It will seat five, it will be turbocharged and if you tried to drive it across a ploughed field, instead of wrecking itself on the first rut, it will almost certainly feel as at home in this environment as on the public road. It’s called the Urus, it’s an SUV, the first Lamborghini to use forced induction engines, the first to be offered as a hybrid and, as such a Lamborghini like no other in history.
Or is it? Unlike Bentley, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and, soon we hear, Ferrari, Lamborghini is not quite the SUV newbie most will presume. Back in the 1980s Sant Agata designed, built and sold another and, just once, I got to drive it.
The car was in the temporary custody of Goodwood veteran and Ferrari salesman, the late Mike Salmon, an old family friend who used to delight in turning up in whatever his latest trade-in might be and tossing me the key. On this particular occasion and implausible as it still sounds from a distance of nearly 30 years, that car was a Lamborghini LM002.
I had not at that fledgeling stage in my career as a motoring hack so much as sat in any Lamborghini, let alone driven one. And this one was so intimidating it made a Countach look about as threatening as Vauxhall Corsa. Or Nova as I recall they were then known. The unwanted progeny of a failed attempt to produce Italy’s answer to the Humvee, the LM002 looked like a dual cab pick up from some dystopian world which would have reduced Mad Max himself to a gibbering wreck. And I was no Mel Gibson. Standing there, listening to its six downdraft Weber carburettors manfully pouring rivers of four-star into the depths of its snarling, spitting 5.2-litre V12 engine, looking at its towering flanks, preposterous width and a face only its mother could love, part of me wanted just to say I wasn’t quite ready for this and go and have a little lie down. But rather more of me realised there’d never be another chance like it.
So I climbed, yes climbed, up into its cabin and marvelled at once at many different aspects of its inexpertly assembled design. It was so wide your front seat passenger was in another postcode yet, despite the huge, hulking bulk of the thing, those in the back had almost no legroom at all. There were switches everywhere, which I quite liked especially as I wasn’t going to be here long enough to need to know what any of them did, rudimentary dials and, amid all this industrial clutter, a steering wheel from a Countach.