To that extent, it is a marketing-driven car, not an engineering-driven one. It’s a car that they acknowledge they can only sell because they make actual genuine sports cars. Without the badge, the history, the reputation, the 12.4 million Instagram followers, the Urus wouldn’t sell.
Which is an admission, of sorts, isn’t it? That this isn’t quite a Lamborghini, after all? Not so, they say. Lamborghini DNA is written through it, they reckon. After all, it has, er, an architecture from a VW; yes, but it’s lighter through better mixed-metal use and with funky C-pillars and frameless doors.
It has Lamborghini’s first turbocharged engine and it’s one you’ll find in an Audi; but, ah, here it has 641bhp. It has four-wheel drive, a tall ride height; perhaps, but no other group product marries that to a Torsen centre differential with 60% (and up to 85%) rear bias and a torque-vectoring rear differential, you see. Right.
In short, the things that separate a Lamborghini from another brand’s car within the VW Group today, then, are rather more subtle than the fact that only one of them has a V12 engine in the middle of it. Would a V12 engine fit here? Don’t be silly, an SUV requires turbochargers because only they can make the requisite torque. Could you put turbos on the V12? Look, please stop asking questions and go away and drive it. So I do.
Stepping inside the Lamborghini Urus
The doors swing open – they feel lighter than a big SUV’s usually do; the frameless windows, see. The interior is more swooping and extravagant than in most 4x4s too. The centre console is high. You can have five seats but this one has four; all individual chairs wrapped in expensive-feeling materials. So too is the dashboard, where Lamborghini design meets occasional VW Group familiarity, and some new things: a two-step touchscreen rather like the Range Rover Velar’s, and a thick bunch of switches to scroll through the drive modes, start the car and select a drive function on the eight-speed auto.
Beyond a comprehensive standard spec, there are plenty of options to choose from including a 21-speaker B&O sound system, ambient lighting pack, 360-degree parking camera, head up display, hands-free tailgate, and full ADAS safety package with lane assist and collision detection.
There are six drive modes: Street, Sport, Track (in which the car lowers by 15mm) and three off-road modes in which the body rises by 40mm. Or you can choose your own adventure, by selecting what kind of angry you want to make your suspension and engine and steering weight. But let’s deal with track first because, somewhat uncomfortably, my very first steer and throttle press in the Urus is one that makes it depart from a pit lane.
Crikey it’s fast. And by gum it’s quite loud. The twin-turbo V8 is not overtly laggy and by 6800rpm finds a hard limiter. The official figures say this is a 3.6sec to 62mph car, and that it’ll go from 0-124mph in 12.4sec. It feels not a bit slower than that. The tremendous wallop of torque comes in from 2250rpm, so it doesn’t really matter what gear you’re in, either: in fact, so willing is the car to run towards limiter, where upshifts are a touch hesitant, you’re quite often better off leaving it in a higher ratio.
There’s noise, too, and quite a lot of it. You will hear how loud it is, they said; and they were right. But there’s augmentation going on here too. Through a natural symposer using the intake system’s natural frequencies, yes, but augmentation nonetheless. It’s good, but I think an AMG V8 sounds better.