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2019 Lamborghini Urus

Yup, it's a real car. And just looking at the pictures the Lamborghini Urus seeps intimidation from every angle. A word we never thought we'd use to describe a sport utility vehicle. Those gigantic air intakes, straight-edged body lines, hexagonal motifs, Y-shaped LED headlights and taillights, aggressively sloped rear end, and 'we mean business' rear diffuser illustrates a body language that's exotic, stylish, and most importantly - interesting. Viewed from the top down, the Urus squeezes inward in the center while the wheels stretch as far outward as the massive fenders can cover. A respectable design effort turning what is usually a categorical snore-fest into a crowd-gathering affair at any car show.

As a product of Volkswagen Auto Group, you can expect parallels to its sibling Porsche Cayenne Turbo. We suspect it was used as a base early in Urus development but Lamborghini has since built a more bespoke model. Cayenne DNA, however, still appears under the surface. Both models use steel and aluminum bodies, both have active roll stabilization, both have multi-link front and rear suspension geometry, and both use a twin-turbocharged 4.0 liter V-8. Both engines are aluminum blocks featuring two parallel twin-scroll turbos spooling in between a 90 degree V bank, though while the Cayenne Turbo tops out at 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft the Lamborghini Urus surges on with 650 horsepower and 627 lb-ft instead. Both also have cylinder deactivation for pointless fuel savings.

That extra 100 horsepower gives the Urus effortless performance. Zero-to-100 kmh dispatched in 3.6 seconds. Zero-to-200 kmh achieved in 12.8 seconds. And a 190 mph (305 kmh) top speed bests the Cayenne by 13 mph at V-max. Longer ratios in overdrive gears from its 8-speed automatic transmission grants higher top speeds and improved fuel economy while closely spaced ratios on lower gears inhibits improved acceleration. And similar to the Cayenne Turbo, the Urus uses a single converter lock-up clutch with torque converter rather than a dual-clutch solution.

All Lamborghini Urus models sport all-wheel-drive as standard. A Torsen locking center differential is capable of sending anywhere from 30 to 87 percent of its total power to the rear wheels. Under normal conditions torque is split 40/60 for balanced driving. In hard cornering, a rear active differential sends power to each individual wheel, and a rear-wheel-steering system adds or removes up to 3 degrees of toe angle - useful for a smaller turn radius or high speed stability.

Four different drive modes are present on the base Urus; STRADA (Comfort), SPORT, CORSA, and NEVE (Snow). Each mode caters the air suspension, roll stabilization, torque vectoring, and active dampers to fit the condition. If you want to drive the Urus in dirt or sand you can opt for an Off-Road package adding a more robust metal bumper, reinforced underfloor, and two more drive modes - TERRA (Off road) and SABBIA (Sand). Switching from the race inspired CORSA mode to the winter-ready NEVE raises ground clearance from 6.2 inches (158 mm) to 9.7 inches (248 mm).

Braking distance from 100 kmh-to-zero takes 110 ft (33.7 m). An impressively short distance considering its (less than) 4850 lb (2200 kg) curb weight. 10- and 6-piston calipers grab onto 440 mm and 370 mm standard carbon ceramic brake discs. Road grip is achieved with 285/45 R21 and 315/40 R21 Pirelli P Zero tires though Lamborghini offers summer, winter, off-road, all-season and sport treads for year round utility. Optional wheels up to 23-inches can support 285/35 R23 and 325/30 R23 tires at the maximum. 

The interior of the Urus is adorned with a mix of materials including Alcantara, aluminum, carbon fiber, leather, and wood. Two vertically stacked touchscreens make up the center console. The upper screen displays navigation, media, car information, and entertainment features while the lower screen is used for keyboard or handwriting input in addition to climate control and seat heating. Standard front seats have 12 way adjustment with heating but 18-way adjustment, ventilation, and massage capability cost extra. A rear 3-person foldable bench seat is also standard. For those looking for more luxury Lamborghini offers a 2-seat upgrade.

Infotainment is provided by Lamborghini Infotainment System III featuring voice control, music, phone capability, Bluetooth connectivity, USB connectivity, DVD player, and personal profiles. Options to add head-up display, TV tuner, digital audio broadcasting, common interface card reader, and Lamborghini Smartphone Interface (including Android Auto and Apple Carplay) are available. High beam assist, parking sensors, collision mitigation, and cruise control are standard. Additional assistant features like top-view camera, traffic systems, kick-open tailgate, and trailer mode are optional. And finally, if you want to replace the basic 8-speaker sound system with a 21-speaker 1700w Bang & Olufsen unit you're looking at a $6,000 upgrade.

Pricing for the Lamborghini Urus starts at $200,000 in the U.S. or €171,429 in European markets. The $76,000 premium over the Porsche Cayenne Turbo is a tough sell, but Lamborghini is confident the Urus will succeed. They've greatly expanded their factories, built larger dealerships, and ramped up production to meet their predicted demand. It seems the Urus is built to appeal to current Lamborghini owners as a way to expand the scope of their status by creating an exotic car usable for everyday situations. The first set of Urus models will be delivered by spring 2018.

Final notes: The Lamborghini Urus is approximately 1 inch wider, 0.5 inches lower, and 6 inches longer (4 inch longer wheelbase) than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. A 707-horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk with similar zero-to-60 mph performance is $85,900.