And the looks are extraordinary. Rather than attempt to reboot the LM002’s monster truck proportions Lamborghini has instead attempted to translate its supercar styling language to the SUV arena. So there’s an Aventador-esque beak, a riot of slashes, creases and surface detailing, wheel arches shaped in reference to the LP400 Countach and slit-like windows squashed by a low-sloping roofline. You wouldn’t describe it as beautiful. But it does manage the tricky job of translating Lamborghini’s design language into this new realm in a way that will probably delight its typically attention-seeking customers. This is as close to an everyday Lamborghini as we’ve ever seen, the doubling of the factory floor space to accommodate its production line an indication of how important it will be to the firm’s bottom line.
Motivation to succeed in making an SUV that handles like the supercars it shares its badge with lies with the Porsche Cayenne, now in its third generation and openly described as the brand’s cash cow. The technology required to achieve it is boggling and has required all of the VW group’s pooled resources to develop both the hardware and the 48V electrical system required to power it.
As with the Audi SQ7, new Cayenne and Bentayga, this is used to power systems like multi-chamber air springs, active anti-roll bars, four-wheel steering and the electronically controlled rear differential that splits the drive torque going to the rear axle and sends it where it’s needed. We’ve already seen most of these elements on the aforementioned stablemates – the way Lamborghini has tuned them to suit its brand values will be the true test of the Urus’s character.
We’re familiar with the concept of driving modes to suit different moods and conditions; the Tamburo system in the Urus will have you checking your Italian phrasebook for definitions but follows accepted wisdom in pre-selecting certain characteristics to match what’s going on under the tyres. Strada, Sport and Corsa are familiar progressions from the Huracan and Aventador, Neve (snow) a new feature while Terra (off-road) and Sabbia (sand) are available as options. The configurable ‘Ego’ mode – really – is also a carry-over from the supercar range and lets you set the car to your own needs and tastes.
Glitches at the launch will have caused some buttock clenching among Domenicali and his colleagues in Lamborghini management but don’t expect this small stumble to seriously halt the Urus’s march, even with a starting price knocking on £160,000. How Ferrari must wish it too had a dark 4x4 past it could resurrect to such profitable ends – for sure it will be watching Lamborghini’s entry to the SUV market with interest and no small degree of envy. Not that Domenicali’s former employers down the road in Maranello would admit such a thing.