2019 Lamborghini Urus: World’s Fastest SUV
Lamborghini’s first SUV Lamborghini Urus, the unmistakably ’80s LM002, was a military-grade brute powered by a screaming V-12 engine. While it seemed completely offbeat at the time, it turned out to be prescient given today’s ever-expanding array of ultra-luxury, high-performance SUVs from the likes of Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Maserati, and, soon, Ferrari and Aston Martin.
So there’s no time like the present for Lamborghini to jump back into the fray with the 2019 Urus. The company’s second ever SUV is over the top, too, but for completely different reasons than the LM002. The Urus, which derives its name from an ancient species of cattle, stuns with its 641 horsepower, its dramatic wedge-shaped silhouette, and its ambition to be as capable around a racetrack as it is on the sand dunes.
To play the all-important tech card, Lamborghini designed an interior with two large touchscreens on the center console. There is one that displays the infotainment system, and a second one for the climate control settings. They replace the bulk of the buttons commonly found between the front passengers. There is also a third screen behind the steering wheel that occupies the space normally reserved for the instrument cluster, a setup already found on the brand’s supersports cars. Fully configurable, the digital instrument cluster will adopt a different look depending on which driving mode is selected.
Drivers will also be able to customize their experience behind the wheel. Inside the cabin, a lever labeled Anima cycles through the Urus’ four different drive modes, which are Strada, Sport, Corsa, and Neve (snow). There are two optional modes as well — Terra (off-road) and Sabbia (sand) — all of which tweak the suspension stiffness, steering feel, transmission response, exhaust note, and ride height accordingly. In addition, there’s a switch marked Ego that lets the driver create a unique profile with their preferred settings. You don’t get that in a Bentley Bentayga.
Unsurprisingly, the Urus (the name, according to Lamborghini, derived from “one of the large, wild ancestors of domestic cattle”) has styling that leans heavily on the company’s lineup of expensive sports coupes: the Gallardo and Aventador. But adding an extra set of doors, a rear seat, headroom for those in the rear seat, and some useful trunk space had an effect on the iconic Lamborghini lines.
The styling inside also mimics Lamborghini’s sports cars, even if the more upright windows allow you to actually see out of the car. And, being an SUV that doesn’t have flamboyant doors, entry and exit will be more graceful than in the Aventador for the average non-racing driver. More controversial may be the Level 2 driver assistance features that will likely take over at low or moderate speeds, with steering and braking inputs. It’s not autonomous, but this is likely the most self-driving Lambo yet.
At launch, the engine bay will receive Lamborghini’s first production turbocharged engine — a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 tuned to send 650 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels. With an eight-speed auto channeling that thrust, the Urus does 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, and it’ll keep accelerating until it reaches 190 mph. The Urus will benefit from Lamborghini’s expertise in carbon fiber, and it will boast the best power-to-weight ratio in its competitive set.
Under the hood is the first turbocharged engine ever to be installed in a production Lamborghini—and the first V-8 in many decades. It shares its 4.0-liter displacement and twin turbochargers with the V-8 installed in many other Volkswagen Group products, but Lamborghini insists that the design is its own—a claim augmented by the V-8’s distinctive sound. Output sits at 641 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, each number second among sport-utes only to the decidedly lower-rent, 707-hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The Urus also will eventually debut Lamborghini’s first hybrid drivetrain, although we don’t yet know any details about the gas-electric model.
The underpinnings of the Urus aren’t as distinctly Italian as its V-8, as it shares the Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform used in the Audi Q7, the Porsche Cayenne, and the Bentley Bentayga. At 201.3 inches long (and riding on a 118.2-inch wheelbase), the Urus is 1.7 inches longer than the Q7 and 7.4 inches longer than the Cayenne Turbo. And at 64.5 inches high and 79.4 inches wide, the Urus is quite a bit lower and wider than the Q7 and the Cayenne. Lamborghini assures us that the Urus will outperform each of those corporate cousins, with a claimed top speed of 190 mph (3 mph higher than the Bentayga) and a reported zero-to-62-mph time of 3.6 seconds.
After inaugurating Lamborghini’s first forced induction engine, the Urus will spearhead the brand’s foray into the world of hybrid drivetrains. Its second powertrain will be a gasoline-electric plug-in system, according to Autoblog, but details about it are still being kept secret. It’s reasonably safe to assume the electric motor will be capable of driving the Urus on its own for short distances, however. It needs to in order to grant the SUV access to the zero-emissions zones that will be implemented in big cities.
Lamborghini expects to sell 3,500 examples of the Urus annually. If that doesn’t sound like much, check this out: The company built a record-breaking 3,457 cars in 2016. If the Urus lives up to its expectations, Lamborghini will have doubled its footprint in just a few short years.
Consequently, it’s investing hundreds of millions of dollars to increase the size of its factory from 800,000 to 1.5 million square feet. It’s also going on a hiring spree, adding hundreds to its team at home and abroad.