Ian Lamming finds the new Lamborghini Urus to be a death-defying experience
Daddy and Laddy get to grips with a super-SUV. Full roadtest coming soon to www.motormadreviews.co.uk #lamborghiniurus
Posted by Ian Lamming on Saturday, 16 February 2019
YOUNG lady, you owe me your life, or, if not me, you owe it to Lamborghini.
What cognitive process was going through your grey matter as you sped across the petrol station forecourt, threading your way through cones, ignoring warning signs the size of billboards, to turn across traffic instead of filtering into the contra-flow?
In any other SUV, sadly, you would be roadkill, more than 2.2 tonnes of metal striking you in the driver’s door, that most vulnerable of weak points, dissecting your sludge-coloured Skoda Octavia Estate in two.
You and your family were saved by the huge white Lamborghini Urus which, strangely, bizarrely, you failed to notice, despite being the size of a small terrace and being illuminated by bright LED headlights; what more do you require? Perhaps an escort with a lantern, waving a red flag. And no low sun this time to save you from a royal flush of embarrassment.
I only offer you now the benefit of doubt with this fleeting thought; the Urus does seem to pass unnoticed in town making me wonder whether its angular lines offer the stealth-like properties of the latest generation nuclear fighter-bomber.
Like I said, in any other car you would now be a sad statistic of the road and so might I and my passengers, who all braced for impact with the knowing acceptance that little more could be done to avoid the inevitable collision.
Yet no crunching, rendering of metal and glass occurred as the Urus stood on its nose in a fashion as equally spectacular as it had raised it during full-chat acceleration in ‘Corsa’ mode days before.
Blessed with Spiderman-like peripheral senses, honed by 40 years of motorcycling and countless attempts on my life by car drivers, my foot hit the large brake pedal hard before my consciousness even registered the danger.
Admirers of the Urus had already commented on the scale of the front discs and gargantuan red-painted callipers and here was the true test. Thankfully, in narrow contra-flow roadworks, the Urus was bang on the 30mph speed limit but, with considerable girth to arrest, the kinetic energy involved was still mind-blowing.
Ten-piston callipers bit deeply into racecar-inspired 17in carbon-ceramic discs and the ABS ground its life-saving cacophony. Speed scrubbed off, two things saved you from a hedgehog fate. Firstly, you braked, secondly, at the last second, millimetres from disaster, I snap-steered a quarter turn right, diverting bravely towards oncoming traffic, but finding space enough between the cones and cars to miss you and them.
Ironically, the close call was the perfect way to end the Urus experience, a from-the-clutches-climax to a joyous encounter. This vehicle impressed in so many ways, not just me, but all who were enveloped in its aura.
Lamborghini’s association has always been with super-aggressive, low-slung, hyper-sports cars and that climb-up-in-your-face aggression has been transferred to its first SUV for generations. From the front it could only be a Lamborghini.
It is surprisingly full-sized, incredibly long, sticking out of car park bays by a considerable margin. It is also high and wide. This all goes to make Urus a proper SUV with a generous boot and yards of rear legroom.
There are myriad driving modes including for off-road but unlike most SUVs Urus comes with genuine sports car dynamics. The 4.0 twin turbocharged V8 hurls out 650PS and a space/time-continuum-shredding 850Nm of torque so, via a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic, it will hit 62mph in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 190mph.
It retains the feel of a sports car, never approaching unwieldy, and is always controlled and razor sharp – particularly under emergency braking madam – thanks to four wheel drive and four wheel steering, adaptive air suspension and active roll stabilisation.
There are ‘smooth’ settings for engine, gearbox and ride which do little to blunt the Urus’s poise. Use the ‘Anima’ selector to engage ‘Sport’ or for-the-track ‘Corsa’ modes and it is agile, stable, quick-witted and blisteringly fast with stunning performance accompanied by spine-tingling roars from engine and exhausts. Your 4×4 needs and musts use the same lever to select sand, mud and snow settings. See, it is a genuine SUV.
Inside is special; wonderfully supportive Alcantara sport seats featuring the Lamborghini charging bull moniker on the integral headrests, the most attractive starter button ever, complete with uber-cool red lacquered rising guard, top-notch B&O hi-fi (not that you ever have it on for fear of losing the orchestral delights of the motor), tactile sports steering wheel, digital dash and touchscreen that offers haptics feeback. Oh, it is all so splendid, as is the amazing fuel consumption, if you are easy on the throttle – I managed an incredible 27mpg on the trip computer.
After collecting all our valuables from the front footwells, including a mobile phone wrenched from the hands of its rear-seat passenger owner by the force of retardation, we continued on our way, unflustered, stirred but not shaken and even elated by the near-do. It struck me that there had been no injection of adrenalin because the Urus handled the close-shave so adeptly.
You only have to listen to radio traffic reports to realise how many near misses become full-blown smashes. I think for safety’s sake I need to get me a Lamborghini Urus. Now where did I leave that lottery ticket?
Engine: 4.0 litre V8 turbo
0-60mph: 3.6 secs
Top speed: 190mph
Combined MPG: 23
Transmission: eight-speed auto
CO2 g/km: 325
Price: £ £159,925.00