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Lamborghini Urus (2020) review

Lamborghini Urus

Remember the furore when Porsche launched its go-faster SUV, the Cayenne, in 2003? Po-faced purists were appalled, yet car buyers were enthralled, and BMW, Land Rover et al soon followed suit.

Today, the Cayenne’s popularity means Porsche has effectively become an SUV company that also builds sports cars. Rewind to 1986, however, and it was actually Lamborghini that first put the ‘sport’ into ‘sport utility vehicle’ – albeit with markedly more modest sales success.

Nicknamed the ‘Rambo Lambo’, the LM002 began life as a military vehicle, then was adapted for civilian life. Luxuries included air-con, electric windows and a leather-lined interior. It was almost willfully ugly (picture a Humvee on steroids) and weighed almost three tonnes. Nonetheless, a 450hp 5.2-litre V12, transplanted from the Countach, meant 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds and 118mph flat-out. That’s if you could stomach the single-figure fuel consumption. Just 380 examples were made in seven years.

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Now Lamborghini has another ‘super SUV’, but its fate will likely be somewhat different. The Urus – named after a prehistoric ox – is expected to double annual sales. This, then, is no weapons-grade LM002 replacement. Rather, it’s Lamborghini’s Cayenne: a practical five-seat coupe that’s also near-as-dammit the fastest SUV ever made.

Lamborghini Urus

How fast? Well, thanks to a 650hp 4.0-litre V8, the 2,197kg Urus blasts to 62mph in 3.6 seconds. That’s a lot quicker than any Countach. The twin-turbo engine drives all four wheels via an eight-speed gearbox, which has long, racer-style shift paddles, while the brakes are mighty carbon-ceramics with 10-piston front calipers. Opt for full ‘rap video’ spec and the alloys measure a steamroller 23 inches.

Indeed, everything about the Urus is super-sized; its footprint is larger than a Range Rover. Fortunately, sharp-edged styling and a long, tapering roofline disguise its bulk. The hungry front air intakes look fabulously aggressive and the swollen wheelarches are a riot of intersecting angles. In the dazzling Giallo Auge yellow, it turns as many heads as an Aventador.

The interior looks quite muted by comparison. There’s the trad-Lambo ‘bomb switch’ start button and Manga-style graphics for the TFT dials, but the two large touchscreens – for media and climate control – come from Audi. Slick and straightforward to use, they’re nonetheless prone to grubby fingerprints. The back bench will comfortably fit three adults, or you can opt for two individual rear chairs. Be warned the latter don’t fold down, though, which reduces maximum luggage space from 1,596 litres to 616 litres in four-seat guise.

The V8 ignites with a bassy throb antithetical to the maniacal yelp of most Lamborghinis. And while the firm’s V10 and V12 motors thrive on high-rev hysteria, the Urus counters with titanic torque: 627lb ft from just 2,250rpm. That makes it easier and more relaxing to drive, as per its SUV remit. Your passengers will doubtless appreciate such newfound civility, too. Me? I can’t help mourning the life-affirming sound and fury of Sant’Agata’s supercars.

Lamborghini Urus

With all that oomph, plus permanent four-wheel drive, active roll stabilisation and rear-wheel steering, the Urus serves up startling cross-country pace. Switch into Sport or Corsa (Race) modes and the suspension stiffens, sharpening the car’s responses without ruining the ride. The steering is well-weighted and the chassis feels planted and benign. You can even go off-road provided you change the tyres. Good news for Russian and Middle Eastern markets, where it will chalk up many sales.

Confession time: I was one of those Porsche diehards who complained about the Cayenne, and part of me feels the Urus isn’t a ‘proper’ Lamborghini either. However, it’s an accomplished all-rounder with more performance and presence than any other SUV on sale. And that, I suspect, is precisely what buyers will want.

Price: £165,000

0-62mph: 3.6sec

Top speed: 189mph

CO2 G/KM: 279

MPG combined: 22.3

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Lamborghini is making masks and face shields for coronavirus medics

Lamborghini covid face masks

Automobili Lamborghini has started the production of surgical masks and face shields for those helping fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The protective equipment will be donated to the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, located less than 20 miles away from Lamborghini’s factory in Sant’Agata. 

Lamborghini had previously taken the decision to stop car production on the 12th of March, with the coronavirus pandemic worsening in Italy. 

The need to make a concrete contribution

Lamborghini covid face masks

The Emilia-Romagna Region, which plays host to Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, and Ducati, has been one of the Italian areas worst-hit by coronavirus.

