The Lamborghini Urus is truly a super SUV, combining the best of a sports car and an SUV
SINGAPORE (June 3): What happens when one of the world’s most recognisable supercar brands turns its hand to sport-utility vehicles? You get a Super SUV, also known as the Lamborghini Urus. Don’t worry about the name — Urus is an extinct long-haired ox — as the car is all that matters.
It still has all of the speed and sporty performance you would associate with a Lamborghini that has been expanded into a much bigger frame and with a high seating position. In a way, it defies the laws of physics, as no car this big should drive this fast or handle the way it does. But having experienced it first hand, I can say it really is an engineering miracle. If that sounds like an exaggeration, then I suggest you take this supercharged beast for a test drive and find out for yourself.
The vehicle features the traditional yet eye-catching Lamborghini red starter button on the centre console, with its flip-up switch, and the ‘Tamburo’ driving mode selector
While virtually every car brand was launching SUVs, Lamborghini was patient, as it wanted to get it right the first time. After all, this is a brand that makes only supercars, such as the Gallardo and Aventador, and nothing else. So, switching to SUVs was a huge challenge.
Porsche managed to make a success of it and now Aston Martin, Ferrari and Maserati all have their own SUV models. But Lamborghini set itself an even bigger challenge, as it wanted to make an SUV that still drove like a supercar with no compromise. That is something its rivals have failed to do.
When you look at the size and stature of the Urus, there are obvious doubts as to whether it really handles like a supercar, given its height and bulk. It is a large car, especially on 23in wheels. But these doubts quickly subside as you find out more about the Urus. For starters, the engine size and noise are pretty convincing. Under the bonnet is Lamborghini’s first turbocharged engine — a four-litre V8 with twin turbochargers. This will get you a whopping 650bhp of power and 850Nm of torque, not to mention a roar that will wake the neighbours.
The engine was designed to produce huge torque at low revs, as this was considered essential for an SUV when used off-road. But at $800,000 without a Certificate of Entitlement, would you really want to take the Urus off-road? Me neither.
$798,000 without COE
Engine: 3996cc, 32-valve, V8, turbocharged
Fuel consumption: 12.7L/100km
0 to 100kph: 3.6 seconds
Top speed: 305kph
What it means in practice is that you can speed off and immediately feel an incredible amount of G-force, giving you that genuine supercar experience. Rev up the engine and you hear one of the sweetest noises in the car world — the crackle and pop of the exhaust as this beast springs into life. This is a very strong warning sign that you are in for an adrenaline-rush, seat-of-your-pants driving experience.
There are also tell-tale signs in the cabin itself. First, there’s the traditional Lamborghini red starter button on the centre console, with its flip-up switch. Then, there’s the “-Tamburo” driving mode selector, offering -Strada (road), Sport, Corsa (race), Sabbia (sand), Terra (gravel) and Neve (snow) modes.
As soon as you shift into first gear, you can feel the Urus’ power, like a horse getting ready to bolt. And when you are brave enough to put your foot down, it is an electrifying sprint start every time. While the official 0 to 100kph stat says 3.6 seconds, it does vary according to what driving mode you are in. Let’s just say you feel every bit of the 850Nm of torque.
While the acceleration left my head spinning, the handling was sublime, even when I hit speeds unprintable in this review. The four-wheel steering made sure I was always in complete control and that I hugged every bend and corner with so much stability that I forgot I was in an SUV. And if you need to slow it down suddenly, there are huge carbon-ceramic disc brakes at hand. Lamborghini claims that the Urus will stop from 100kph to standstill in 33.7m, which I would not argue with.
I was more than happy to speed up at every given opportunity, never getting bored of the roar of the exhaust and the neck-breaking torque. But even idling in traffic jams was still a unique experience, as people reacted differently to the car.
Few cars turn heads as often as the Urus does. People stared, others pointed while a few took sneaky pictures on their phones. It could be the distinctive shape, the size of this beast or the Lamborghini badge at the front that drew people to the car.
With the Urus, Lamborghini has created the best of a sports car and the best of an SUV in one package. This was one of the most thrilling test drives I had ever experienced. It truly is a super SUV.
Justin Harper is a freelance journalist with a passion for all things fast