If you share the belief that the best comedy comes from the unexpected and the absurd, then you'll love the trucks those lunatics at Lamborghini built twenty-some years ago. Loving it, however, still won't quite help your brain reconcile what the vehicle is actually supposed to be.
From the cabin, you might think you're in a Countach, except that the windshield is as big and vertical as a Times Square billboard. The aromatic leather makes you think you're in an expensive handbag, and you'll feel as cramped as you would inside a Fendi. Squeezed into the driver's seat-one of four supernarrow, supportive buckets that were designed for someone whose posterior is smaller than yours-you'll have a little, three-spoke Nardi steering wheel stuffed between your knees. The wheel is canted so the top of its rim is only millimeters from the instrument panel, leaving barely enough room for your fingers. And yet the tall gearshift lever is located what feels like two car widths to your right across a vast cabin. The engraved knob atop the shifter shows a five-speed pattern with a dogleg first (down and to the left), just like in the Countach.
The engine seems to say Countach, too-turn the key, and the starter motor's monotonous whir suggests that there are twelve pistons being heaved up and down. The engine lights off and sends such a ferocious growl down the exhaust pipes that nearby pedestrians flinch. Engage first, drop the throttle to the floor, and let the tachometer needle wind its way toward 7000 rpm. Your synapses fire away in an attempt to process all of the seemingly contradictory observations: the deafeningly loud and unmistakably satanic wail of a Countach V-12 is met only with subdued forward progress. And-whoa!-the steering is slower than a Mack truck's. Oh, and excuse me, but what are those winch buttons doing on the dash? What in the world is this vehicle?
You can climb out and look at the LM002, but that doesn't help explain what it is. In fact, more than two decades after its debut, the LM002 still defies categorization. Or explanation. The LM002 is a four-door pickup/off-road monster/luxury car/Countach-type thing with a wood-and-leather-lined cockpit. You might be fooled into thinking that fiberglass and aluminum body panels would make it light, but thanks in part to a beefy steel tube frame and huge wheels and tires, the LM weighs an almost incomprehensible 6800 pounds. To be fair, nearly 500 pounds of that heft is in expendable liquid form-there are 76.6 gallons of gasoline sloshing around in the giant fuel tank. Best be careful uttering the phrase "fill 'er up" near an LM002.