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Car Review:Lamborghini Urus. The Super Suburban.

Words by Edgar Daily

Few cars have polarised public opinion in recent times like the Lamborghini Urus. If you’ve not heard of it, you soon will, as the thought of a family-sized SUV from the makers of the Miura, Countach and Diablo has been too much for some of the brand faithful.

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Exterior / Profile. Yellow.

Lamborghini has stepped into the rich family territory for the first time with the 640bhp, twin turbo V8 Urus SUV and it can only be described as explosive regardless of what surface its wheels are on. It’s hard to dispute the claim that the AED 800,000 Urus is the world’s fastest SUV with a zero to 100kmh time of just 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 305kmh because that’s faster in both respects than Lamborghini’s V10 Gallardo supercar from just a decade earlier.

The 370mm carbon ceramic discs with six-piston calipers on the rear are bigger than the front discs on most Lamborghinis while the 440mm discs with 10-piston calipers on the front are the biggest brakes on any production car in the world. This enables it to stop its 2.2-tonne mass from 100kmh in a shorter distance than the Gallardo in just 33.7 metres.

While the company claims to still predominantly be a supercar manufacturer, every second Lamborghini sold from now on will be an SUV, which they hope will be used as a daily driver to win over first-time owners.

“We are now competing in a segment that is represented by all the manufacturers, not just our traditional rivals,” says company CEO Stefano Domenicali. The biggest job for the Urus is to convince customers to consider a Lamborghini for the first time and, as chief marketing officer, Katia Bassi noted, Urus is an attempt to shift the company towards a new, more suburban demographic. “Urus has given us a chance to not so much re-invent Lamborghini, but to widen our scope,” she says. With a target to double the company’s output from 3,500 vehicles per year to 7,000, Urus needs to find a lot of new customers and that means women for what until now has been a largely male-dominated buyer profile.

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Wheel Detail.

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Interior / Cabin.

Specifications

Engine

4.0-litre, twin turbo V8

Power

641bhp at 6,000rpm

Torque

850Nm at 2,250rpm

Transmission

Eight-speed automatic

0-100kmh

3.6 seconds

Top Speed

305kmh

Price

AED 789,000

Lamborghini established a Female Advisory Board comprising 250 women from around the world, including the UAE, to predict future trends. These women came from many industries and are influential but not influencers.

“We created the board so that we can talk to women about Lamborghini in a different way,” explains Bassi. “It’s not about technicalities or performance but more related to the car business in general and how things are changing for women.”

While Urus shares underpinning with other VW Group SUVs, namely the Bentley Bentayga and Audi Q7, it has a longer wheelbase. Likewise, it shares the 48-volt, self-leveling rear suspension from the Bentayga but has exclusive use of a torque vectoring system and four-wheel steering taken from the Aventador S. At just over five metres long, the Urus is imposing but its all-wheel steering turns the back wheels three degrees in and out to give it a perceived wheelbase of 2.4 metres and a smaller turning circle than the Huracan.

Sitting behind the Alcantara-covered wheel, peering out over instruments that are more at home in an Aventador, the driver’s view feels oddly high by comparison but the engineering team have tried to keep its centre of gravity as low as possible.

The Urus features six drive settings from mild to wild on tarmac that mimic those used on the Huracan and Aventador as well as for snow, gravel and sand. On road, it felt little different to most other high-end luxury SUVs though its optional 23-inch rims made the ride a bit stiffer than expected, even in Strada (street) mode. But the steering was docile enough around town and the change up pattern from the eight-speed box was soft and smooth.

On track in Corsa mode, it hunkered down and got to business turning in some impressive lap times. The exhausts opened up to fire a few deep belches on change up as it sailed too easily into the 5,800rpm redline cut off. Its understeer when pushed hard under extreme conditions was about the only feedback reminding you that this was a big five-door wagon and not an Aventador.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 640bhp, Twin Turbo V8
  • 0 to 100kmh in 3.6 seconds
  • 370mm Carbon Ceramic Discs
  • Six Drive Settings

Finally, the Urus attacked a gravel course like a rally stage, using its massive torque curve to carve its way through sandy ruts spitting out giant rooster tails, traversing up loose, gravelly hills like it was the Pikes Peak Hillclimb and even held it together over a small jump when it briefly got some air. Lamborghini will also offer an off-roading package that will use the standard sized 21-inch rims coupled with a body kit comprising restyled front and rear bumpers for better approach and departure angles.

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