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Test drive: Lamborghini Urus, the super-sport SUV

LLM motoring editor Lisa Curtiss reviews one of the world’s fastest SUVs.

By Lisa Curtiss  |  November 10, 2021
Lamborghini Urus

Those more accustomed to Lamborghini as the creator of some of the most desired supercars in the world, might be surprised to learn there’s actually an SUV in the pack.

Named after the globally famous brand’s bull logo, the Urus was the first true luxury super-sports utility vehicle to ever be launched and still sets the benchmark for out and out performance, driving thrills, all-terrain capability, craftsmanship, luxe features and comfort.

It may be a Lamborghini but this model is ideally suited to both occasional and ‘normal’ life. As the brand says, it has a dual personality and is multi-dimensional. The Urus can be specified to be as sporty or as elegant as the owner wishes, and used as a daily luxury drive or provide an exhilarating super-sports experience.

The world’s most stylish SUV

Viewed in the pretty entrance courtyard of celebrity-favourite, Chewton Glen five-star hotel and spa in Hampshire, you’re immediately struck at just how attractive this Lamborghini is. Our test car was in a gorgeously tasteful matt steel grey which highlighted its lines wonderfully. Its low-line coupé styling gives clear clues to its performance potential.

Undoubtedly a Lamborghini, the Urus taking cues from the stunning LM002 as well as the world-renowned super sports cars that are fundamental to Lamborghini heritage. Neatly proportioned it adopts the two-thirds body, one-third window ratio Lamborghini super sports cars are famous for.

Viewed face on, you can see the placement of the front-engined power plant within the peaked mound of the bonnet, reminiscent of the Miura and Aventador, and accented by diagonal hood lines, found for the first time on the Countach. Such a dynamic Lamborghini characteristic.

Lamborghini Urus  - The Super-Sport SUV

The proud, low front is underlined by the substantial front fender. Large air intakes sporting the hexagonal theme are linked by a low-level front spoiler, further emphasizing the car’s aerodynamic efficiency and exceptional performance. The front lights are sleek, slim and very sporty, set in a horizontal position and with LED headlights in the familiar Lamborghini Y shape.

Its distinctive single-line silhouette features a dynamic coupé-style fly line, accented by the frameless doors and emphasizing the typical Lamborghini characteristic of a lower front end. The powerful character line lips upwards around the rear glass windows, dynamically connecting front and rear and emphasizing the cohesive design impression of creation from a single piece.

The low roofline and position of the frameless windows allude to the seating position of driver and passengers low within the car. The sharply-inclined windshield and strongly-angled rear windows, with glass-on-glass replacing the C-pillar, are emotive of Lamborghini models including the Huracán and accent the Urus’ super sports silhouette. The hexagonal wheel arches at both front and rear are a significant design detail from the LM002 and Countach.

From the rear the Urus sports the complex, powerful lines typical of a Lamborghini, reinforcing the strong, planted character of the car. The roof line broadens at the base of the roof panel in the style of other Lamborghini models. The substantial rear shoulders support the strongly inclined rear windows, with the entire rear connected by the fender and concurrent black panel housing the air grilles, Lamborghini logo and the Y-shaped taillights. The rear diffuser is inspired by Lamborghini race cars, with integrated double round exhaust pipes.

When viewed from above, the Urus’ pronounced front and rear fenders are set off by the slimmer middle of the car, its curvaceous lines referencing a planted physicality redolent of Lamborghini super sports cars. The rear door lines incorporate both concave and convex lines, giving the Urus its pinched waist before dynamic expansion out to its broad, muscular rear.

Stylish interior

Inside, the Urus is as clearly a Lamborghini as it is from outside, with a sporty yet luxurious design and finish. It embodies the Lamborghini principal that a car’s design, power and dynamic capabilities means every driver should feel like a pilot.

The driver and passengers are all afforded a low but extremely comfortable super sports car seat position. Oriented around the driver, the slim Y design of the dashboard, like double silver wings and connected to the climbing centre console, is inspired by the LM002 as well as by current Lamborghini super sports cars. The Lamborghini hexagonal theme echoes throughout the interior, in elements such as air vents and door handles, and even in items such as the cup holders and air bag modules.

A multi-function, three-spoke steering wheel incorporates a vibration damper to enhance comfort in all driving conditions. Multifunction switches are intuitively located on the steering wheel to control the Lamborghini Infotainment System (LIS), including car set-up, media, telephone and navigation. A fully-digital TFT display shows the Urus’ main information in an animated 3D representation and is customizable by the driver.

Lamborghini Urus front view

Passenger space and comfort

Its long wheelbase of 3,003 mm and the low seating position of the occupants creates a comfortable and extremely spacious feel. The standard front DNA memory sport seats are fully electric, heated and 12-way adjustable. More luxurious, 18-way fully-electric front seats are available as an option, including features such as ventilation and massage. The rear bench seat as standard comes with a movable and folding seat back and ISOFIX fixings.

Providing an extremely comfortable five-seat configuration, the ability to fold and move the rear seat offers maximum versatility and increased luggage capacity for daily use. The rear bench seat can be lowered to substantially extend the trunk space from 616 to 1.596 litres. As an option in conjunction with the fully-electric front seats, a more exclusive two-seat rear layout can be specified providing exceptional rear passenger comfort while reflecting the Urus’ sporty character.

Tasteful colours and interior touches

Luxury Italian style and craftsmanship resonate through the Urus. Its ergonomic cabin features high quality materials including the finest leather, Alcantara, aluminium, carbon fibre and wood.

