Goodbye, Lamborghini LM002

Known as the ‘Rambo Lambo’ and many other cool nicknames, the Lamborghini LM002 was the first ever SUV created by a brand more accomplished within the sports segment of the market. However, the brave move paid dividends and we all fell in love with the model. In fact, Lamborghini love it so much they’ve now got one on display in their famous museum and it’s sitting their proud of its efforts over the past few decades. However, just as day gives way to night, the LM002 is just weeks away from it’s final outing with the Lamborghini Urus set to be revealed towards the beginning of December.

For the rest of the year, everybody’s going to be talking about the Urus so we thought we’d give the LM002 a proper send-off and the story begins with its origins. According to Lamborghini, the LM002 program itself started as an off-road military vehicle way back in the 1970s. With the codename of ‘Project Cheetah’, Lamborghini were determined to win a military contract so got to work on producing an appropriate vehicle. As we know, AM General won the contract and the rest is history. Without this particular occurrence, we wouldn't have welcomed the Hummer so there are positives and negatives to everything.

Despite losing the contract, Lamborghini decided to go ahead and continue with the project. In 1981, they made the decision to continue and did so under the watchful eye of Giulio Alfieri. Over the next five years, the concept developed and was eventually shown off at the 1986 Brussels Motor Show. As well as looking smart on the outside, it had something revolutionary under the hood; a V12 engine which allowed for 450 horsepower, up to 6,800rpm, and came straight from the Countach Quattrovalvole.

With a tough outer shell made from fibreglass and aluminum, this was coupled with three self-locking differentials, a four-wheel drive transmission, and a transfer case. Soon enough, it became apparent Lamborghini had created something special and it could climb gradients of around 120% while also reaching a top speed of 125mph on a flat surface. Since the project started with the military in mind, it kept highlights of this throughout. Not only could it tackle tough terrain, it excelled on the snow and even on sand-covered surfaces. Every year, it seemed like we’d find out something new about the LM002 and how tough it really was.

This being said, not every feature made it across from Project Cheetah because the LM002 had a luxurious interior for both driver and passengers to enjoy. For six years, between 1986 and 1992, the Lamborghini LM002 was at the top of its game yet only produced 300 units during this time. In many ways, this is what makes the model so special and it makes each one unique. If you’re ever fortunate enough to see one, enjoy the moment, get a picture, and salute the Lambo Rambo that took on the tough world and won!