Finding and pushing limits is an important part of life. This could mean pushing oneself to achieve better physical fitness, striving to seek a better career, finding the limits of performance and grip while evaluating a car for review, or really anything else that helps you grow as a person. Though, sometimes it comes in the form of understanding and analyzing another perspective of design. In other words, pushing the boundaries of what you find to be aesthetically pleasing.
With four years now under its belt, the 2021 Lamborghini Urus checks a few of these boxes. I’m not talking about improving physical fitness here, but rather finding the limits of performance and grip and interpreting design.
I don’t mean to come off as harsh right off the bat, in fact I’m actually coming at this Lamborghini from a positive perspective. As far as the former goes, though, as in how the Urus performs and handles, my God is this big Italian brute so fun to drive with all the enthusiasm you can muster.
Lamborghini topped off the tank and threw me the keys to this Grigio Nimbus Matt 2021 Urus for an entire weekend. Its base price is $218,233, but after this optioned paint color, green brake calipers, green accents, and panoramic roof, the total comes out to $252,348 after a $3,995 delivery fee.
The Urus Certainly Stands Out
One quick look at this 2021 grey/silver Lamborghini Urus, with its numerous bright green accents and absolutely massive 21-inch wheels, and you definitely notice that it looks like nothing else on the road. Much like its smaller, more traditional supercar cousins. It’s not for everyone, but it definitely is for someone.
Its underpinnings might be a 'Best Of' album by Lambo’s parent company, Volkswagen Auto Group, but its interior and exterior are all Bolognese. Styling is quite subjective, but I can’t help but admit that this isn’t an ideal color combination. However, in the right shade and with the right wheels, the Urus’ bulky shape and aggressive lines look rather good. And its front end is excellent—I really dig the front grille, vents, lower lip, and headlights. All of this, plus its taillights, make it unmistakably Lamborghini. It took me a minute to warm up to its looks during my short time with it, but once I got down to snapping photos of its various angles, I really took a shine to it.
Not only the Urus’ aggressive front end, but also the sharp lines that populate its rear end, are nicely tied together by a lower rear valance that’s reminiscent of equipment found on the Lamborghini Urus. Below this sits four massive exhaust tips, which unleash this bulky super sport utility vehicle’s most lovable feature: its twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8 engine.
All The Power This Portly Truck Needs For Jaw-Dropping Acceleration
Under the Urus’ massive hood sits its 4.0-liter V8 engine, which produces 650 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque. This raging bull might weigh in at an immense 4,844 pounds, but with a lightning-fast 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, center Torsen differential, and active torque-vectoring rear differential, this beast will hit 60 MPH from a standstill in just 3.4 seconds. What’s wild is the Urus is actually the lightest of its shared platform with Audi, Porsche, VW, and Bentley due to possessing extensive carbon fiber reinforced polymer throughout its unibody. So really, one could call it lightweight compared to its siblings—potentially?
You would think that its well insulated interior and frankly insane curb weight would shield you from the terror of what this feels like, but it definitely doesn’t. Feeling such a massive vehicle lunge to 60 in such a short amount of time is a whole new world for me, and my God is it fun. It does so without any drama, too, despite 625 pound-feet of torque on tap. It just shoves you back in your seat and hits its mark in way less time than you can comprehend. I’m still wrapping my head around it.
Maintaining a reasonable speed on the highway is luckily pretty easy thanks to this big Lambo’s gas pedal requiring a little more pressure than average. Though, speed is still incredibly deceiving. Cruising at 90 MPH feels like 65 MPH, and accelerating up to that figure happens in the blink of an eye. It’s way too easy to comfortably hang out at triple-digit speeds -because of this, it’s probably a good thing that I only had about 2.5 days to get acquainted with it.
Despite these astronomic figures and wild sensations, the Urus’ exhaust note was severely lacking. It sounded good and had an ok amount of aggression, but it just wasn’t loud enough. Especially considering that auditory sensations are what the Huracan and Aventador, and really every Lamborghini ever, are largely all about. I was hoping that its active exhaust system would allow me to bypass any form of muffling in the right mode, such as the most aggro-level Corsa, but there just weren’t enough decibels to satisfy what I expect in a super SUV with a big raging bull on its hood’s emblem.
Truly Impressive Grip, Handling, And Braking
Though, luckily the way the Urus ripped through twisty mountain roads made up for this. With the drive mode set to Corsa, the Urus’ engine livens up a bit, transmission shifts a tad sharper, and the suspension becomes taught and sharp. Sort of like the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, its larger tires that are intended to help support its immense curb weight double as helping iron out any bumps that the hardened adaptive dampers thoroughly communicate. This is really the mode to be in most of the time, as there aren’t any significant comfort downsides, and the exhaust note stays as loud as possible, which still isn’t loud enough.
