2019 Lamborghini Urus First Test: Cardi B\u2019s Onto Something, Okurrr?05/29/2019
Rappers like Cardi B and Kanye West get lots of crap from automotive enthusiasts for a perceived lack of taste, but truth is, these music visionaries may be onto something: The 2019 Lamborghini Urus may very well be one of the best vehicles to ever wear the famed prancing bull on its nose.
Lamborghinis, from the famed Countach up to the modern-day Aventador, have been many things—fast, expensive, and beautifully styled—but easy to drive has never been one of them. The closest Lambo has come is with the Huracan. I chaperoned our long-term Huracan (yes, I said long-term) during its stay with us, and while it’s the closest Lambo had ever come to building a car an owner could daily drive, its tight cabin, tiny trunk, and lack of visibility meant it couldn’t challenge something like a Porsche 911 or Chevrolet Corvette in terms of performance and everyday comfort.
But the Lamborghini Urus certainly can. Sure, at its core the Urus is an Audi Q7 platform and a Porsche engine wrapped in stealth fighter-esque fastback SUV Lambo sheetmetal, but the Urus is truly so much more than that.
Let’s start with the engine. Lamborghini’s expertise traditionally lies with V-10 and V-12s, neither of which would fit on the Audi-developed Volkswagen Group MLBevo platform (a W-12 would fit, as seen in the Bentley Bentayga, but it’d be too heavy for a super SUV like the Urus). So Lamborghini hit up Porsche to borrow the Cayenne Turbo’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. Except a run-of-the-mill Porsche engine wasn’t enough for a Lamborghini. So, according to sources, Lamborghini took the engine to Porsche Motorsports—the team responsible for Porsche’s GT3 and Le Mans race cars—to tweak the engine. The result is a relatively small eight-cylinder engine that makes an almost certainly underrated 641 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system.
The end result is the quickest SUV we’ve ever tested. In 0-60 mph tests, the Urus smokes both the Tesla Model X and Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S fastback, accelerating to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds and running the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds at 120.1 mph. And, thanks to pizza-pie-sized carbon ceramic brakes and lightweight aluminum bodywork (despite its size, the Urus weighs just 4,931 pounds—believe it or not, that’s pretty light for its class), the Lamborghini can stop from 60 to 0 mph in just 107 feet.
That chassis, despite being the progeny of Audi, helps the Urus handle as a Lamborghini should, too. Aided by a hyper-responsive air suspension system and four-wheel steering, the Urus pulls 1.01 g average on the skidpad and laps the figure eight in 23.5 seconds at 0.87 g. To put the latter number into context, that’s quicker than an Aston Martin Vantage (24.0 seconds at 0.83 g), a Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo (23.8 seconds at 0.85 g), and a BMW M5 (23.7 seconds at 0.84 g), and it ties the last Audi R8 V10+ we tested (23.5 seconds at 0.90 g).
Where the Urus truly shines, though, is out in the real world where it seamlessly balances the luxury and creature comforts of an Audi or Porsche with the engaging performance you’d expect from a Lamborghini. The Urus goes around a corner the same way exceptional all-wheel-drive supercars like the Nissan GT-R do. You can throw the Lambo into a bend as hard as you dare and stomp on the gas mid-corner, and the front tires will defy physics as they claw you out onto the next straight. That’s the power of torque vectoring and four-wheel steering, folks. The Urus’ powertrain is similarly thrilling. The V-8 obviously delivers tons of power, but more impressive is how docile it can be when tooling through traffic, quietly burbling away in front of you, leaving those inside to enjoy the spacious and well-appointed cabin.
Lamborghini’s designers did a great job at masking how big the Urus is because its cabin is massive. Front-seat occupants sit in the comfortable but supportive sport seats and can entertain themselves with a twin-screen infotainment system nicked from Audi. In back there’s tons of space to spread out, even for taller adults. The Urus’ trunk is eight times the size of the Huracan’s with 22 cubic feet in the deep cargo area.
Ultimately, those dismissing the Lamborghini Urus because it’s an SUV—or because of the type of owner its attracting—are missing the point. The Urus is the ultimate everyday Lamborghini, living up to both the legendary badge on its hood and the promises of its contemporary SUV body. The Urus is also flying off of dealer lots, with a reported 70 percent of its buyers new to the brand. Those new buyers—your Cardi Bs and Kanye Wests—aren’t just getting a good SUV in their new Urus, but a great Lamborghini.
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