With the current spate of luxury SUVs, it’s easy to forget about the Lamborghini LM002. Part of the Lamborghini Militaria series of vehicles, the LM002 was a sport utility vehicle before “SUV” entered the common lexicon. The LM002 was the only model within that series to make it to production, making it by far the best known of these old-school Lambo trucks. Earlier versions, named the LM001 and Cheetah, featured a rear-mounted engine just like in the road cars. This concept was ditched for the LM002, however.
Construction and Specs
The Lamborghini LM002’s spiritual predecessor, the modern Urus, has little in common with its older sibling. For one thing, unlike the Urus, the LM002 was built with real off-roading in mind. That means that Lamborghini was not concerned with keeping the weight down or the profile aerodynamic. Instead, the goal was to create a very strong, very tough vehicle. And the truck’s tough appearance backs up that concept. High off the ground and blocky to the extreme, the LM002 also sported a small truck bed that could be used for passengers or cargo.
Unlike the prototypes before it, the LM002 used the same 414bhp, 5.2-litre V12 that sat behind the driver in the Countach. An optional V12, this one displacing a massive 7.2 litres, developed 612bhp and was derived from a marine engine design. The top speed is listed at 210 km/h; none too shabby for a vehicle with massive tyres, the silhouette of a brick, and 2,700 kilograms to cart around. To keep the vehicle’s range reasonable, a 169-litre (45-gallon) fuel tank was fitted.
Lamborghini constructed the body from aluminium and fiberglass. Pirelli developed special tyres that could hold up to abuse from both the road, and well, non-roads. Built with run-flat technology, these tyres could stand up to intense abuse from rocks as well as desert heat.
Between 1986 and 1993, only 328 Lamborghini LM002s were produced. That figures includes a one-off estate version made for the Sultan of Brunei. Compare that to the planned 3,500 Urus’ to be made within 2019 alone, and you get an idea of just how unique these old Lamborghini SUVs are.