Lamborghini Urus The fastest SUV in the world

Lamborghini’s new super SUV, Urus, rolls in with a panache that doesn’t pass off as hardworking. It is the car that matches the swagger and dapper demeanour of the modern-day ultimate gent.

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In all modern doctrines that define the ideal man of today, there’s a strange mingling of ideas. One states a prim, sleek and calmly composed gent, while the other demands a dash of ruggedness, a slice of suave, and generous dollops of muscle. While I wouldn’t blindly aspire to slip into the shoes of this millennial idea of a perfect male of the species, I’d like to know what kind of car would one such pick. And I think this review is all about how I’ve discovered it, much to my satisfaction and hopefully yours, too.

As someone who’s resigned to the fortunate fate of writing car reviews for a living, there are two days etched as deeply among my fondest memories. The first time I test drove a car and the first time I drove a Lamborghini. You may wonder what makes these Italian bulls so magnificent. They’re big. No, not necessarily in size, but in what they have to offer. Big on performance, big on delight, big on style and big on oomph. Stepping away from their usual super-car offerings, the company has released their hunk of an SUV that’s surprisingly agile and doesn’t look too distant a relative of the rest of its Lambo clan. Surprisingly for many, this isn’t the company’s first SUV. Three decades ago they rolled out the LM002, which set a precedence for the brand and their capabilities with big cars.

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The Lamborghini Urus rolls in with a panache that doesn’t pass off as hardworking. It has flat sides, a roof that gracefully drops low towards the back and a front that wears the expression of a raging bull that it is. And then there are the haunches, perpetually flexed. I couldn’t help but trace my finger along the five-meter chiselled sides of the car. Here’s something you’d see our man stepping out of, and onto the tarmac and he smoothly unbuttons his coat and climbs aboard his Cessna.

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On the inside, lies a culture shock for anyone who’s ever steered a Lamborghini. Lamborghini offers a four-seater and five-seater option with the Urus. The seats are comfortably spaced and offer sufficient leg room while the sloping roof takes a toll on the headroom of the rear occupants. The hexagon-themed insides are awash with suede and Alcantara. The bucket seats are a tad too comfortable for a super-car (read SUV) but they’re worth it for Indian roads. Not many SUVs on Indian roads care as little about the boot space as the Urus does. It does offer sufficient room for two large bags though.

The next question arises – how do they make something that’s generally cavernous look and feel like the cockpit of a jet? Everything on the dash is touch-controlled with the absence of buttons. As a result, you need to take your eyes off the road until your muscle memory takes over. The dash has two large touchscreens for infotainment and climate control. The instrument cluster is completely customisable. The eight-speaker sound system can be upgraded to a B&O 3D sound setup with an incredible 1,700-watt output.

The absolute reverence for the brand that inspired me to review the Urus seemed nearly completely justified by the interiors and exteriors of the car. But the real deal, as any Italian car-lover will tell you, is when you kick the engine to life. The Urus welcomes the V8 engine again and this time it promises to belt out 641-horsepower via a 4-litre  engine that would be familiar to many who’re following the Panamera (Porsche and Lamborghini both are a part of the VW lineage). Add to this a couple of twin-scroll turbos that pump out those ponies at 6000 rpm and 850 nm torque. All this, making an SUV the size of the Urus go from 0-100 km/hr in just 3.6 seconds, touching top speeds of 305 kmph! It’s incomprehensible to convey how superior one feels with that 8-speed automatic gearbox at their disposal, manoeuvring a 2.2-ton brute as if it were any agile supercar.

