Lamborghini Urus S, a new version of the genre-defining super SUV, is all attitude
There’s something of the night about the Lamborghini Urus S, a monster truck with a mighty presence and performance to match
The Lamborghini Urus was always a bit of an outlier. Following the well-trodden path of sports car companies venturing into profitable SUV-making, the Urus made up for its predicable existence by being a pointedly provocative from the off.
Lamborghini Urus S
This is the new Lamborghini Urus S, the latest version of what the venerable Italian company describes as a ‘super SUV’. Uprated and enhanced, with yet more power (a suitably satanic 666 hp) from its twin-turbo V8, it offers acceleration and braking times that would once have been hard to credit from a high-riding, four-door machine that can ford a fast-running stream without breaking a sweat.
However, the Urus owner no longer has bragging rights about owning the biggest, fastest or even most expensive of this very particular class of car. Ferrari’s Purosangue breezed in earlier this year and gathered up most of those trophies for itself. Classicists might consider the Aston Martin DBX 707, whilst the more future-focused will have an eye on the forthcoming Lotus Eletre, which offers similarly sharp creases and bold performance claims with the added salve of zero emissions.
Even though the S has broken cover with a palette of slightly more sober colours, there’s still a sense of Grand Guignol about the whole endeavour. The jet fighter/stealth bomber ambience is also very much present and correct (now even more relevant than ever in this age of Top Gun revivalism), but the Urus’ cockpit has been put through a gothic filter, all spiky forms in gloss leather and black, emblazoned with an almost liturgical menu of Italian descriptors: Anima, Strada, Corsa, Sabbia, Terra, Neve.
The other upgrade for this new S model brings it in line with the top-of-the-range Urus Performante, giving it a snappier throttle response and a sense of immediacy. There’s also the inescapable cocktail of engine and exhaust noise, a sound that’s still a major signifier of status, despite all the odds. This particular V8 can be found across the VW Group’s performance portfolio, in varying states of tune and output. As well as the faster end of the Audi range, it’s also used by Bentley and Porsche.
Although the latter two have already incorporated V6 hybrid variants into their line-ups, Lamborghini seems hellbent on forging its own idiosyncratic path to electrification. The company recently announced its first series production hybrid model, the Revuelto, a familiarly faceted form that was unveiled last month. The Revuelto is billed as the ‘first super sports V12 hybrid plug-in HPEV (High Performance Electrified Vehicle)’, implying that there are still niches to be finely sliced, even as emissions legislation starts to take hold.
Does the Urus S deserve the title of ‘ultimate lifestyle super SUV’? In an age where brand websites still give you an opportunity to listen to a multidimensional recording of a car’s roaring engine, a broody, malevolent force like the Urus S will almost always come out on top. Although Lamborghini draws design inspiration from stealth technology, it’s not a brand designed to get about without being seen.
Lamborghini Urus S, from c£188,000, Lamborghini.com
Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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