As if its imposing looks were not enough, the LM002 featured the V12 engine from the Countach.    Picture: LAMBORGHINI
As if its imposing looks were not enough, the LM002 featured the V12 engine from the Countach. Picture: LAMBORGHINI

Twenty-five years after the LM002 ceased production, Lamborghini will return to the SUV market with the reveal of the Urus in Sant’Agata Bolognese, northern Italy in December.

The black LM002 (chassis #12231) from the Lamborghini museum, restored by the classic department Lamborghini Polo Storico, represents the brand’s original SUV creation.

Turning heads in city streets, the LM002 was equally at home on dirt, gravel and snow.

Its development started as a project to develop a high performance off-road vehicle for military use at the end of the 1970s. 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 using the V12 engine from the Countach Quattrovalvole.

In an aluminium and fibreglass body, with 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, it was equipped with special Pirelli Scorpion tyres, allowing "floating" capabilities across soft surfaces such as sand, and highly durable in hot conditions.

The production of the bodies started in a company near Bilbao, Spain. Then the semi-assembled parts were 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.

It 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.

Lamborghini says that like the LM002, the Urus will create a new super SUV class of its own, although we suspect it will be just a little more luxurious than its predecessor.

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