Lamborghini swore they would never do an SUV. They brushed off rumor after rumor to the contrary. They even showed other concepts to throw people off the scent. But apparently, all their statements were a smokescreen because the newest Lamborghini is here . . . and it’s an SUV. Following in the footsteps of Porsche and every other luxury manufacturer, Lamborghini just released their very own luxury SUV, the Urus. Well, they released an SUV again, that is.
Although the Urus is a shock for those expecting another supercar debut, SUVs are not new for Lamborghinis. From 1986-1993 Lamborghini produced the LM002. Originally, the LM002 was produced as a military vehicle. However, after losing the account to AM General (also known as the producers of the H1), Lamborghini sold the truck to Sheiks, movie stars, and mental ward occupants.
The Urus is not related to the LM002 in the slightest, however. The LM002 was the right kind of crazy. It had a Countach engine, was barely drivable, and was a classic example of Italian lunacy at its finest. The Urus cannot afford such eccentrics. The LM002 was built with product first, business plan later procedure. The LM002 probably didn’t make any money but was just an expensive marketing campaign for the poorly managed Lamborghini at the time. But the Germans own Lamborghini now, and they don’t take kindly too the “all play and no work” mentality; just look at the friction between them and Greece, for example. So the Urus has been designed to produce profit as well as power figures.
The normal Lamborghini Aventador has 690hp, all wheel drive, and is the automotive equivalent to a defibrillator. However, what if you’re the type of millionaire that wants something more unique and off kilter? You’re the type of millionaire that hunts exotic, wild beasts, pays to go into space, and may be clinically insane. Basically, you’re a modern day version of Teddy Roosevelt with a 6 pack. If this sounds like you, Lamborghini has just the car for you: The Aventador J.
Already sold for a cool $2.1 million euros, the J takes a “normal” Aventador and chops off the roof and the windshield, removes the air conditioning and navigation system to lose weight, and adds “Carbonskin” material to the seat. The result, Lamborghini says, is “an utterly indescribable experience of power and dynamics,” but that’s because you can’t say “batsh$t insane” in a press release. So if you want to know how it feels to be ejected from an F-22 at the speed of sound, buy an Aventador J.
The only one they are going to make is already sold, but something tells me it is in the hands of someone who is crazy enough to enjoy it.
As we dropped into the back stretch on lap 4, I knew this would be the moment. Strapped into a screaming yellow 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, it was finally my turn to pass one of the other track cars and catch up to the lead pace Lambo. Following the pace car were me and three more Italian speed machines, all Lamborghinis with a total of about 1700 horsepower among them. I was in the second position among the four cars as the Lambo in front of me swung to the right, giving me a clear path to lift off. The stands to the left were a blur, not unlike a dash cam at Indy, as I paddle shifted at red line to second at 9000 rpms. Nothing can equal the wail of a Lamborghini at these engine speeds, and even with my insulated driver’s helmet and flame retardant mask, it was both deafening and intoxicating.
I mashed the petal with earnest, knowing that this car had a top speed in excess of 200 mph and I was on the longest backstretch of motor speedway in the Southeast United States. Ahead, the white Gallardo pace car taunted me to play catch-up with the other Lambo swinging aside to the right in a 135 mph blur as we hurled toward the hair pin right turn. The huge brakes produced physics-defying deceleration and I caught up (sort of) to the pace car and then rocketed again by the pits for the final lap. I now had the privilege of following the line the instructor found on the track, and I threw all here-to-known concern for life and limb and plowed into the turns. G forces in excess of 1.1 and 1.2 stunned me as we carved the S turns and sweepers past turn one. The Gallardo’s 570 horsepower V-10 goaded me on along with the state-of-the-art All Wheel Drive, ultra light carbon fiber body and Formula 1 speed paddle shifting technology. It all proved that there wasn’t anything I could do that would even mildly challenge this Lamborghini, as this beast was made for this kind of track. It’s as if it was saying: “Is that all you can do? Come on!” I knew then I was in the absolute pinnacle of sports car engineering and design, without peer world-wide. That was my welcome to Lamborghini.
The auto industry is always evolving, but some things never change. A commitment to style and beauty has always been an important aspect of the business, and brands like Ferrari, BMW and Lamborghini are examples of brands that embrace this ethos.