I drove the Urus from the Oxford Golf Course which is just outside Pune, all the way to the Mumbai-Pune expressway. This  gave me the opportunity to explore the driving experience that the many modes here enable. I started off with the Strada Mode, which is comfortable and managed to rake it up to the Sports Mode where everything tightened and the control was phenomenal. I’d have continued in this mode, had I been on the track. The six different modes can be switched depending on the control and ground clearance you need as per the terrain you’re driving on. While the Strada mode kept the engine’s tone well within not-head-turning, as you go to more extreme modes, the sound is audibly enhanced and more pronounced. Switching to the Sports Mode on the highway was a real thrill. The car dropped down a couple of gears and showed off some crackles and pops. One moment, you’re riding an obedient machine that caters to your every whim and the next you’re taming one that simply wants to amplify your every attempt to traverse distances. It’s almost like a car with MPD. 

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Handling it on the highway was great and the air suspension seemed to be just right for the Urus to tame Indian roads. Each mode triggers a respective suspension.

On hitting the Mumbai Expressway, I could let the Urus stretch its legs and boy was that something I’ll remember for a while. It was rather unsettling for drivers I brushed by to see an SUV with such ferocity and speed. Of course, it felt great. And to make it a more confident exploit was the efficiency in the way the brakes work. The brakes on this one are famed to be the biggest and the most powerful to be found in any production car and that’s a claim that counts. Once off the expressway, I’d tone down the driving mode to enable efficient steering and boy was the Urus comfortably turning around tricky curves, all thanks to the rear-wheel steering. The traction control and active anti-roll bars ensured that steering the SUV around was indeed effortless and precise.

As I grasped the wheel at the last few turns towards the end of my drive, I knew that this was to be the most desirable SUV and would be so for some time to come. How Lamborghini managed to infuse their DNA in a vehicle segment that they aren’t known for is commendable. But if there was a Lamborghini fit for Indian roads then the Urus would be the one. It can handle any terrain and packs in a family of four to five. It wouldn’t be long before we spot more Urus’ on the streets, picking Indian SUVs out of their grilles. Testimony to this is how all the Urus’ in India are already booked for the year, with over 70 percent of the buyers being first-time Lamborghini owners. This here’s why I rest my case about the Urus being the car that matches the swagger and dapper demeanour of the modern-day ultimate gent. 

Driving modes

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In a first for Lamborghini the Urus comes with seven driving modes. The Anima selector (Adaptive Network Intelligent Management) lets the driver select between: Strada (Comfort), Sport (Spirited) and Corsa (Track). For off-roading, there are Neve (slippery), Terre (general off-roading) and Sabbia (Sand). Ego lets you personalise settings for the steering, suspension and gearbox for an optimised driving experience.

Special tyres

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A super SUV requires special tyres. Lamborghini worked closely with Pirelli which developed a special tyre compound and treat patterns to offer maximum grip and flexibility. A total of six tyre choices are available to go with Urus’ alloy wheel options ranging in size from 21 to 23 inches. These wheels have the biggest brakes ever fitted in a production car: 440 mm with 370 mm carbon ceramic rotors (front).

Infotainment

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Two high res touchscreens are embedded in the centre console Navigation, infotainment and connectivity options are presented in the centre display. You can adjust the seats from the lower screen. The system is also fully voice controllable.

Rear wheel steering

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Like many of the newer performance cars, the Lamborghini  Urus comes with a rear wheel steering. At lower speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the fronts and in the same direction at high speeds. This essentially shortens or lengthens the wheel base: Shorter when the driver wants to manoeuvre around tight spaces and longer when the driver wants to change lanes at high speeds. 

Exhaust 

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Along with its sharp looks signature to a Lamborghini is its sound note. Though not intoxicating as in the Huracan let alone the Aventador the quad exhaust system does give out those familiar crackle and pops in gear shifts. The exhaust system really opens up in Sport or Corsa setting with the V8 engine producing a satisfying scream along with its brutal acceleration.

THE URUS

has a 3966 cc, 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine. 9.99 engine, giving out a torque of 850 nm@ 2250-4500 rpm. It has a city fuel efficiency of 5.5 kmpl and a highway efficiency of 7.5 kmpl. And now the real deal: It an touch a top speed of 305 km/hr!

Rs 3.34 CRORE

For this price, the Urus is the costliest SUV you’ll find on the road. Any road!

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