The platforms and powerplants are used across the entire Volkswagen family, from Audi Q8 via Porsche Cayenne to Bentley Bentayga. But the Italian job is the most impressive so far. I spent some quality time with the Urus – the world’s first super sport utility vehicle – and the Huracán Evo – an aerodynamical masterpiece.
Maybe I shouldn’t have passed the police car on the outskirts of Hermanus in this matte silver Lamborghini Huracán Evo. In my rear view mirror he is flashing his lights, waving his hand out of his window with slow down gestures. I contemplate hitting the accelerator. In 9 seconds I would be at 200km/h. That would be the far horizon.
But let me go back a couple of hours. In the morning I boarded a different Lamborghini first. The first one with a turbo-charged V8, four doors and a large luggage compartment. No, wait a minute, let me rephrase this. The Urus actually had a sort of spiritual predecessor, built between 1986 and 1993. At the time the Lamborghini LM002 was one of the craziest and most powerful vehicles around. Borrowing the V12 of the Countach and featuring all-wheel drive, it was aptly dubbed the Rambo Lambo. Reaching 210km/h and 0 to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds in basically a 3ton-box was quite an achievement at the end of the 1980s. It was actually insane. Only about 300 units were produced for the world market and if used ones ever come up for sale, they will cost you as much as a well-equipped Urus.
Which by the way is named after one of the large, wild ancestors of domestic cattle. The Spanish fighting bull, as bred for the past 500 years, is still very close to the Urus in its appearance. The cows in the fields of the farmlands next to the highway I am just roaring past, seem to be in agreement. They are visible agitated and their moo-ing sounds almost like moaning.
In a mere 12.8 seconds the Urus reaches 200km/h, despite a weight of 2.2 tons. Through the smooth tarmac bends of Franschhoek Pass I switch the Anima controller in the playful Italian aeroplane cockpit from ‘strada’ to ‘sport’. The bull tightens its muscles and roars even deeper. Incredible how this powerful SUV sticks to the road. And how confidence boosting those giant carbon ceramic brakes react. To put it in numbers: from 100km/h the Urus comes to a standstill after just 33.7m. A Bentley Bentayga for instance would then still have 40km/h on the clock.
With a top speed of 305 km/h, the Urus is currently the fastest SUV in the world. And you can basically take it straight to the track. The 22inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres are loving it.
When Lamborghini announced, that they are going to produce an SUV, most of their fanbase had tears in their eyes. But those tears have dried since. After a whole morning with the Italian Aurochs I can confirm, that there is more than enough Lamborghini DNA in this SUV to qualify as the third adequate model of the brand, after Aventador & Huracán.
And it is not only the driving performance and dynamics, it is the emotion and design as well, that make the Urus a real Lamborghini. The car is beautifully sculpted. And easier to access than all the previous sport cars from Sant’ Agata Bolognese.
But being an SUV, can it do off-road as well? The LM002, built mainly for sheiks could, but can the Urus? Keeping the Middle East clients in mind it was developed to go fast on sand and gravel. Fast and firm. Next to the usual Lamborghini modes strada, sport and corsa (racetrack), there are three more: neve (snow), terra (gravel) and sabia (sand).
After a lunch break in Stanford it was time to swap cars. I am climbing into the above-mentioned Evo, the newest Huracán version, featuring the Performante’s V10, but completely redesigned aerodynamics and GT-influenced race car looks. When the naturally-aspirated V10 screams to live with brute intensity, I know I will be in for some wild drama. It’s like one of those energetic Italian operas.
Until I pass the police. Being German in a car with an Italian number plate, I decide to stop. The uniform comes towards the window. ‘Sorry sir, to stop you like this, but I love this car. It’s my favorite’. The enthusiastic young officer hands me his cellphonoe. ‘Please, can you take a photo with me and the car?’
I happily oblige and he urges me to accelerate vehicle-appropriate. I think the only other law enforcement officer in the world to do something like this would have to be an Italian.
Engine 4.0-l. twin-turbo V8, front mounted, aluminium, paired with an 8-speed auto box, all-wheel drive & rear-axle steering
Power 478kW and 850Nm
Top Speed 305 km/h
0-100km/h 3.6 seconds
0-200km/h 12.8 seconds
Price R3 495 000
Lamborghini Huracán Evo
Engine 5.2-l. naturally aspirated V10, paired with a 7-speed auto box, all-wheel drive & rear-axle steering
Power 470kW and 600Nm
Top Speed 325 km/h
0-100km/h 2.9 seconds
0-200km/h 9 seconds
Price R5 500 000