Lamborghini LM002: Spotted

Automotive journalists from Stevenage to Singapore have claimed this week that a Ferrari SUV is now confirmed, seizing upon comments from CEO Sergio Marchionne to reporters at the New York Stock Exchange. Marchionne is quoted as saying he is "dead serious" about the prospect of Ferrari looking to "reinvent the concept of a vehicle that has some utilitarian features" - a concept he dubs the 'FUV'.

Need to make an entrance? Here you go!
Need to make an entrance? Here you go!
This despite a Ferrari spokesperson recently stating, "With reference to recent speculation in the international press, Ferrari will not be launching an SUV." Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Enrico Galliera, saying, "We are not producing an SUV." And CTO Michael Leiters replying, "We have many projects, many concepts, but there is no programme and nothing has been confirmed" when asked about an SUV at Frankfurt just last month. Something may be afoot in Maranello then, but it might not be an SUV in the traditional sense, and it certainly isn't confirmed.

What is much more concrete however, is the upcoming December 4th launch date for the Lamborghini Urus. This will be an SUV, it is being made, and its success may be one of the key factors in whether or not Ferrari follows suit.

Of course, this isn't the first time Lamborghini has ventured into the off-road world. Which brings us to the subject of today's spotted, the LM002.

This is the smaller engine option...
This is the smaller engine option...
Having begun life in 1977 as the Cheetah, a contender for the US military contract eventually awarded to the Humvee, the unsuccessful concept was adapted for road use by Lamborghini and renamed the LM001 - or Lamborghini Militaria 001.

It featured the same rear-mounted, 190hp, 5.9-litre Chrysler V8 as the Cheetah, and retained many of its unfavourable handling characteristics too, leaving the Geneva crowds underwhelmed when it was shown there in 1981.

It would take a further five years of development and testing before the car we know today as the LM002 was born, but it was certainly worth the wait. Gone was the puny V8, replaced with a front-mounted, 450hp V12 from the Countach - alternatively a 7.2-litre marine V12, used in offshore powerboats, could also be ordered. This sat on a brand new chassis and was housed within an aluminum and fiberglass body. With its four-wheel-drive and locking differentials, the LM002 could climb a gradient greater than 120 per cent and, thanks to its V12, 120mph was within reach. Pirelli was even commissioned to create bespoke Scorpion tyres which came in two variants, one for mixed use and the other for use on sand only. Things certainly weren't done by halves.

Oooh, red leather - classy
Oooh, red leather - classy
Inside there was full leather trim, air-con, power windows and a stereo, a far cry from the utilitarian military vehicle it started out as. Just 328 examples were produced, including a one-off estate for the Sultan of Brunei, as well as a 600hp Dakar entry which fell through due to a lack of funding.

According to the ad, the particular example for sale here has recently undergone nearly £30,000 worth of "maintenance, major servicing and upgrading." This included belts, gaskets, installation of a winch, brakes, an exhaust overhaul and a new set of those tyres. With 27,000 miles on the clock, it's likely one of the better used examples around, but obviously a very well looked after one too. Whatever your thoughts on Lamborghini's decision to produce the Urus then, it's certainly got a lot to live up to.

: 5,167cc, V12
Transmission: 5-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 450@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 368@4,500rpm
MPG: What do you think?
CO2: Good one
First registered: 1990
Recorded mileage: 27,000 miles
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £239,950

See the original advert here.

[Sources: Autocar, Wikipedia]


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Comments (45) Join the discussion on the forum

  • gforceg 15 Oct 2017

    I remember being impressed by the Top Trumps style numbers for this thing when it came out. A whole weight category above the Range Rover of the day.

    I once saw an LM002 looking abandoned in a small town in Cornwall outside (probably) a surf shop.

  • J4CKO 15 Oct 2017

    Love these but I think its one of those "Never meet your heros" kind of deals, saw that Doug de Whatsit video about it, basically it looked like it was generally a bit rubbish, I think it is a dream car for 15 year old lads but probably a nightmare one for those that grow up and buy one, the reality of 80s Lambos seems to be no way as good as the Athena poster version.

  • Hereward 15 Oct 2017

    "the LM002 could climb a gradient greater than 120 per cent"

    Someone's gonna have to explain that one to me. For every 10 metres of horizontal travel it can climb 12 metres, right?

  • Mr2Mike 15 Oct 2017

    Isn't it almost impossible to get tyres for these now?

  • vincegail 15 Oct 2017

    Hereward said:
    "the LM002 could climb a gradient greater than 120 per cent"

    Someone's gonna have to explain that one to me. For every 10 metres of horizontal travel it can climb 12 metres, right?
    Yes, that is it. Or at an angle of 50,2°.

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