With the beauty of cars often comes beautiful women as well. As you can see from the photo above from the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, many brands understand this connection very well. This photo has two models in the Lamborghini display. Now that Chrysler is owned by Fiat, you have this trend reappearing in the United States as well with all of their brands. Some brands are more conservative, but you wonder if they’re missing something.
The result is that the car business keeps the calendar printing business going, as calendars featuring stylish cars with attractive models never seem to go out of style. While much of the marketing and PR business has gone digital, beautifully printed brochures and calendars are still an important part of the equation. And for some, it’s a great business as these calendars never go out of style.
The Frankfurt Motor Show is huge, with countless exhibit halls filled with new cars and concept vehicles. Lamborghini had one of the smaller exhibits, but they got plenty of attention a red Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale that they unveiled at the show along with two beautiful Aventadors in white and metallic gray.
Lamborghini is a company founded on a grudge. The founder, Ferrucio Lamborghini, set out to build a more reliable, comfortable supercar after being insulted by Enzo Ferrari while trying to have his Ferrari 250GT serviced. Nearly 50 years later, his company has released what may be the ultimate expression of his original vision: the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. The Aventador LP700-4 communicates Ferrucio’s vision of a reliable, exciting supercar built for the road while rekindling the traditions of previous Lamborghinis.
Lamborghinis have been about style as much as they are about speed. The Miura was the first Lamborghini supercar. In fact, many believe it was the first “supercar” period. Designed by Bertone, it began the wedge-shape trend of later Lamborghinis. However, Lambo became too avant-garde with such models as the Countach, softened to the point of blandness by the Diablo, and too tacky with the Murcielago. The Aventador, however, continues the tradition of the wedge-shaped Lamborghini, but brings that shape back to a more organic form, as seen in the Miura, rather than the purely geometrical ones seen on the Countach, Diablo and Murcielago.
Even though the Aventador references the style of the Miura, it is still connected to recent Lamborghinis with a few key geometric elements. In Lamborghini tradition, the Aventador is a long, low, and wide car, a land-going ICBM missile. The front features elements of the Murcielago, but the edges are softened in places like the fender and grill openings. The headlights have also been toned down to give the car a more mature look that still manages to look intimidating. Also, like the Countach, the sides of the car feature prominent air intakes, and like the limited production Reventon, the back end scowls at you through narrow taillights and large grilles. The overall effect is the first traditionally beautiful Lamborghini since the Mura, but is still aggressive in appearance. It may be the first gentleman’s Lamborghini ever – Ed Hardy aficionados.
When the new Lamborghini Aventador was introduced, earlier this year, it included a feature that allows a driver to slightly raise the nose to prevent the front wing from scraping on speed bumps or steep driveways.
For the Italian maker, that’s about as big a concession as it has ever made for day-to-day driving – most owners pulling their Gallardos and Murcielagos out of the garage only on weekends or special occasions.
But that’s about to change, according to Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann, who has confirmed an earlier report in TheDetroitBureau.com that the maker is developing what he has dubbed “an everyday car.”
“We are going to have a third model,” the German-born, Italian-reared executive announced during a conference sponsored by the Reuters news service. “It has to be an everyday car. We want to have a car which is able to be used on a daily basis.”
We here at Autoblog have millions of kilograms, nay liters and liters, of respect for our friends at Automobili Lamborghini, and the upcoming Aventador will no doubt alter our lives when we drive it. We also root hard for the little shops in and around Turin that changed the world of car design in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, and nobly carry on today as best they can.
We were recently going through various photos and started juxtaposing the front end of the Lamborghini Estoque sedan concept seen at the 2008 Paris Motor Show with that of the one-off SVS Codatronca Turismo Sportivo (or TS). The latter was developed near Turin between 2005 and 2008 by the small shop named SpadaConcept SpadaVettureSport, led by legendary designer Ercole Spada and his son Paolo. The latter carrozzeria just unveiled their roofless 710-horsepower barchetta version at the Top Marques Monaco show, called the Codatronca Monza. All Codatronca models so far are based on a supercharged Corvette Z06 chassis (it makes sense that we also see a little bit of 1967-1982 C3 in there, too).