The region has seen more than 14,000 cases, second only to Lombardy, 

Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, commented that: “During this emergency, we feel the need to make a concrete contribution.

“The S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital is an institution with which we have had a collaborative relationship for years, through both professional consultancy in promoting programs to protect our workers’ health, and in research projects. 

“We will win this battle together by working in union, supporting those who are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic every day.”

A display of unity and support

Lamborghini covid face masks

Instead of producing leather components for use in luxurious Lamborghini interiors, the company’s saddlery department is now producing face masks. Up to 1,000 masks per day can be produced by Lamborghini workers. 

This is in addition to a total of 200 plexiglass protective face shields being produced each day. These are made using 3D printers housed in the company’s research and development department.

All the protective equipment being produced by Lamborghini has been approved by the Emilia-Romagna Region local authorities. The University of Bologna will also undertake testing of the finished items to ensure they meet the relevant safety standards.

As a symbol of unity with the Emilia-Romagna Region and wider country, Lamborghini has also been illuminating its museum and headquarters with the colours of the Italian flag each evening.

Lamborghini production stopped due to Coronavirus

Lamborghini halts production due to coronavirus

Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini is the latest car manufacturer to fall victim to the coronavirus. The company has stopped production at its Sant’Agata plant for two weeks, until March 25. The move is part of Volkswagen Group’s plan to limit the impact of coronavirus on its operations.

Lamborghini is only the latest case of a coronavirus factory closure. It should come as no surprise, given the hold the virus has on Italy.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered lockdown in the country on Wednesday. All shops except grocery stores and pharmacies are closed. Factories, however, are allowed to stay operational, albeit with ‘precautions’. 

New 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD

“This measure is an act of social responsibility and high sensibility toward our people, in the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves right now,” said Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali. 

“We continue to monitor the situation in order to react rapidly and with the right flexibility, in collaboration with our people and in order to restart with energy in the right moment.”

3D Printed Lamborghini Aventador Christmas Gift

China, where the coronavirus originated, is the second-largest market for Lamborghini (770 cars), after the USA (2,375 cars).

Demand for cars has plummeted in China, as parts of the country have all but ground to a halt.

The coronavirus has even led to plummeting fuel prices, which will at least please existing Lamborghini owners…

1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400

Banish the winter blues with this classic Lamborghini Countach

1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400

Late January is judged by some to be the most depressing time, with the holidays a fading memory and only the credit card bills left behind.

But the start of the year does not to be completely miserable if you are in the market for a classic collector car.

Whilst the recent Arizona auctions may have captured much of the spotlight, there are still cars out there looking for buyers. Like this rare Lamborghini Countach, for instance.

Cutting (w)edge machine

1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400

Currently being advertised by New York’s Gullwing Motor Cars on ClassicCars.com, this Countach is one of the earliest examples produced. 

It might seem hard to believe, but the original designs for the Countach now date back 50 years from when Lamborghini commissioned Marcello Gandini and Bertone to begin work on the prototype. 

The dramatic wedge-shaped supercar made its first public outing at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, wowing the crowds with features like scissor doors and a periscope in place of a traditional rear-view mirror.

1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400

Lamborghini would continue to develop the looks of the Countach over nearly two decades of production. However, the earliest LP400 cars like this one are considered to be the purest representation of Gandini’s original design idea.

Beginning production in 1974, the first LP400 Countach models used a 4.0-liter V-12 engine. Peak power was rated at 375 horsepower, with torque at 266 lb-ft. 

A five-speed manual transmission sent power to the rear wheels, with the LP400 capable of hitting a top speed of 179 mph. Commendable for the early 1970s. 

Even Canada gets the blues

1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400

A grand total of 157 examples of the Countach LP400 would be built before Lamborghini introduced the revised LP400S in 1978. This leaves the initial run of cars deeply sought after by collectors. 

This particular LP400 was delivered in October 1975 to Canadian importer Eugene Carrie of Ontario. Ordered with stunning bright Blu Tahiti exterior paint, the interior was fitted with equally dramatic blue and white upholstery. 

By 1978 the Countach had made its way to the United States, where it has resided ever since. A two-year restoration process was recently undertaken, with the work performed by Ultimate Motor Works in Florida.  

1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400

The seller notes that famed Lamborghini expert and test driver Valentino Balboni was consulted during the restoration process, and that he personally inspected the car. 

