2019 Lamborghini Urus preview

Built with Italian design for an intended U.S. military contract, the Lamborghini LM002 of the 1980s was and remains an unprecedented departure from the brand’s supercar ethos. The 2019 Lamborghini Urus, the brand’s second SUV, is much less so.

With 650 horsepower of grunt generated by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, the Urus should do a fair job of keeping up with Lamborghini’s supercars. Don’t believe us? According to the official numbers the Urus will sprint to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds and top out somewhere around 190 mph.

Most owners probably won’t experience such pace in their Urus SUVs however, since they won’t really have the chance during their regular commutes to the strip mall or kid’s soccer match, which is where you’re most likely to see the Urus in operation. Lamborghini is banking on this as the automaker hopes to attract more mainstream buyers. CEO Stefano Domenicali is targeting around 4,000 sales annually. That’s more than combined sales of Lamborghini’s two supercars.

There’s only the one powertrain but a plug-in hybrid option is coming. Right now potential Urus buyers will have to settle for the standard V-8. It’s a Volkswagen Group unit but unique tuning by Lamborghini engineers ensures it features throttle response and exhaust characteristics that suit the brand. Low-end grunt for getting Urus owners out of trouble when off-roading was vital for the engineering team, the result of which is almost the full 627 pound-feet of torque at just over 2,000 rpm.

The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring. The system is designed to send 60 percent of the drive torque to the rear wheels in normal conditions but up to 70 percent can be sent to the front wheels in an instant when extra traction is required. Conversely, up to 87 percent can be sent to the rear wheels for sporty, rear-wheel-drive-like dynamics.

Other performance specs include carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive air suspension, active roll stabilization, four-wheel steering, and 21-inch wheels. Should you want to add some options, you can add 23-inch wheels and an off-road package with reinforced bumpers and underfloor protection.

Carefully study the lines, shapes, and accents that define the Urus and you’ll notice it channels styling cues from the brand’s past and current models. The sharp, pointed front end, the Y-shaped inserts in the lights, and the squared-off wheel arches neatly integrate the Urus into Lamborghini’s present design language. The vents chiseled into the fenders echo the LM002 while the diagonal lines on the hood and rear glass echo those of the Countach.

Inside, the Urus features a center stack with an angular design, a chunky flat-bottom steering wheel that hovers in front of a low-seated driver, and the choice of 2+2 or five seats. The starter button is located in the typical Lambo position: under a red cover at the base of the center stack. The shifter is located just in front of the starter button and the driving modes selector, with very un-Lambo like sand and snow modes, is off to the left of it.

Pricing for the Urus starts at close to $200,000, putting it into competition with high-end SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and new Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Potential buyers may also want to look at the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Coupe, Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, and BMW X6 M.

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