In the year 1986, Lamborghini made its first ever SUV, the LM002. Unlike the SUVs of modern times whose sole purpose is to ferry people in utmost comfort, the LM002 started life as the Italian carmaker’s pet project to develop a high-performance, military grade off-road SUV in the late 1970’s, codenamed – Cheetah.
It was not until 1981, when Lamborghini engineer Giulio Alfieri reopened the Cheetah casefile and thus, the LM002 was born. The final production model was presented at the 1986 Brussels Auto Show, featuring a front-mounted 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V12 sourced from the legendary Countach Quattrovalvole producing 450 hp. Four-hundred and fifty ponies in an SUV from the 80s, the guys at Lamborghini must be mad, in a good way of course.
Coupled that with an aluminium and fibreglass body structure as well as four-wheel drive, the LM002 was able to reach speeds in excess of 200 km/h. Not forgetting that its original purpose was to serve in the army, the LM002 came equipped with transfer case, three self-locking differentials, specially-developed Pirelli Scorpion tyres and many other high-tech wizardries to give it the capabilities to climb gradients of over 120 percent and extreme durability in extreme conditions.
It became an instant hit during its production lifespan from 1986 to 1992. Lamborghini made a total of 300 units of the LM002. The Italian carmaker is geared up for its global premier of its second SUV, the Lamborghini Urus on 4 December 2017 and like the SUV before it, the Urus will come with exceptional on/off-road dynamics, performance and luxury. The Urus will also feature the brand’s first turbocharged mill, one that belts 650 hp.