FIRST THERE was the SUV, or sport utility vehicle, the car for those that wanted a 4×4 more suited to ferrying the family to school in the suburbs than taking the dogs to round up the sheep in the top field. Now comes the SSUV, or super sport utility vehicle, after Lamborghini revealed a new high-powered luxury model that is claimed to elevate the SUV to new heights.
Called the Urus, after a Spanish fighting bull, the so-called SSUV brings head-turning styling and breathtaking speed to a part of the car market that shows no signs of slowing down.
Land Rover used to claim that it made ‘The best 4x4xFar’ but some onlookers have suggested that such a title now belongs to the Italian car company.
Due to go on sale in the spring, 2018, the Urus is expected to cost from £165,000, making it more expensive than other exclusive SUVs, such as the Bentley Bentayga.
Unlike the Bentley, the Lamborghini has attracted widespread praise for its styling. Looking like a Lamborghini sports car on stilts, the Urus is a considerable improvement on the Italian company’s last 4×4, the LM002, from 1986.
To ensure that its important new model isn’t accused of being all show and no go, engineers have fitted the Urus with a 4-litre, twin-turbo V8 petrol engine. It is the first time the company has used turbocharging technology.
It delivers 641bhp at 6,000rpm, and 627Ib ft of torque from 2,250rpm – significantly more power and torque than a Lamborghini Huracán.
Despite a kerb weight of 2,200kg, there is no shortage of performance. The company claims the Urus can accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, and its top speed is 190mph. The price of such eye-watering acceleration is fuel economy of 22mpg, at best, and CO2 emissions of 290g/km.
Harnessing the twin-turbo engine’s power is an eight-speed automatic gearbox, a permanent four-wheel drive system – featuring torque vectoring for the rear axle – and a rear-wheel steering system, which was first used on the Lamborghini Aventador S. There is also adaptive damping and an active system that counters body roll.
There are six driving modes, some that suggest Lamborghini is as serious about crushing the competition off the beaten track as it is on the road. Strada, Sport and Corsa are the road and track driving settings, which owners of modern Lamborghinis will be familiar with. However, Terra (off-road), Neve (snow) and Sabbia (sand) take this Lamborghini into new territories.
Beneath the aluminium and steel body and panels is an interior that revs up the SUV market like a chainsaw at a tree felling competition for axemen. The dashboard is as racy looking as Lamborghini’s two-seat sports cars, and includes the now familiar flip-up guard for the engine’s ignition button and a large, touchscreen infotainment system.
A choice of five-seat or four-seat configurations are available, and the boot offers a very respectable 616 litres of luggage space – making this Lamborghini practical enough for loading carbon-fibre bikes, coiffured dogs or just a weekend’s worth of Gucci luggage.
The Urus will be built in a new factory at Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata headquarters, in Bologna. Despite the £165,000 starting price, the SSUV is expected to double production output, to around 7000 cars per year.