Lamborghini does the unthinkable...insanely fast Urus SUV
IT'S A Lamborghini but not as we know it.
The famed Italian supercar maker has branched out into family transport, although the oddly-named Urus is far from sedate.
Powered by a 478kW, twin-turbo V8, the Urus goes and stops faster than the V10 Gallardo supercar of a decade ago.
The $390,000 SUV hits 100km/h in 3.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 305km/h. Its huge 440mm front brake discs, the biggest brakes on any production car, pull its 2.2-tonne mass to a stop from 100km/h in just 33.7 metres.
While the company says it will remain predominantly a supercar manufacturer, every second Lamborghini it sells from now on will be an SUV.
The brand hopes this will be the first car they sell that can be used as a daily driver, widening its appeal to first-time buyers and women.
"We are now competing in a segment that is represented by all the manufacturers, not just our traditional rivals," company CEO Stefano Domenicali says.
Marketing boss Katia Bassi says the company's biggest task will be to convince people to consider a Lamborghini for the first time.
He says Urus is about shifting 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."
With a target to double the company's output from 3500 vehicles per year to 7000, 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.
To that end, Lamborghini established a Female Advisory Board comprising 250 women globally, including from Australia, to predict future trends.
"We created the board so that we can talk to woman about Lamborghini in a different way. It's not about technicalities or performance but more related to the car business in general and how things are changing for women," Ms Bassi said.
While Urus shares underpinning with other VW Group SUVs, namely the Bentley Bentayga and Audi Q7, it has a longer wheelbase.
It shares the Bentayga's rear suspension but adds torque vectoring and four-wheel steering taken from the Aventador S.
At just over five metres long, Urus is imposing but its all-wheel steering turns the back wheels three degrees in and out to give it a smaller turning circle than the Huracan.
It feels odd sitting so high behind the Alcantara-covered wheel, peering out over instruments that are more at home in a low-slung Aventador.
However, the engineering team has worked hard to keep the SUV's centre of gravity as low as possible.
Urus features six drive settings from mild to wild on tarmac that mimic those used on the Huracan and Aventador. There are also settings for snow, gravel and sand.
On road, it felt little different to most other high-end luxury SUV's, except its optional 23-inch rims made the ride a bit stiffer than expected, even in Strada (street) mode.
The steering was docile enough around town and the changes from the eight-speed box were soft and smooth.
On track in Corsa (track) 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 5800rpm redline cut off. 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.
Finally, it attacked a gravel course like a rally stage, using its massive torque curve to carve its way through sandy ruts and spit out giant rooster tails.
It climbed loose, gravelly hills with ease even held itself together over a small jump where it briefly managed to get air.
Lamborghini will 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.
The first deliveries should appear by October.
PRICE $390,000 plus on-roads
ENGINE 4.0-litre V8 which delivers 478kW @ 6000rpm and 850Nm @ 2250rpm
TRANSMISSION Eight-speed automatic
0-100KM/H in 3.6 seconds, 200km/h in 12.8s and a top speed of 305km/h