Lamborghini Urus First Drive: Emperor in Rome

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ROME—With engines roaring, the yellow, red and white units whizzed by the paddock of Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi Circuit, with its journalist drivers evidently thrilled no end.

At the parking lot, those inside the blue and black headed for the loop around: a nice and easy drive through backroads restricted by a speed limit.

Not too far away, the one driving the dark green variant sent a cloud of dust making a sharp turn at the off-road track.

Three different conditions, three challenges, and more than enough manifestations.

It was the Lamborghini Urus’ week of judgement when motoring writers from all over the world gathered for the much-awaited dynamic launch in this Italian capital where the tales of great emperors and gladiators of times past were written.

And the Urus—named after the ancestor of modern cattle—simply blew them all away with features considered as unthinkable, impressive enough to cement its claim as the new super SUV to beat.

That is hard to dispute as the Urus allows you to transform from a bad-ass driver who loves to burn rubber in the open roads, to a cool and suave company CEO or a doting father driving his family to the beach—and then a devil-may-care off-roader cavorting in the wilderness.

A powerful everyday ride loaded with all the capabilities of a performance car and an off-road crawler, the release of the Urus marks Lamborghini’s reawakening as the Italian brand based in Sant’Agata, Bolognese tries to expand horizons. In a big way.

Nearly three decades since introducing the military-grade LM001 and LM002 that didn’t have as much success as marquee players like the Gallardo, Huracan and Aventador, Lamborghini is re-entering the super SUV wars flexing all its technological might.

The Urus is touted to be the fastest ever SUV with a V8 bi-turbo engine producing 641 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque that can send it hurtling from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 second and 0 to 200 km/h in 12.8 seconds. This monster of an SUV can also attain a top speed of 305 km/h.

Don’t you want to be driving around town with a car carrying the Lamborghini logo that creates that distinct engine sound, but never wanting in comfort and luxury and technology?

The Urus cockpit showcases the class that Lamborghini is all about.

Everything starts from the Tamburo, the key access point to the vehicle that houses the flip-up, red-metal switch often seen in fighter jets, gear selector buttons, and the Anima and Ego switches that can choose performance programs for Strada (street), Terra (gravel), Sabbia (sand), Corsa (athletic), Sport and Neve (snow).

Inside and out, the Lamorghini DNA is very evident with hexagonal patterns all over, the sloping roofline, and a lot of angular edges.

Also, doubts on the Urus’ braking ability is definitely unfounded. It has the largest carbon ceramic brakes of any production car with 440 mms of rotors in the front (compared to the 380 mms of the Aventador), and 370 mms in the rear, allowing it to stop at 100 km/h in 33.7 meters.

Comfortability is assured by the adaptive air suspension, something that occupants as tall as 6-foot-7-inches sitting in front and 6-foot-3-inches sitting at the back can enjoy.

It is also not wanting in luggage space, with its 21.7-cubic-foot cargo hold large enough to fit two golf bags.

The success of the Urus is already celebrated by the man at the helm of the brand, Lamorghini CEO Stefano Domenicali, even before the first orders are shipped to their owners.

Domenicali predicts that the Urus will create a new generation of Lamborghini owners including ladies who will be tickled pink by the fact that they can finally take Lamborghini to the streets whenever and wherever they want to.

The firebrand leader also chose to hold last year’s world premiere of the Urus at its Sant’Agata factory, the size of which was doubled to 160,000 square meters, with its entire workforce (including 500 new employees taken in for the anticipated surge in demand from 145 dealers in 50 countries) showing up.

And as the automotive world followed, watched and read in awe the unveiling of the Urus in Rome, Domenicali might have unconsciously conveyed a Shakespearean message trying to make everybody believe in his pitch for the Urus in the same hallowed grounds where great tales were told.

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.”

Truly, a new emperor was crowned in Rome.



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