Are these 5 SUVs crazier than the new Lamborghini Urus?

04th December 2017
Ethan Jupp

With the way the SUV market has evolved over the years of its exponential jump to the forefront of new car markets, you’d think the idea of a Super Sports Utility Vehicle would have been a bit more forthcoming. Lamborghini will have it that the newly-revealed Urus is the first of such a breed. As the first supercar manufacturer to enter the off-road fray, to an extent, they’re right to claim it. 


There have however been a good few Chelsea tractors in recent years that have come with way more power and performance than they had any right to. From pie-in-the-sky prototypes to series production sellers, here are five of our favourites…

BMW X5 Le Mans

With the aforementioned spectrum in mind, this BMW X5 couldn’t have been further away from showrooms if it had stayed (where it belonged?) on the drawing board. The name X5 Le Mans already gives away a clue to this car’s party piece. The 700bhp V12 LMR engine that they shoehorned into the X5’s stubby snout is perhaps the best indication yet that the Germans have a fully formed and gloriously eccentric sense of humour.

With 1999’s brand-soiling X5 not winning popularity contests with BMW purists and a Le Mans-winning racer freshly-wreathed from its battle at La Sarthe, it made sense to get the punters laughing instead of grimacing with a glorious hybrid. Because this is BMW, they don’t do things by half measures. So the X5 Le Mans went on to top 192mph on its way to a 7:50 flying lap at the Nürburgring. Why on Earth not?


Audi Q7 V12 TDI

This Audi Q7 follows broadly the same formula as the Bimmer that came before it: Stuff a truck full of Le-Mans-winning V12. Of course, that’s where the similarities end. Why? Because unlike the Nurburgring-bashing motorshow-wowing X5, this isn’t some show car cross engineering mule. The Q7 V12 TDI was sold. In reality, too, the 493bhp V12 s only distantly related to that of the R10 TDI racer. It cost £96,000 in 2009 and could deliver a relatively impressive (for a V12) 26mpg, so say testers of the time. If anything it’s cooler and more hilarious than the X5 because more than one big wig at Audi had to conclude that offering such a car for sale would make total business sense. For that decision, we are massively grateful. You can still buy a silly-powerful diesel Q7 in the form of the SQ7 but it’s not quite the same…


Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris

If the last two shame the new Urus for not packing a 12-banger, the 2006 Spyker D12 was going to bring everything else and more to the party. Supercar looks, exotic artisanal interior lavish and a W12 courtesy of VW. Before you lambaste us for lumping in another prototype, following its motorshow debut, Spyker claimed they had 100 orders for a production version. This was going to sandwich Bentayga and Urus ideals before either was a glint in their project leader’s eyes. Alas, it wasn’t to be and the D12 fell victim to the shaky financial situation that befell the esteemed supercar manufacturer in the years that followed. Oh, what could have been…


Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk 

Trust a list of ours to render the 700bhp Jeep Cherokee the most “normal” of the bunch. The newly-revealed Hellcat-powered monster is the answer to the cries of what all of us knew was possible, all of us wanted them to build and that none of us will probably buy. Nevertheless, they’ve made it happen. Trump’s America now builds an SUV that’ll crack 62 quicker than a Carrera GT and you can have it on the road in the UK for just over the price of a boggo 911. It won’t be as good on fuel as that V12 Q7, though…


Lamborghini LM002

Ah, the original Rambo Lambo. Half the reason, of course, that Lamborghini has any licence at all to sell an SUV besides the obvious boat load of cash it’ll rake in. Sporting a fettled Countach V12 and military underpinnings, the LM002 is the ultimate Sheikh’s mud-plugger. It’s everything the Urus isn’t allowed to be in this day and age and we absolutely love it. If the Urus can channel even a tenth of the spirit of its whacky ancestor it’ll be the pick of the luxo-SUV bunch. Here’s hoping… 

Commiserations to the delightful Range Rover Sport SVR, 2006’s 514bhp Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and of course the Bentayga. Realistically speaking they could fight over the title of first “SSUV” but none are what you’d call a supercar manufacturer, so we’ll let Lambo have it. Shout out to VW too for sticking a 5.0-litre diesel V10 in a Touareg.

  • Lamborghini

  • Urus

  • BMW

  • Spyker

  • Jeep

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