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WATCH | Driving the Lamborghini Urus super SUV is like commandeering The Hulk

2020-04-08 09:00

Janine Van der Post

lamborghini urus

Image: Lamborghini SA / Peet Mocke

Two years ago, Lamborghini had officially opened its showroom floors in Cape Town. It was such a prestigious affair that even Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. CEO Stefano Domenicali was in attendance, along with the local CEO, Toby Venter.

The event also marked the local debut of the world's first Super SUV, and the automaker's first offering into the segment, the Urus. As a Lambo fan from yesteryear, I was in awe to be in the presence of this beautiful beast on the showroom floor in Century City. Yet, it would be another 18 months before I would have the privilege of getting behind its wheel in the refreshed model launched in SA earlier in March. 

And if you perhaps don't know, Lamborghini says the name is derived from the anchor of the Zodiac, Taurus, the god of the bulls. Urus is just a contraction thereof. 

Lamborghini said at the time of its Urus debut: "The Urus is a visionary approach based on the infusion of the Lamborghini DNA into a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).

"The Urus elevates the SUV segment to a level not previously possible, the Super SUV. It is a real Lamborghini in terms of design, performance, driving dynamics and emotion for every day in a range of environments, transcending the boundaries of expectations and opening the door to new possibilities.

lamborghini urus

Image: Lamborghini SA/Peet Mocke

After finally getting to drive the mammoth vehicle, it's safe to say they weren't telling any lies.The Lamborghini Urus is, no doubt, a super SUV. While it might be absolutely beautiful to look at, it's also incredibly intimidating.Having driven the Huracan EVO first on the day of the launch, my driving partner Jeanette and I were hardly expecting a spirited drive in the Urus after stepping out of a 465kW/700Nm supercar. You can read all about that, here.

We thought we were in for a casual cruise with Eric Bana, but we could not have been more wrong. We had anticipated a bit of a mundane drive back to Town after the EVO, but under the large, long bonnet of the Urus lies a 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine with 478kW and 850Nm, mated to an eight-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission.

Just because this Urus wasn't as green in colour as The Hulk, its sheer size and strength displayed when you're behind the wheel sure makes you feel like you're commandeering Marvel's weapon of mass destruction. Since customers can customise their vehicles to any spec they wish, I'm pretty sure you could get it in racing green, or lime green, if you wanted.

lamborghini urus

Image: Lamborghini SA/ Peet Mocke

But let's put that size in perspective for a moment. The Urus has a curb weight of just less than 2200kg, yet it has a sprint time from zero to 100km/h in only 3.6 seconds. That's a whole lot faster than some people would manage to pronounce Lamborghini Urus correctly. And, it goes to 200km/h in only 12.8 seconds, it also has a claimed top speed of 305km/h. 

It also sits all too pretty on 22" Nath rims in diamond finish, carbon-ceramic brakes as standard, and complemented with orange brake calipers. The boot is humongous too with 616 litres of space which can be increased to 1 596 litres when the rear seats are folded down. Customers can also opt for a two-seat rear layout for even more spacious legroom for occupants. 

lamborghini urus
Image: Lamborghini SA/ Peet Mocke

The cabin of the Urus is just as lavish as the EVO but looks a bit more complicated with more instrumentation. It has several more driving modes other than just Strada, Sport and Corsa - up to six in total - yet those three primary modes function precisely the same as in its lighter, sleeker relative. 

The Urus makes an exceptional daily drive, especially in South Africa's horrendous traffic conditions, so Strada would be the mode of choice. Yet, flip it to Corsa or Sport via the large Tamburo mode selector in the centre console, and you sure as heck better be wearing your big-girl panties. 

lambo urus_driving modes_peet mocke

Image: Lamborghini SA/ Peet Mocke

What it's like to drive a R5.5-million Lamborghini Huracan EVO for the first time

Despite its size and weight, it has a low seating position and a remarkably comfortable cabin. Yet, its driving dynamics will leave you utterly confused because although it might look like The Hulk, it's as agile as Quicksilver. Use the paddle shifts, and blip down the cogs when you're trying to drive unnoticed through quaint little towns, and its ferocious growl gives it away by a long shot. Gosh, just thinking of it gives shrills of pleasure down my spine, just like when the hyenas mention Mufasa's name in the Lion King.

Give it some foot in short bursts of open road, and its sonorous roar will leave you singing songs of praise to the heavens.

Naturally, Jeanette and I were giggling like naughty little girls, totally in our element. It's just such a pity the drive back was not off the beaten track, and we literally had to behave like two kids en route to daily Mass at the Convent.

Despite not being able to give this raging bull the horns we had wanted to, we still say we're blessed beyond measure when you're just a couple of working moms, and the Urus was our 'office' for a sweet afternoon. All in a day's work.

Calvin Fisher, creator of the video above, says: "I know what you're thinking. Urus sounds a hell of a lot like Virus, doesn't it? Well, prepare to get infected with 478kW and 850Nm. That's a hell of a lot of blunt force drama from its twin-turbo 4.0 litre V8 - good for a zero-to-hundred sprint in just 3.6 seconds and a max speed of 305km/h, with cogs swapped through an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic box. Which is extraordinary for something with family ties to a VW Touareg. 

And if you’re foolish enough to leave it in Strada or Sport mode you’ll feel the connection to those Volkswagen Audi Group offerings, but dial the ANIMA to Corsa mode and you’ll leave all the other sporty SUVs you’ve ever driven in its dust. In this mode the Urus is a properly agile beast with performance more akin to a raging bull which is exactly what you expect in a Lamborghini. Even a tall one like this."

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