All areas of the car were party to the restoration, including the original Philips stereo system and the factory-fitted air conditioning. A set of Carello driving lights are found at the front, whilst the wheels wear Michelin XWX radial tires.

The odometer records a total of 15,845 kilometres (9,846 miles), demonstrating low usage for a car more than four-decades old.

Million-dollar retail therapy

1976 Lamborghini Countach LP400

An advertised sale price of $1,095,000 (£840,000) does place this Countach at the top end of values, but this is said to reflect the condition and desirable specification. 

The most expensive Countach sold to date achieved $1.21 million at a Bonhams auction in 2014. Notably, that car was also finished in Blu Tahiti, and had a slightly higher mileage on the odometer. 

Spending a million dollars might seem an extravagant way to beat away the blues, but it has to be better than joining a gym or trying out a new fad diet.

Urus SUV propels Lamborghini to new sales record

Lamborghini Urus Super SUV

Lamborghini registered 8,205 new cars in 2019 – and the Urus SUV accounted for 61 percent of sales.

To put that another way, Lamborghini sold nearly 5,000 Urus models last year. That almost equals the company’s entire sales volume in 2018. It’s easy to see why so many companies are keen to expand their SUV portfolio.

Whatever your views on the Urus, the success of the SUV will ensure that Lamborghini is able to continue building wild supercars and crazy hypercars.

Last year represented the ninth successive year of growth and a new sales record for the Italian firm. The company has 165 dealers serving 51 countries, with sales up in the three key regions.

The most significant upturn was in Asia Pacific, where sales rose by 66 percent to 2,162 units. Next up was America, where sales of 2,837 units represented a 45 percent upturn. These figures were dwarfed by the 3,206 sales volume in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region, although the increase was a more modest 28 percent.

The United States remains the marque’s biggest market (2,374 units), followed by the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macau (770 units). In the UK, 658 new Lamborghinis found homes in 2019.

Not that the Urus can take all of the credit. The Huracan – Lamborghini’s most successful model to date – sold 2,139 units. In 2019, Huracan number 14,022 rolled off the line, surpassing the sales of the Gallardo in just five years. Its predecessor was on sale for a decade.

‘Unprecedented historic highs’

Automobili Lamborghini Italy

Commenting on the sales figures, Stefano Domenicali, chairman and chief executive officer of Automobili Lamborghini said: “The year 2019 was the most successful in our history. The team delivered another substantial sales increase, taking us to unprecedented historic highs. In only two years we more than doubled our sales numbers, a success that cannot be overrated.

“This clearly proves the power of our brand and the quality and sustainability of our product and commercial strategy. Our Super SUV Urus sold almost 5,000 units, a number that comes close to our total sales volume in 2018. With new content and new technologies, our V10 and V12 super sports cars models retained their market success.

“Simultaneously, we further increased our high brand awareness, especially with the younger generations, having multiplied our following on social media channels to more than 40 million. All this is a real team achievement and I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single Lamborghini team member for their inspiration and dedication to our brand, as well as our shareholder and group for their continued support.”

Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder review: the sound and the fury

Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

Two months ago in Sant’Agata Bolognese, a village near Italy’s supercar mecca of Modena, a Lamborghini Huracan was wrapped in protective plastic and loaded aboard a truck. The car itself – a grey coupe bound for South Korea – was nothing unusual. But Huracan number 14,022 had made history: eclipsing its Gallardo predecessor to become the best-selling Lamborghini of all time.

To put that number into perspective, Lamborghini built just 6,514 cars in its first 27 years. From the 350 GT in 1963 to the final Countach Anniversary in 1990, that’s an average of 20 a month. At around 260 a month, the Huracan is mass-produced by Sant’Agata standards. However, unless you’re a parking valet at the Dorchester, the littlest Lambo remains a rare sight. For further perspective, Nissan’s mega-factory in Sunderland churns out 1,000 Qashqais every day.

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Now, Lamborghini’s golden goose has received a mid-life makeover, intended to keep it fresh until its replacement – likely a plug-in hybrid – arrives in 2022. The Huracan Evo inherits the 640hp engine from the Performante, plus rear-wheel steering, a downforce-boosting ducktail and an adaptive dynamics system called LDVI. Inside, the dated infotainment has been binned for a touchscreen with gimmicky gesture control (flick a V-sign to raise or lower the volume) and far-more-useful Apple CarPlay. There’s still no Android Auto, though.

Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

You’ll have spotted this Evo is the soft-top Spyder, with a fabric roof that retracts in 17 seconds at up to 31mph. With an extra 120kg of body bracing, it’s slightly slower than the coupe (3.1sec vs. 2.9sec to 62mph) and around £16,000 pricier, at £218,317 before options. However, once you hear the fresh-air fury of Lamborghini’s 5.2-litre V10 inches behind your back, details like these cease to matter. The drop-down rear window also lets you enjoy the aural assault with the roof up, and without getting drenched. Perfect for England in November.

That outrageous engine still defines the Huracan experience. In Strada (road) mode it’s surprisingly civil, shifting up early and muting the high-mounted tailpipes to a stentorian growl. Even your grandmother would scarcely raise an eyebrow. But switching to Sport or Corsa (track) unshackles a rottweiler with a ravenous hunger for revs. Unfettered by forced induction, the V10 soars to its 8,000rpm redline, gleefully goading you to go faster. The Lamborghini inhales the road like a rock star snorting cocaine. It’s pure supercar decadence.

Unlike the original car, though, the Huracan’s chassis no longer feels like a supporting act; rear-wheel steering bestows a renewed exuberance and agility. My colleague, who was lucky enough to attend the Evo coupé launch at Bahrain’s Grand Prix circuit, tells me it transforms the on-track handling. Where once there was play-it-safe understeer at the limit, now the Huracan feels poised and playful. I can, um, confirm the rear-steer makes it more manoeuvrable in London multi-storeys, too.

Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

The new Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Integrata (LDVI) system also plays its part. It emulates Ferrari’s Dynamic Enhancer, continuously predicting your next move and priming the steering, suspension, transmission and stability systems to suit. You don’t feel it working, but that’s the point. Despite the dartier turn-in, everything seems to coalesce and flow. Compared with pulse-spiking Lamborghinis of old, the four-wheel-drive Hurcan is easy to exploit and enjoy.

Exploit that V10 too much, of course, and, rather like our errant rock star, you could swiftly end up explaining your actions to a judge. Thankfully, the Huracan feels special at any speed: its extravagant styling and shock-and-awe soundtrack make children point, boy racers salute and rev their engines, and strangers strike up conversations every time you stop. That simply doesn’t happen in a Qashqai.

Price: £218,137

0-62mph: 3.1sec

Top speed: 201mph

CO2 G/KM: 338

MPG combined: 19.9

Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder: in pictures

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Italian airport has new Lamborghini for planes to follow

Lamborghini Follow Me Huracan

Lamborghini has delivered a new Huracan to Guglielmo Marconi Airport in Bologna. It’s the sixth car the marque has sent to its local airport, for use leading aircraft on the runways.

The ‘Follow Me’ Lamborghini is quite unlike any other Huracan. Designed by Lamborghini Centro Stile, a unique livery covers its Arancio orange body.

Lamborghini Follow Me Huracan

The previous ‘Follow Me’ Huracan was a Grigio silver car with yellow livery. The new one features an Italian flag on each side, split into three ‘Y’ shapes, similar those in the Lamborghini Aventador’s rear lights. 

Over the top, the Italian tricolore features again, along with a chequerboard design on the front and rear haunches. Up front, the Italian green and red colours can be seen on the front air inlets.

Lamborghini Follow Me Huracan

As if a bright orange Lamborghini covered in stripes wasn’t visible enough, there’s also a light bar on the roof. Flashing orange lights make sure pilots never lose sight of the V10 supercar.

Surprisingly, this Huracan isn’t the new Evo model, but a rear-driven LP-580. Slightly different for this specific example are the carbon side skirt inlets and wheels borrowed from the hardcore Performante.

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The Lambo V12 Vision GT is a hypercar you can actually drive

Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo

The wild and futuristic Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo has been unveiled in Monaco.

It’s the latest in a long line of Vision Gran Turismo cars – PlayStation 4 gamers will be able to download and drive it from spring 2020.

The single-seater uses the V12 powertrain from the equally wild Lamborghini Sian FKP 37, which made its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Designed as a tribute to the late Ferdinand Piech – the car bears his initials – the electrified hypercar can hit 62 mph in less than 2.8 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 217 mph.

Just 63 will be built, with each car costing a reported £3 million (almost $3.9 million) each. Predictably, all had been sold before the car was unveiled.

The key difference between the two is that while the Lamborghini Sian is a slice of reality – if you can afford the price – the Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo exists only in a virtual world.

Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo launch

Although it’s a definite nod to a virtual future, the playable car features a nod to the Marcello Gandini-designed Marzal concept car of 1968 in the form of the hexagon-inspired side windows.

