Luxury Review: 2022 Lamborghini Urus – Driving

Is the Urus still the super-est of sport-brutes? Two of Driving’s top reviewers debate its merits

Author of the article:

David Booth, Nadine Filion

Publishing date:

Dec 31, 2021  •  20 minutes ago  •  7 minute read  •  Join the conversation 2022 Lamborghini Urus Photo by Nadine Filion

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David Booth: I think the question of whether high-end luxury auto marques, even those steeped in storied and sporty pasts, should build sport-utility vehicles was answered long ago. Porsche took the initial risk with its Cayenne and has never looked back. Since then, everyone from Jaguar to Rolls-Royce has added a sport-brute — or sport-cute — to its lineup. So I think we can finally lay the question of should so-and-so build an SUV to rest. Tradition, legacy, and ideals only matter if you’re still in business and frankly, these days, if you’re not selling at least one SUV, you’re not in business.

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The real question, then, is whether the sport-ute in question is true to the brand. Does it adhere to those aforementioned ideals? Is a Cullinan just a Roller writ large, or is it something less? Is the DBX the (four-wheel-drive) grand tourer that Aston Martins have always been? And, for the sake of this test, is the Urus true to Lamborghini’s traditions, legacy, and ideals, or are the good people of Sant’Agata Bolognese just cashing in?

Nadine Filion: Well, the best person to answer that question is you, Mister-I’ve-driven-all-the-supercars-in-the-world. But before I let you go on and on with your traditional glibness, let me just remind you this: the Urus, which is, by the way, celebrating its fourth anniversary this December, is not Lamborghini’s first super-SUV .

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Of course, you can’t forget that the Italian supercar manufacturer produced the LM002 way back in the 1980, when “super” sport-utility vehicles were not even a fantasy. You can’t forget, because you’re among the lucky few on the planet to have driven one of the only 330 units of the “Rambo Lambo” ever built in beautiful Emilia-Romagna region, home of Lamborghini (not to mention Ferrari, Pagani, Maserati, Ducati, et al ­).

Remember that lustful gaze you had when you met with the historic beast? Remember the smile that instantaneously lit up your (normally grumpy) face when you got reacquainted with the 450-horsepower Countach V12, an engine you were surprised to find out was a pussycat?

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Well, I smiled about the same way when I first saw what is, in my opinion, the sexiest SUV on the market, our version being dressed in a white matte tint, jacked up on huge monochromatic black 23-inch rims. I smiled even more at the fantastic interior that, for once, it’s not cliché to call a “cockpit.” And then, hitting the throttle that animated the 641-hp V8 twin-turbo — that’s one-third more power than that Countach V12 — I smiled even more.

DB: Well done, Cher. As always you beat me to the punch. For all those that think the Urus some sort of betrayal of purpose, it would be good to remember that Lamborghini has already been down this road with the LM002 — Lamborghini Militaria , 002nd edition — and no-one got all fussed 40 years ago. It remains one of the few classic cars — the others being a suicide-door Lincoln convertible and the Dino 246 — that I’d like to park in my driveway. In other words, all you haters, Lambo’s been there, done that, and no one was much bothered then, so perhaps you’d be better to hold your tongue.

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Besides, there is much legitimacy to its Lamborghini-ness. The interior, for instance, is very much in keeping with the latest from Sant’Agata. The steering wheel, the instrument panel and, yes, the fighter-jet-like starter button are all but identical to what you’d get in a Huracán or Aventador. Oh, to be sure, it’s roomier. Hell, it’s been since about 1993 that a Lambo has boasted a back seat (that aforementioned Rambo thingie). But it’s still quintessentially Italian and super. Everything inside the Urus — from the well-bolstered seats to the performance-oriented instrument panel — is all focused on speed. That it’s also comfy and sophisticated is not exactly unimportant, but it is secondary to speed, just as it should be with any Lamborghini.

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NF: Yes, and think about it: Not only is the Urus the “cheapest” new model you can buy in the famiglia — although putting “cheap” and a price tag of $252,695 in the same sentence is, I think, the very definition of income inequality  — it’s also the only one which can accommodate more than two passengers and their luggage. In fact, the Urus interior is much larger than its outwardly sleek profile suggests which, I think, is probably the highest testament I can make to the work of the designers.

In fact, it stretches a not-insubstantial 5,112 millimetres from stem to stern, and an imposing 2,017 millimetres wide door to door. That is why we didn’t bang elbows in the front seats, why our young guest Antonio had plenty of legroom in the back, and how the rear cargo area swallowed both our big motorcycle gear bags, not to mention all the other stuff I really need when traveling. Indeed, for once, you didn’t protest about that overload, and for that I give thanks to the 616 litres of luggage space behind the Urus’ rear seats.

