2019 Lamborghini Urus first drive review: All-around superstar Page 3


Terra and Sabbia

Lamborghini has built a wide range of capability into its second-ever SUV, and to show it off the drive program includes some off-roading along the San Andreas Fault.

For this exercise, or when an Urus owner might be confronted by less-than ideal conditions in the wild, Lamborghini offers an optional Off-road package that comes with 21-inch Pirelli Scorpion Zero all-terrain tires and two additional off-road modes: Terra (dirt) and Sabbia (sand). In Terra mode, the active sway bars disconnect to let the suspension articulate and the air suspension raises the ride height to 8.4 inches and goes into its firmest setting. Sabbia keeps the high ride, softens the damping, and livens up the throttle. If a really big rock sits in the way, the air suspension can raise the Urus another 1.4 inches through a command on the center screen. One additional bad surface mode, Neve (Snow), also rides 8.4 inches off the ground and dulls the powertrain’s responses to help the vehicle get traction on snow and ice.

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

The trail isn’t nearly as technical as it sounds, and the drive isn’t as exciting as the accompanying pictures would suggest. The course amounts to a dusty road with the occasional rock or rut that the family Camry could conquer. Obviously, the Urus picks through this dirty, sandy driveway with ease. But it can do far more than this. It’s meant to be kicking up rooster tails of sand on desert dunes or running a rally stage. We’ll see the Urus do stuff like that when Lamborghini kicks off its one-make racing series next year. Still, this little exercise serves as a reminder that the capability is baked right in.

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

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

2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

2019 Lamborghini Urus

Strada

The drive on the city streets of Palm Springs gives me a chance to test Strada (Street) mode, feel the ride, and examine the interior. Despite low-profile 22-inch tires, the ride is firm but comfortable, though Palm Springs isn’t infected with potholes like a Rustbelt city. The engine note stays in the background until I nail it, which creates calm until calm is no longer welcome.

The cargo area is large (though with a high lift-over height), the driver’s seat comfortable with a command position that overlooks traffic, the rear seats have lots of room for two or even three adults, and the infotainment system is a modern touchscreen. You can use this Lambo like you’d use your Lexus RX.

ALSO SEE: 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan first drive review: Tetonic shift

Awash in leather, Alcantara, wood, and carbon-fiber finishes, the cabin is built to the standard of a $200,000 vehicle. A hexagonal design theme takes its cue from the in-your face exterior. The Tamburo (Italian for drum), the control center through which the drive modes and gears are chosen, is a work of art in itself; it looks like a high-end SLR camera.

It’s striking how usable the Urus is an everyday appliance, and isn’t that what we want in our SUVs? Not only that, but this super sport utility vehicle can tear up the track, tame off-road terrain, and clamber through the snow, all while reminding your neighbors that you’ve made it.

Just don’t think you’ve made it quite as far as Squadra Corse champion.

Lamborghini provided travel and lodging to Internet Brands Automotive to bring your this firsthand report.


 
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