Twenty-five years after the legendary LM002 ceased production, Automobili Lamborghini will launch the Urus on 4 December 2017 in Sant’Agata Bolognese, again creating a new class of Super SUVs. Prior to the world premiere of the Urus, Lamborghini looks back on its SUV legacy in order to recall an extraordinary automobile.
The black LM002 (chassis #12231) from the Lamborghini museum, entirely restored by the classic department Lamborghini Polo Storico, represents Lamborghini’s original SUV creation. The LM002 is widely considered as the Italian godfather of luxury SUVs. Turning heads on sophisticated city streets, the LM002 was equally at home in dirt, gravel and snow.
The LM002’s development started as a project to develop a high-performance off-road vehicle for military use at the end of the 1970s, with the name of Cheetah. Lamborghini engineer Giulio Alfieri resurrected the project in 1981 with the LM001, an innovative concept with a rear-mounted engine, followed by the LMA prototype with a front-mounted powertrain.
The final production model of the LM002 was first presented at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986, consolidating the final design – the V12 engine from the Countach Quattrovalvole provided a 5167cc capacity and 450bhp at 6800rpm.
With its aluminum and fiberglass body, four-wheel-drive transmission, transfer case and three self-locking differentials, the SUV could exceed gradients of 120%. Reaching speeds of more than 200km/h, the LM002 was equipped with specially developed Pirelli Scorpion tyres, allowing “floating” capabilities across soft surfaces such as sand and high durability in hot conditions.
The production of the bodies started in a company near Bilbao (Spain), with the semi-assembled parts then shipped to Sant’Agata Bolognese for completion with the powertrain, mechanical parts, finishing, testing and delivery. A luxurious interior matching the individual needs of the customer completed the LM002.
The LM002 attracted significant attention when launched, as a vehicle unlike any other, with performance to match its super sports car stablemates as well as significant off-road capabilities and an imposing design and presence. A total of 300 were produced from 1986 to 1992.
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