Ahead of the Urus launch, though, the Italian automaker wants to make sure you remember that this won’t be the first time it’s sold an SUV. And not only did it previously offer an SUV, it offered an awesome SUV.
For the uninitiated, Lamborghini’s first SUV was called the LM002. The exotic SUV was originally developed in the late 1970s to be a high-speed off-road military vehicle called the Cheetah, but AM General’s Humvee won the contract instead.
A few years later, in 1981, engineer Giulio Alfieri brought back the project as a consumer vehicle. After five years of development, it made its official debut in 1986 at the Brussels Auto Show.
But while the Cheetah used a rear-mounted Chrysler V-8, the LM002 used a front-mounted V-12. And oh, what a V-12 it was. Borrowed from the Countach Quattrovalvole, the LM002’s 5.1-liter engine made 450 hp.
For comparison, the Corvette at the time used a 5.7-liter V-8 that only made 230 hp. Despite having the aerodynamic properties of a brick, the LM002 had a top speed of about 125 mph.
Lamborghini used a mix of fiberglass and aluminum for the body, adding a four-wheel-drive system and three self-locking differentials, as well as a full luxury interior.
Especially for 1986, that combination of luxury, off-road capability, and supercar power was essentially unheard of. Over the next six years, around 300 were sold.
The production Urus will probably be more road-focused than its predecessor, and Lamborghini hopes to sell way more of them per year. But hopefully, the Urus inherits a little bit of what made the LM002 so awesome.