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The only backslash to all that cabin generosity? This SUV has a freaking large footprint on the road. Everything about the Urus seems outsized — from the 4.0L V8 doppia turbocompresso with, as I said, 641 horsepower; to the semi-ginormous 3,003-mil wheelbase; and, above all, the huge 285/35ZR23 (front) and 325/30ZR23 (rear) tires — speaks to a brute better suited to the autobahn than the mountains just outside Santa Barbara.

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DB : Yeah, but there’s also the variable torque split of the Torsen-type permanent all-wheel-drive that can send as much as 87 per cent of the 4.0L V8’s 627 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels, not to mention the extremely well calibrated adaptive air suspension and, most of all, the rear-wheel steering.

Truth be told, along the incredibly tight switchbacks that were Santa Barbara County’s Foothills Road, the Urus still feels big and a bit ponderous. But on the more open — yet still diabolically twisty — roads atop the Santa Ynez mountain range, that avoirdupois seems to all but disappear, and the big Lambo feels as lithe as a Porsche Macan GTS.

Turning the rear wheels obviously has a big influence on steering precision, Lamborghini saying the three degrees the rear tires can yaw (in the opposite direction to the fronts) is equivalent to shortening that long 3.1-metre wheelbase by up to 585 millimetres. Unlike so many supposed “enhancements,” the addition of rear-wheel steering has a marked effect on the Urus’ handling. Indeed, once past first gear, it’s sometime hard to remember that there are rear seats and that 616 litre cargo space back there. Most impressive is how Lamborghini manages to make its SUV corner with more elan than, say, a BMW X5M, while, at the same time, riding on more accommodating suspension. Impressive stuff.

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Everything inside the Urus is focused on speed — that it’s also comfy and sophisticated is not exactly unimportant, but it is secondary

David Booth

NF: Impressive also is how user-friendly is the technology on board: The nav system is directly linked to Google searches, the most recent driving aids are easily customized, and the infotainment boasts one of the most efficient haptic touch modes I have ever come across, all mated — no doubt garnering my significant other’s approval — to a physical volume control knob.

Indeed, the only time I had to think twice about any of the controls was when putting the 8-speed automatic transmission in first gear. Even on our tenth and last day of test-driving, I was still fussing around for a non-existent “D” mode. This “flaw” is not exclusive to the Urus; all modern Lamborghinis require that you hit the shifting paddles to engage the transmission, while Reverse is a lever over the fire-engine-red fighter-like start switch. On the other hand, who’s going to complain about such an enticing ritual? Not me.

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But where you will hear me complain is when it comes to the price tag. My inherent stinginess just can’t get over that the Urus will set you back almost $300,000 Canadian dollars after taxes — but before any options — which is about 25 per cent more loonies than Porsche is asking for its new Cayenne Turbo GT. Both vehicles share the same platform, and the same engine, though the Urus boasts 10 more ponies. Moreover, Lamborghini’s two and a half tons of steel, carbon fiber, leather, and delicately burnished boiseries takes 3.6 seconds to hit 100 km/h, 0.3s longer than the Porsche. That means the Lambo is no longer the world’s faster production super-SUV, a title it has been bragging about since its inception.

2022 Lamborghini Urus Photo by Nadine Filion

DB: Yeah, yeah, yeah, so the German is a little faster to 100 klicks. That’s just because it’s a little lighter and its launch control system is more efficient. In most other regards, it can’t compare. There’s not nearly the same sense of occasion to driving the German variant — driving a Lamborghini is always a lift of the spirit. It’s also not nearly as hedonistic inside and, frankly, not as glamorous outwardly either. I like the Cayenne a lot, but if I’m going to spend over two hundred large on an SUV, I want a little more pomp and circumstance.

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Which is exactly what the Urus brings to the table. Oh, it’s neither as outrageous or as unique as the Rambo Lambo, but until we find out what the Ferrari Purosangue has to offer, it remains the ‘super’-SUV with the most panache.

Oh, and by the way, for those still thinking the Urus is somehow a betrayal of the brand, know that the Urus is not only the best-selling Lambo of all time, but that 85 per cent of its owners are new to the brand. More importantly, I don’t think founder Ferruccio Lamborghini would have seen anything wrong with this building of supposedly “lesser” vehicles. After all, he continued manufacturing farm tractors long after he started building supercars.

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Source: https://driving.ca/reviews/road-test/luxury-review-2022-lamborghini-urus

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