Corsa mode in the twisties is just as mind-warping as its ability to rapidly accelerate. You look down and see what level of speed it's holding and can’t help but question whether that number really is as high as it says it is. Perhaps it’s miscalculated, somehow? As effortlessly as this beast rages up the highway, the way it handles itself in the twisties is just the same -it exhibits little to no body roll, has solid compliance, and an impressive amount of grip. This all adds up to absolutely no drama. Even with traction and stability control off, which I thought would surely be the kiss of death. But no, that just means you can feel the differentials working a tad harder.
The only real drama I could muster from its massive 285/45/21 front and 315/40/21 rear Pirelli P Zero summer tires was with the wheel turned hard to the right while simultaneously stomping the gas pedal in a low speed right turn on a random suburban street. You can feel the rear end get a little frisky, but otherwise it situates back into line immediately without the need of any opposite lock.
Back to snaking mountainside fare: the way the Urus brakes, turns in, and grips out of a corner is truly impressive. The latter is also somewhat terrifying, especially when the straightaway isn’t quite straight, or just too short. You find yourself wishing you were on a racetrack with a nice long straightaway to barrel into, because unfortunately no public road in the world can accommodate this raging bull’s burning desire to rev out four-whole-gears before its time to reign it all in again. Turn-in is not only sharp and direct when having fun, but also just around town—standard rear-wheel steering definitely has a heavy hand in this.
The way your inputs flow between the brake, gas, and steering wheel is also really pleasant. The steering doesn’t have a whole lot of feel, but it makes up for this by having excellent weight and the perfect ratio. I recall the gas and brake pedal being awfully close to each other in the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan, and somehow the Urus shares these same dimensions. Perhaps the idea is for owners to hop right out of one and into the other, depending on which stage they’re hauling more than one other person around—if that’s ever a scenario they even find themselves in. Regardless, this was a neat aspect to share with a significantly different badge by the same company.
The brake pedal is slightly grabby, but because of that it rewards smoothness, making the aforementioned input rhythm a very pleasant experience. However, wanting to be on the gas as much as possible to unleash its mighty twin-turbo V8 kind of throws a wrench in that. In a good way, though. Its carbon ceramic brakes have massive 10-piston front and 6-piston rear calipers to keep a lid on it, and never exhibit any fade whatsoever during an extended morning session of riotous hooning.
Then, once I was truly spent and ready to calmly cruise home, the Urus’ adaptive dampers, air suspension, engine, and transmission were set to Strada, and revealed that the beast could do pillowy-soft luxury just as well as it could do, well, rage. This, again, is as impressive as everything else about this massive, multi-faceted super SUV. While its base price is still incredibly expensive, it’s this degree of being so multi-faceted that certainly helps justify the figures.
An Interior That’s Perfectly On-Brand For Lamborghini
As is the Urus’ interior. Soft touch leather, several square miles of Alcantara, a comfortable and thick steering wheel, and massive gauge cluster with an accompanying massive center infotainment screen makes for a tidy and engaging cockpit, and the massive, 12-way adjustable, well-bolstered front bucket seats keep you well contained under hard cornering. All the standard luxury fare is present, with the exception of ventilated seats. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, heated seats, electric-adjustable steering wheel, the works.
The Urus’ interior is a slightly cavernous place to be: you feel more engaged and in-touch with the chassis, a lot like its much smaller sibling the Huracan. Again, massive respect to Lamborghini for engineering such attributes into this 4,800-pound behemoth.
Lambo’s happy to offer an endless list of customization inside, and my tester was the perfect way to demonstrate this. I can’t say I’d option in all of the bright green trim pieces intermixed with carbon fiber, but hey, I guarantee someone absolutely will. For me, I’d rather just keep the carbon and swap the rest of the palette for plain black. OK, maybe I’d do bright yellow Lamborghini embroidery into its heavenly, immensely comfortable four seats.
Vehicular Excess In its Purest Form
If there’s one quick word to sum up the 2021 Lamborghini Urus, it’s excessive. The styling is excessive, as is its luxury, weight, power, and grip. Its looks might not be for everybody, but its pupil-dilating performance sure is. It’s also perfect for those who are all about leading an excessive lifestyle -there’s nothing wrong with this, though, because the Urus is so multifaceted that they could use it to do everything they’d ever want it to. Well, besides being modest at the pump -it’s rated at 12 MPG City and 17 MPG Highway.
As far as being a true Lamborghini, this is hard to quantify. It’s definitely the wildest super SUV compared to its rivals. It also has some surprising familiarities with the Huracan. But as far as fitting in with the brand’s long, proud lineup no holds barred supercars, it just barely misses the mark. And really only because the exhaust note is just too tame -there’s no wall of glorious, theatrical noise to consume you as there is in pretty much every other Lambo, ever. There’s only a refined, though still fairly aggressive, twin-turbo V8 that’s at most mildly shouting, and I can’t help but think that’s due to it being shared with every other fast-and-massive SUV under the Volkswagen Auto Group umbrella. If Lambo were to significantly louden and liven it up, then it’d fit in a lot better.
Still, all things considered, the Urus offers a thoroughly fun and remarkable driving experience.