Internally the Urus is specified with a Unicolor leather and trim in either nero ade or grigio octans and five additional optional colours. Dual-colour Bicolor Elegante and Bicolor Sportivo specifications with options of both leather and Alcantara are also available.

Stitching options and complementary seat belt, floor mat and carpet colours allow clients to customize their Urus in a more sporty or elegant style as required. The dashboard trim is finished in piano black and brushed aluminium as standard. Optional finishes are offered in open pore wood including a combination with aluminium, and a carbon fibre alternative.

An optional off-road package incorporating the TERRA and SABBIA driving modes, includes specific metal-reinforced bumpers and additional underfloor protection for off-roading in snow, forest or even dune surfing.

State of the art technology

The Lamborghini Urus infotainment system reflects its luxurious and daily usability, and comes with advanced connectivity features. Included as standard is an LIS touchscreen infotainment display across two screens, perfectly integrated within the Urus’ interior above the centre ‘Tamburo’.

The LIS III integrates innovative connected voice control, able to recognise natural-dialogue voice commands to manage functions such as music, telephone calls or send text messages. Included as standard is a phone holder compartment with wireless charging and voice control; a personal memory profile, USB connections, Bluetooth media streaming, DVD player and a sound system.

Lamborghini Urus on the road

Other optional features include a TV tuner, DAB and CI card reader, head-up display, a Lamborghini smartphone interface and a smart display for rear seat entertainment. Lamborghini Connect is also offered.

The Lamborghini Smartphone Interface (LSI) allows fully integrated connection of iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) smartphones, supporting the Apple CarPlay TM, Android Auto (90% smartphone market coverage) and Baidu-Carlife (China) as standard.

A sound system featuring eight speakers, driven by four channels comes as standard. A high-end Bang and Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound and 1,700 watt output can be specified, with 21 fully active speakers.

Power and performance

Space and comfort aside, most will buy the Urus for its serious sporting credentials. The car features a 4.0 litre V8 twin-turbo engine delivering 650hp and whopping 850Nm of torque. With 162.7 hp/l the Urus claims one of the highest specific power outputs in its class and the best weight-to-power ratio at 3,38 kg/hp.

This incredible engine powers the car from 0-100 km/h in a blistering 3.6 seconds, 0-200 km/h in just 12.8 seconds and with a top speed of 305 km/h it is the fastest SUV available. Braking is no less impressive: the Urus decelerates from 100 km/h to 0 in 33,7 m.

The Urus features a super-slick automatic eight-speed gearbox. The compact and efficient electro-hydraulically controlled planetary gearbox is tuned to provide very short low gear ratios and longer high gears. A highly efficient slip-controlled converter lock-up clutch and specially developed torque converter guarantee a highly responsive engine, with an exceptionally powerful starting ratio for exciting acceleration, and high speed at low engine revs for optimal fuel consumption and emissions. Highly efficient gear braking is also assured.

True all-terrain capability

The first all-terrain Lamborghini, the Urus’ four-wheel drive system delivers safe, highly-responsive driving dynamics on every road and surface, in all weather. A Torsen central self-locking differential provides maximum control and agility in all driving conditions, particularly off-road. Torque is split 40/60 to the independent front/rear axle as standard, with a dynamic maximum torque of 70% to the front or 87% to the rear, enhancing traction to the axle with higher ground friction.

The Urus features active torque vectoring via a rear differential, enabling propulsive power to be instantly distributed to each individual wheel for enhanced traction, depending on the driving mode, driving style and the road grip. Torque vectoring also provides additional steering control: less steering effort is required, with enhanced agility allowing higher cornering speeds and a more sporty drive. Yaw motion is controlled, avoiding understeer into corners and tyre slip during acceleration.

Lamborghini Urus parked

In the driving modes STRADA, TERRA (off-road) and NEVE (snow) torque vectoring reduces understeer for safe and simple driving. In SPORT and CORSA torque vectoring allows the Urus to become more agile with a greater oversteer character: interaction between the four-wheel drive system and ESC manages oversteer to enable a precise and fun drive. In SABBIA (sand) mode, the system is calibrated to guarantee agility and precision on terrains with reduced grip such as on gravel or sand dunes, making it the ideal mode for off-road fun.

Out on the road

Out on the road, the Urus not only grabs attention for its striking handsome looks, but because of its unmistakable Lamborghini roar too. A specially-developed exhaust system customises the sound output dependent on engine speed: at high acceleration, the Urus produces a more guttural, deliciously raw sporty sound.

The Urus is the new benchmark for a Super SUV and a true Lamborghini: it delivers best-in-class lightweight technologies and weight-to-power ratio, with innovation in design and engineering to ensure the best possible driving dynamics as well as overall efficiency.

An adaptive air suspension system enables the vehicle to be raised or lowered according to road and driving conditions. The Urus’ braking system is commensurate with its super sports car performance, ensuring high thermal resistance and accommodating frequent and heavy braking, even from high speeds and in extreme conditions such as on track or at high altitude. Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB) as standard, are the largest and most powerful available, measuring 440 x 40 mm at the front and 370 x 30 mm at the rear.

The Urus comes with a host of driver assistance and safety systems too. Highlights include a high beam assistant, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control, an innovative PreCognition system preventing or mitigating collision, traffic management systems, top-view camera and a trailer coupling mode.

In summary, this is truly an outstanding SUV – probably the best there is in terms of blistering speed, power, pure driver pleasure, strikingly handsome looks, build quality and over-all desirability. It’s the SUV most of us wish we could invest in and own.

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