Summa Cum Loud

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Shockingly, exotic sports car makers are moving into the SUV market with new models. And so it is with Lamborghini with its introduction of the brand new Urus. But many have forgotten that Lamborghini, way back when, launched the LM002 SUV/truck in 1986, which stuck around until 1993. Essentially, Lamborghini filled a massive V-12 engine into a truck-like chassis with a four-door body and a small, open pick-up truck bed in back. It was not a great success.

But now marketing reality is clear— SUVs are selling in record numbers. So this year, the Urus has made it appearance, combining both unique styling with jaw-dropping performance. On the power front, a bi-turbocharged four-liter V-8 is stuffed under the hood producing a super stout 650 horsepower. An eight- speed automatic sends the power to the all-wheel drive system. Needless to say, this SUV sprints from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 190 miles per hour—clearly the fastest SUV in the world.

And the styling maintains the exotic car theme. This is not like the somewhat “small box on the big box” look of many SUVs. Up front, the grill is low to the ground with a unique mix of blacked-out areas with matching exterior painted color lines. Perhaps more dramatic is the sloping roofline to the rear with side windows narrowing on the way back. The lift gate and rear area has a light system that runs all the way from one side to the other. On the sides are air vent openings and below are four large exhaust pipes. All in all, this SUV is exceptionally good looking.

Needless to say, power is instantly available on the road. Upon pushing the start button, a throaty exhaust note is heard. And like many new vehicles today, there are up to six driving settings—street, sport, race, snow, sand and off-road. Obviously, choosing the race mode causes the exhaust system to open up with deeper sounds, tighter suspension movements, quicker steering, faster gear changes, and so on. And, of course, the street choice goes the opposite direction and provides a surprisingly comfortable ride on our often potholed streets. Paddles behind the steering wheel can be used to manually shift the transmission. On the fuel- saving front, the engine turns off at stops and pops on when moving forward.

Inside, a sumptuous, leather-lined interior with stitching matching the exterior paint is presented along with large metal pieces spread around. Three large video screens are in view. The center top touch screen handles the radio, smart phone connections, navigation, the 360-degree camera and front and back cameras showing what is around the SUV at slow speeds. Below it is another touch screen for handling climate. And finally, the dash pod screen provides data on steering, gear choice, fuel mileage and more.

In rear the areas, this SUV handles passengers as a good SUV should. There is plenty of room for everyone in the rear-seating arena. Air vents and controls for the temperature are provided in the back of the console. An armrest with cup holders, and additional storage in back of the front seats is avail- able. The lift gate can be opened hands-free with the swing of a foot under rear bumper. Controls can change the height of the lift gate opening level. And plenty of cargo room is available, and if more is needed, the rear seats are split 40/20/40 and are easily dropped for handling bigger items.

With the Urus, Lamborghini has broken into the hot SUV market, but with a huge performance spin. And you can expect other exotic super carmakers to follow suit. But for now, the Urus is truly unique.

MODEL: 5-PASSENGER, PERFORMANCE SUV
POWERTRAIN: BI-TURBO 4 LITER V-8,
650-HORSEPOWER, 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, ALL-WHEEL DRIVE.
POWERTRAIN: 0-60: 3.6 SECONDS;
TOP SPEED: 190 MPH
PRICE: (BASE) $200,000,
AS TESTED $225,759

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