Crossover & Midsize

Is the Lamborghini Urus a Genuine Off-Roader?

Lamborghini, surprisingly, has made quite a few rugged off-road vehicles. Although considering Ferruccio Lamborghini made tractors before getting into cars, maybe that shouldn’t be so surprising. The Italian automaker designed a truck for the US military, a project which eventually spawned the LM002 pickup. So, Lamborghini’s SUV should be in good company when it comes to off-road utility. Especially with a sticker price of $200,000. But is the Lamborghini Urus actually good at off-roading?

Can the Lamborghini Urus actually go off-road?

2020 Lamborghini Urus
2020 Lamborghini Urus | Lamborghini via Instagram

Some critics dismissed the Urus for having the same platform as the Audi Q8 and Porsche Cayenne. But the Cayenne has quite a successful rally and off-road history—to share that platform is a good thing.

True, the Urus doesn’t offer a low-speed transfer case, four-wheel drive, or a body-on-frame design. But it does have all-wheel drive and Lamborghini’s ANIMA drive-mode system. Adding the Off-Road Package adds two more driving modes, in addition to the snowy-road Neve mode: Sabbia, for sand, and Terra, for mud, dirt, and gravel. The Off-Road Package also increases the allowable height of the Urus’ adjustable air suspension, as well as reinforced stainless steel bumpers.

Plus, while the Urus doesn’t have a locking diff, the AWD’s active torque vectoring can mimic one, according to Outside Magazine. With all this, and up to 23” wheels, the Lamborghini Urus can indeed off-road.

Former Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni took the Urus off-roading over dirt and through deep mud, and his passengers had a blast. Car and Driver took two to Iceland and climbed a volcano with them. There, the Lamborghini Urus forded rivers, plowed through snow, and scrambled up rocky switchbacks.

In fact, not only was the Urus capable of hanging with other off-road vehicles, it managed to out-pace a few. During the test, the review team’s Amarok pickup, equipped with studded snow tires, got stuck. The Urus didn’t.

The air suspension is also remarkably compliant, able to soak up bumps from dunes, rocks, and ledges reports Outside Magazine. True, this doesn’t have the low-speed rock-crawling features of a Jeep Wrangler, like solid axles, but Harry Metcalfe (founder and former editor of Evo Magazine) found that for high-speed off-road shenanigans, the Urus had a lot to offer.

Is the Lamborghini Urus genuinely special?

Donut Media later reviewed what seems to be the same Urus that Balboni off-roaded in. And as their video shows, the Lamborghini SUV fits right in with the rest of the automaker’s lineup.

Lamborghini Urus interior
Lamborghini Urus interior | Lamborghini

For instance, the interior. It features hand-stitching, custom colored leather, and a starter-button that you access by flipping open a red cover. Maybe I watched one too many episodes of Swat Kats growing up, but I find that awesome.

The Urus doesn’t have a V12 like the LM002, but its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 (also shared with the Cayenne Turbo) makes 641 hp and 627 lb-ft. Together with the AWD system, and 8-speed automatic, the Urus can go 0-60 in 3.0 seconds, according to Motor Trend. That’s quicker than the Tesla Model X, which has two electric motors.

Lamborghini Urus
Lamborghini Urus | Lamborghini

The Urus can also stop just as quickly. The SUV’s front carbon-ceramic brakes are 17.3” in diameter, which is allegedly a world-record for a production SUV. The Urus’ tires certainly don’t hurt, either. Motor1 reports Pirelli offers 6 different tires for the SUV, ranging from high-performance summer street tires to proper off-road and winter tires.

Automobile Magazine called the Urus a “Huracan with a better view,” noting those who desire a more traditional Lamborghini experience need only drop the Urus into Corsa (race) mode. And while Car and Driver noted the Urus’ seats were more heavily-bolstered than the typical SUV’s, they were comfortable enough for long-distance touring.

The problem with popularity

Lamborghini Urus ST-X concept
Lamborghini Urus ST-X concept | Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Urus has proved extremely popular. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kanye West have been buying and customizing them further. Motor Trend reports Lamborghini will soon unveil a racing version, the Urus ST-X. However, while the popularity has helped Lamborghini financially, it’s also given the automaker a slight (and slightly ironic) problem.

Lamborghini Urus on track
Lamborghini Urus on track | Lamborghini

In the first half of 2019, Motor1 reports, the Urus’ sales were more than the Huracan’s and Aventador’s sales combined. The SUV is selling so well, Lamborghini execs are worried the brand will lose its air of ‘exclusivity.’ As such, Lamborghini may have to artificially limit Urus production.

Still, at least the Urus’ popularity is due to honest ability, rather than just hype.

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