There’s a certain segment of guys that will bemoan the Urus, Lamborghini’s ultraluxe SUV. For a brand known for supercharged testosterone, isn’t the idea of a four-seat, all-wheel-drive family hauler a bit too practical—what happened to the company set to out-alpha them all?
In truth, this is Lamborghini’s second swing at an SUV, after the brutish LM002 (1986–1993). That machine was outfitted with a V12 engine, from the scissor-doored Countach you taped to the bedroom wall, and was, perhaps, ahead of its time. But the Urus is most definitely of ours: It enters a burgeoning market with competition from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and, in a few years, Ferrari. The Lambo also exhibits the de rigueur quality of our automotive moment: a platform shared with Volkswagen Group brand brethren like the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q8.
That said, the Urus is its own animal, full of angular exuberance. No one should mistake it for anything but a Lamborghini, a sure bet if you sit in one of the four baseball-mitt-leather thrones inside, surrounded by a hexagonal metal motif that looks ripped from some robotic space beehive. The interior almost feels more exotic than the brand’s two-seaters, but with space to move and a legit trunk.
To fire things up, you flip a red hexagonal guard, use an F-22-worthy lever to select a drive mode (from track to snow, written in Italian), and presto—you and the kids are launched into the HOV lane. What the Urus’ four-liter, 641-horsepower V8 lacks in eardrum-pleasing pyrotechnics, it makes up for with a wallop of torque. Part of the cognitive load of driving the thing is keeping it out of triple digits. Luckily, 17-inch brake rotors and a spiffy torque- vectoring system serve to tidy up your driving (and urges).
But does it SUV? Yes, as we found out on a hairy, narrow, icy road near Snowmass, Colorado. In snow mode, with hill descent control on, the Urus can sure-footedly edge itself out of places where a $200,000 machine shouldn’t go, stress-free. Both on and off the highway, the Urus has a sense of preternatural calm, a reservoir of potential at the ready. Perhaps it’s an alpha after all.