchscreens, which sit at different angles and are divided up by analogue buttons.
Beneath the screens is an arrangement of very chunky switches for the engine and transmission, including five driver modes – Corsa (track), Sport, Strada (road), Neve (snow), Terra (off-road), and Sabbia (sand) – to adjust responsiveness as well as calibrate the active torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive and active air suspension systems (the latter of which can add 90mm of extra ride height for getting over those nasty speed bumps).
While the Urus doesn’t sport the supercar powertrain of its Countach-powered V12 predecessor, it does pack supercar performance, with 650 horsepower, a 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds and a 190mph top speed.
You can expect to see the Urus in summer 2018. The owner will have paid at least £165,000 for the pleasure if they're in the UK.