The Urus, Lamborghini's first modern sport utility vehicle, takes the brand to new frontiers - on the go as well as in moneyed circles
Lamborghini SUV Urus goes big The Lamborghini Urus is equipped with wireless phone-charging, head-up display and adaptive cruise control. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The Lamborghini Urus is the fastest sport utility vehicle (SUV) I have driven. I clocked just over 200kmh at the Vallenlunga circuit in Rome in April last year. It was an unforgettable experience.

But how does a 650hp car measuring more than 5m long, 2m wide and 1.6m tall - and weighing 2.2 tonnes - behave on Singapore roads?

Exceedingly well, as it turns out - as long as you steer clear of the nastier carparks with ramps wide enough only for a Honda Jazz.

And unlike similarly sized SUVs such as the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the Urus is honed primarily for sharp and engaging handling.

That mitigates its size substantially. But surprisingly, it does not compromise on comfort hugely. The car's all-round adaptive air suspension sees to that.

So, despite wearing 23-inch wheels shod with low-profile Pirelli P Zero tyres (optional), the car is far cushier than its better known two-door stablemates. Even so, some stretches of road will elicit intermittent buzz from within the dashboard.

In the default Strada (street) mode, the Urus' 4-litre twin-turbo V8 burbles faintly as it takes the full-size family Lambo through its paces. With 850Nm of torque pouring out from 2,250rpm, it is effortless to the point of being languid.

Throttle response is tuned for efficiency and comfort in this mode, which is completely out of character for a Lamborghini, even if its progress is more than adequate for Singapore.

Sport mode is a lot more fun. The throttle livens up significantly and the car begins to sound like a Lambo - with little degradation to ride.

Corsa mode is unsuitable for non-track use, while the various offroad modes are uncalled for here.

Between Strada and Sport, the Urus is most agreeable, making it very easy to live with in the city.

Its huge power reserve and nimble chassis mask its bulk well. And its camera system makes parking and negotiating tight spaces almost easy. Its parking beepers are over-cautious though, just like those on an Audi.

There are various other reminders of Audi in the car, in the form of switchgears and infotainment format. The cabin smells a little like an Audi's. Lamborghini, after all, belongs to Audi and shares some common parts with cars from its parent.

But there are more than enough uniquely Lambo things which you see, touch and feel to set the Urus apart from anything in the Audi range or, for that matter, Porsche or Bentley, which shares the same owner as Audi, the Volkswagen Group.

In the Urus, you get luxuries you do not dream of in a Gallardo or Aventador. Expansive real estate, for one. Despite its relatively low ceiling, which slopes towards the back, the Urus has plenty of room for passengers and cargo.

There are also modern amenities like wireless phone-charging (under the centre armrest, like in an Audi), head-up display and adaptive cruise control. The latter two are cost options.

All these also help to make this Lambo more relevant here, even if you will hardly get the chance to sample its 3.6-second century sprint and 305kmh top velocity.

And starting from $798,000 before the certificate of entitlement, it is priced identically as the Lamborghini Huracan. But you are getting three more seats and a massive boot.