Carshop First Drive: Lamborghini Urus – The Lambolorian

  Calvin Fisher


It's big. It’s imposing. And someone has stuck a Lamborghini badge on its face?

Look, I tried to go into this without any prejudice. I was trying to ignore the fact that there would be plenty of Volkswagen and Audi (and Porsche!) in the Urus' DNA and indeed, clambering aboard our metallic silver steed directly after exiting the exotic confines of its fleet of foot Huracan EVO sibling (review over here → Driven: Lamborghini Huracan EVO – Ludicrous Speed), I couldn't ignore that Teutonic whiff.

This is the Lamborghini Urus, the company's first Super Sports utility vehicle – a combination of luxury and super sports car. Yes, the LM002 was a thing, we haven't forgotten the very rough and tumble 4x4 that lurks in the Italian supercar manufacturer's back catalogue. So instead, we get a lofty living quarters with coupe styling, easy city driving and maximum comfort levels for long-distance road tripping.

But then so do most SUVs. Let's evaluate that super aspect, shall we?

Have muscle, will hustle

Upfront lives the VAG group's finest V8, a 4-litre petrol heart with twin-turbos making this the first turbocharged Lamborghini ever. This makes the 478kW/850Nm experience a spirited (and sonorous) joy at 6000rpm, with a blistering payload of 3.6sec for the 0-100kph sprint. It will keep going till its 305kph limit.

For me, eclipsing that 300kph mark means it gets to wear the bull badge with honours, even though it shares hardware with the (hottest iteration of) Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. So, parallelogram twin-scroll turbos, and 8-speed automatic transmission, what else? How about the Tamburo? That's the name for the brain controlling all the gubbins, including the driving modes such as Strada, Sport and Corsa, plus the new set of offroad modes such as Sabbia, Terra and Neve.

Yes, she'll traverse the dirt thanks to having way more ground clearance than any other Lambo apart from that monster we mentioned in the beginning. It also has an Ego Mode too, which has nothing to do with the 21-inch (up to 23 inch) wheels, covered in Pirellis, staggered in offset and imposing of stance.

The cabin is the least impressive aspect if we use the Huracan as a benchmark. Does it feel like a Lamborghini, inside and out? Ag, just a little. The only carbon here is the lifeform at the wheel, and he's a nutter.

Does it feel like a Lamborghini, inside and out? Ag, just a little – Calvin Fisher

But how does it go?

Look, to me, the ultimate sniff test for a Lamborghini is the way she flies. Leave it in Strada (street) and it goes very well indeed, like any high-performance SUV I've ever driven.

There's no magic here, not even in Sport mode sadly, although the Urus' ability does start to come to the fore here. This was at this point as sharp a sports SUV as I'd ever driven up until that moment. A moment that preceded me thumbing the ANIMA dial into Corsa. That's Race mode for the uninitiated. And everything changed. The engine note rasps right up, pyrotechnical drama ensues as the Urus seeks to hunker down and lift its skirts all at once. A bootful of throttle no longer elicits a swell of acceleration, the taps burst wide open now. She pounces; more noise – and breath-taking acceleration that pins you in the seat.

A Lamborghini Urus in Corsa mood (I said mood) is a wonderfully athletic thing, whipping and bucking from apex to apex rewarding its driver with an engaging steer, that soundtrack, and a swirling vortex in his tummy. As it were, the last remaining 100km of our journey was mostly on straight and pristine tarmac. But, and this part is crucial, I left it in Corsa mode and I urge you to do the same.

See, it's the only mode that truly felt like a Lamborghini to me, and I got to test this theory when I encountered the Huracan EVO on the road beside me. We indulged in some scientific (but unofficial) benchmark play between the two bulls and while the EVO is obviously in a different league, I was astonished at the SUVs ability to play. In the same ballpark (it's a really big ballpark) with very different hardware, and with seating for five.

I wasn't expecting to like it. And I had every intention of frilling it for being an overpriced Audi. But it isn't. It just isn't. The Urus is a Lamborghini.

Lamborghini Urus Spec:

Price R3,495,000.00
Engine 4l twin-turbocharged V8, petrol
Power 478kW
Torque 850Nm
Gearbox 8-speed dual-clutch
Driven Wheels All
0-100kph3.6 seconds
Top Speed 305kph
Average Fuel Consumption 12.3l/100km
CO2 Emissions 279g/km

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