Other features are more contemporary, including the Y-signature for the front and rear lights.

Virtual drivers enter the Lambo ‘like a jet fighter pilot, from the front of the car’, with the driving controls located within the steering wheel. We can’t spot a cupholder for gamers’ to house their can of energy drink, mind.

A Lambo for kids

Stefano Domenicali, Lamborghini chairman and CEO, said: “Lamborghini is a very young brand, and this is why we are here today to present our newest virtual vision in the form of a real model, with a highly futuristic and cool design to be enjoyed by the young generation of racing game and super sports car enthusiasts.”

Mitja Bokert, head of Lamborghini Centro Stile, added: “The Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo is created to provide the ultimate virtual car for young fans and gamers, who are ultra-enthusiastic about Lamborghini and its futuristic aspirations.

Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo inside

”It is an opportunity for the design talent within Lamborghini to stretch its wings and visualize a car that, like every Lamborghini, is a head-turner and the best driving experience, but also mirrors Lamborghini’s push on future technologies, particularly in the arena of lightweight materials and hybridisation.”

The Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo was unveiled at the PlayStation game’s world finals at the FIA Certified Gran Turismo Championships in Monte Carlo.

In pictures: Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo

Lamborghini patents revolutionary electric car tech with university

Lamborghini MIT electric car breakthrough

Lamborghini has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop new supercapacitor technology to dramatically improve range and performance potential. They have patented a breakthrough that achieves just that.

The patent is for a new synthetic material to be used in the construction of supercapacitors. While large-scale production requires further research, the initial results are highly impressive. Energy density (that is, the amount of power that can be stored) can be increased by up to 100 percent. There’s potential, they say, for much more.

How Lamborghini could increase electric car rangeLamborghini MIT electric car breakthrough

In the same way that, broadly speaking, if you increase the cubic capacity (cc) of an engine, power goes up, so too does the energy density of a supercapacitor if you increase surface area within it. This new material does so, allowing much more electric charge exposure, meaning more energy can be retained.

Lamborghini’s first hybrid, the Sian, was revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. As it sits, it utilises the very latest supercapacitor technology, which is mostly used in racing cars. Lamborghini expects these new advances to far outstrip existing technology in the coming years.

Making stronger batteriesLamborghini MIT electric car breakthrough

In addition to working with MIT’s chemistry department on the new material, Lamborghini has also worked with its mechanical engineering department on battery structure. The goal here is to develop batteries that can be integrated into a vehicle’s structure and potentially take load. The performance standards of battery prototypes are being benchmarked against the figures for the Terzo Millennio electric hypercar concept. Talk about chasing the dream… 

“The joint research with MIT fully embodies our values and our vocation for anticipating the future: a future in which hybridisation is increasingly desirable and inevitably necessary,” said Stefano Domenicali, chairman and chief executive officer of Automobili Lamborghini.

Lamborghini Huracan breaks Gallardo production record

Lamborghini Huracan production record

The number of Lamborghini Huracan models built has surpassed the Gallardo to set a new production record. In its ten years on sale, the Gallardo reached 14,022 units, which the Huracan has now passed in five.

Bulls en masse

Lamborghini Huracan production record

Huracan number 14,022 is a grey Evo coupe that’s headed for the Korean market. In the first six months of 2019, Lamborghini delivered 4,553 cars. Of those, 1,211 were Huracans. It was a strange period for the Huracan, as it transitioned from Performante to Evo. 

Performing like that on average for the same period the Gallardo was on sale would see the Huracan reach 24,000 units sold. If the Huracan repeats its performance of the last five years, it’ll reach 28,000 by the time it’s ten, if it lives that long.

At five years old, the Huracan would have to be in production until 2024 to reach the Gallardo’s age when it went out of production. 

Lamborghini Huracan production record

Though the Evo has just been released, it’s still not known exactly how long the Huracan is to last. Hybridisation looms, as the Cyan previewed electrification in the next-generation V12-powered model from the marque.

So far, the Huracan has advanced from the 610hp model, through the rear-wheel-drive 580-2, to the 640hp Performante and now the Evo, with Spyder variants of all of the above in between. 

Lamborghini Huracan production record

The Gallardo was revolutionary for Lamborghini in terms of production. When it was removed from sale in 2013, Gallardos counted for over half of all Lamborghinis ever made.

Until recently and the release of the Urus, the V10 models were Lamborghinis bread-winners. Now, the SUV model is sure to take Lamborghini to new sales heights.