We’ve been hearing about the impending arrival of the Lamborghini Urus SUV for months and like many of you, my gut reaction was: “But why?” Now I’ve sat in one at the Detroit Auto Show, I no longer care. All I need to know is how soon I can drive one.
Look, there was no way to receive the concept of a practical crossover-style Lamborghini with anything less than hefty skepticism. Especially when presentations introducing the Urus tented to feature phrases like “everyday use” and “increase sales volumes.”
Isn’t that in the dictionary under “selling out?” Not cool.
But I’ll tell you what is cool: the freaking cockpit of the Lamborghini Urus. Actually, seriously, it might be the most interesting piece of automotive interior design I can remember seeing in some time. At least in a production car.
The shapes are all chunky but sleek at the same time; straight out of Star Trek. The new one, not that tight-shirted Shatner nonsense.
The digital gauge pod is pure sports car with an enormous, evil-looking central tachometer reading like a VU meter on an amplifier. Except there’s also a pitch and roll gauge, like in a truck. What?
Keep your eyes moving to the right though, because the pièce de résistance is right between the driver and passenger: a gloriously complex and intimidating looking series of levers that change gears, manage traction control and do something called “EGO” which can only be awesome.
This design element is the sole most impressive aesthetic marriage of off-road toughness and high-speed performance I’ve ever seen.
The dual-display console ahead of that is not as exceptionally triumphant, but nice looking nevertheless. And all the vents and handles and materials throughout the rest of the cockpit are on point with the unique look of what I would imagine “all-terrain Lamborghini” should be.
The 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 that’s going to move this monster is rated at 650 horsepower, and Lamborghini claims a skilled pilot will be able to make the Urus move from 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds on their way to a top speed of just under 190. But what this “car” can do is far less important than how it makes you feel.
Since it’s no secret that the vast majority of these $200,000 people-movers will spent most of their lives strangled by slow moving traffic in places like Beverly Hills and Manhattan, most Urus drivers will be on an adventure in their imagination. And my point is: this vehicle sells excitement at low speed unlike anything else I’ve sat in.
In a world where Porsche, Bentley and soon Rolls-Royce all offer takes on the idea of an SUV, it’s getting harder and harder for something like a “supercrossover” to really stand out and justify its existence.
But if driving the Urus is anywhere near as fun as sitting in it is, I think this insane high-riding exotic might be worth paying attention to after all.