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Insane off-road Huracán Sterrato: Lamborghini’s all-wheel drive icons

2019-06-06 05:30

Lance Branquinho

Lambo Sterrato

Image: Supplied

From the LM002 to Lamborghini’s latest Huracán Sterrato, these are the cars which enabled all-wheel drive at Sant'Agata. 

Nearly all Lamborghinis you can buy in 2019 are all-wheel drive but that does not mean all of them are off-road capable. 

Of late, Lamborghini’s product planning has altered to reflect the variable terrain that its newer global customers operate their cars in.

This is the reason that you can now buy a Lamborghini SUV. The brand’s latest concept car, a Huracán Sterrato, is further evidence that Lamborghini is thinking beyond the traditional road network for its future product applications. But what is the history of Lamborghini and all-wheel drive vehicles?

LM002

Perhaps the most outrageous and charmingly capable Lamborghini even built.

Originally conceived as a military vehicle project, the LM002 was a double-cab bakkie powered by Lamborghini’s 5.2-litre V12 engine lifted from the Countach supercar. Featuring a tubular chassis when most SUVs were still of the ladder frame variety, the LM002 was typically 1980s excess – but also very well executed as a design. It was terrifically over-engineered too. 

Stupendously capable off-road, with 290mm of ground clearance and a low-range transfer case, the LM002’s only limiting factor was range. The 309kW V12 engine, combined with a 2700kg kerb weight, meant that it was tragically heavy on fuel.

Lamborghini fitted it with a huge 169l fuel tank to compensate, but with average consumption around 26l/100km, refuelling anxiety was a reality for any LM002 owner. Diablo VTWith its classic wedge-shape styling and ground clearance barely capable of rolling over a gently sloping speed bump, the Diablo appears to be a strange addition to our list of all-wheel drive Lamborghini icons. 

It remains a very important car in the company’s history, as this is the moment where Lamborghini realised that its V12-powered supercars required all-wheel traction to make them driveable in the hands of most owners. This running change happened in 1993, when Lamborghini introduced the Diablo VT, featuring a viscous coupling centre differential. Not a gravel traveller, but the car which started Lamborghini’s modern commitment to all-wheel drive development. 

Urus

The SUV that finally rekindled an off-roading adventure spirit at Lamborghini, which ended decades earlier, when LM002 was discontinues. Powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, good for 478kW, it remains a dedicated driver’s car – but one which isn’t shy of some gravel travel or dune climbing adventures. Although the Urus lacks low-range, it does have an air-suspension system which can enable 250mm of ground clearance when required. 

Huracán Sterrato

Lambo Sterrato

Lamborghini’s latest concept car is a very interesting prospect. Beyond the radical styling, which includes carbon-fibre fender extensions, mud flaps and an LED roofbar, the Huracán Sterrato could be classed as the ultimate crossover supercar. Powered by the Huracán Evo’s 5.2-litre V10 engine, it is good for 478kW (strangely similar to the Urus V8’s power output).

But it also features underbody protection, for rough road use, and like most Huracáns: it is all-wheel drive. The Sterrato rolls 20" wheels which run on a 30mm wider track than a conventional Huracán, and are shod with high-volume tyres to ensure longevity, traction and better ride quality on gravel surfaces.

Best of all, it has a 47mm suspension lift, which gives it a ground clearance rating of 182mm – a number which isn’t that far off most crossover vehicles

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