2019 Lamborghini Urus first drive review: All-around superstar Page 2


I watch Shinya’s braking points and brake a little later to shorten the gap, then follow his line into the corners. For the most part, I get the slower speed stuff right in corners 3a, 3b, 4, and 5 where Urus feels smaller than its healthy mid-size footprint.

A lot of hardware and software comes into play here, and it’s all standard on the $200,000 SUV. Rear-wheel steering can turn the rear wheels up to 3 degrees opposite of the fronts to virtually shorten the wheelbase and make the Urus act like a smaller car in the tight stuff at speeds below 43 mph. Where the rear-axle steering leaves off torque vectoring takes over. Power flows to the outside rear wheel in higher speed corners to help the Urus virtually shorten them.

2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

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Active roll bars front and rear work in tandem with three-chamber air springs on their firmest settings in Corsa to counteract body lean in an almost supernatural way. Corsa mode also lowers the ride height from a standard 6.8 inches of ground clearance to 6.2 inches; a lower center of gravity means more grip and less lean.

I have trouble again in turn 9 and this time all that equipment can’t bail me out. This turn is tighter than it looks and I carry to much speed through it. That makes the Urus go into a controlled slide for a hot second, then regain its line and head into the longest straight. The 22-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires—the grippiest rubber available—do their best to hang on, but even with 285 mm of contact patch at each front corner and 325 mm at each rear corner, the Urus can’t counteract the effects of physics. Push 4,844 pounds fast into a corner and something has to give. I’m just glad it’s so controlled and it gets its feet back under it so quickly. Still, it does feel like a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s would grip better. Does Michelin make them this big?

2019 Lamborghini Urus, Palm Springs media drive, December, 2018

2019 Lamborghini Urus, Palm Springs media drive, December, 2018

2019 Lamborghini Urus, Palm Springs media drive, December, 2018

2019 Lamborghini Urus, Palm Springs media drive, December, 2018

2019 Lamborghini Urus, Palm Springs media drive, December, 2018

2019 Lamborghini Urus, Palm Springs media drive, December, 2018

Sport

The sportiest driving most buyers will do with their mortgage-priced SUVs will be on twisty public roads. Outside of Palm Springs, I head for mountain roads. It’s a good time for Sport mode.

While the base setting for the standard all-wheel-drive system is a 40/60 front/rear bias, Sport mode sends 75 percent of the power to the rear (while Corsa exports 65 percent to the rear wheels) to give it a rear-drive feel. The exhaust baffles open up to create a deeper tone and louder yawps when I nail it. Even though Corsa is louder yet, the sound is more noticeable on the street where I might frighten school children or mere Porsche Cayenne drivers.

The steering is light, but quick, though Sport adds a welcome touch of weight (Corsa gets even more). The Urus goes where I point it, and quickly. It’s not quite a supercar, but a high-riding super hatchback that defies physics.


 
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