Jingle Bulls all the way with the Lamborghini Urus and LM002
Compared to the brutal and imposing black bull that is the Lamborghini LM002, the Urus is a plump white polar bear, particularly here on Lago di Braies in the Dolomites, which has already frozen over for the winter. Even stood still, you can almost hear the so-called ‘Rambo Lambo’ grunting and pawing the ground in frustration. And don’t for a second think the intimidation will subside.
When the 5.2-litre V12 from the Countach catches with a rapturous bark, it’s difficult to tell whether it’s your knees trembling or the ground on which you’re standing. Don’t let the luxuriously appointed cabin fool you once you’ve heaved yourself up into the driver’s seat – the clutch pedal is so heavy you might as well be pushing all 2.7 tonnes with your left leg and don’t get us started on the steering, or rather lack of it.
The one thing the LM002 does have, and have in spades, however, is a presence. It’s easy to see why the gargantuan SUV attracted Hollywood royalty, infamous dictators, and young and impressionable oil-rich sheikhs. Ironically, it was the latter who contributed to the 1980s oil crisis – the cause of the LM002’s ultimate downfall.
The low-slung Countach might have been the most eye-catching supercar at the time, but the LM002 is by far the most brutal car to ever leave Sant’Agata. It was also well ahead of its time – rivals would have included the Cayenne Turbo, Bentley Bentayga, Maserati Levante, and, ironically, the Lamborghini Urus.
A polar bear. Out here on the frozen expanse, the gleaming white ‘super sports utility vehicle’ really does remind us of one. Save for the hexagonal wheel arches, there’s really nothing the Urus shares in common with its muscular forebear. It’s comparatively cuddly, but as with the polar bear, you’re well aware of its underlying power – 650HP and 850Nm of torque, to be precise.
That’s partly what makes it so damned competent. A modern Lamborghini SUV – it’s one of those cars you want to hate, but it does what it set out to do so well that you can’t help but marvel at its prowess, be it here on the treacherously slippery ice or cruising at 250kph on the motorway. Oh, the twin-turbocharged V8 sounds like a polar bear, too. A particularly angry one.
Before visiting the lake, Lamborghini took us to the bustling Christmas markets of Brunico where, as you can imagine, this pair of raging bulls caused quite the stir. Much like when we took it to Paris at the beginning of the year, the Urus proved a massive hit with the public. Well, either that or too much mulled wine was consumed! The LM002 was the chosen Christmas tree transporter – well, we couldn’t possibly have destroyed the supple leather in the Urus, could we?
As we head back towards the factory in Sant’Agata, we have to hand it to Lamborghini – it could have chosen to demonstrate the real-world ability of the Urus (and hilarious impracticality of the LM002) on a Christmas shopping trip on the boulevards of Paris or Milan. But no, it brought us to the tricky terrain of the Dolomites to show what these two convention-defying bulls were designed to do. As a result, there’ve been two more additions to our Christmas lists. And no, they certainly won’t fit in any sack or stocking.
Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2018