When initially introduced in 2018, the Italian automobile manufacturer Lamborghini described the Urus as the first Super Sport Utility Vehicle and one of the fastest production SUVs in the world. However, with the advent of newer powerful adversaries such as the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, Bentley Bentayga S, Maserati Levante Trofeo and Aston Martin DBX707, it needed to up the ante to stay true to this claim.

Enter the Performante, a new lower, wider and lighter (by 47 kg) variant of the Urus with increased power of 490 kW for the best power-to-weight ratio in the Super SUV class, providing a new level of aerodynamic design and sportier driving dynamics.  

With its 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 delivering 850 Nm of torque, the Performante sprints from 0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds (compared to 3.6 seconds for the standard model) and in 11.5 seconds from 0-200 km/h (versus 12.8 seconds for its lesser sibling) with a top speed of 306 km/h.

To emphasise these impressive figures, the Urus Performante set a new record in the production SUV category on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Road ahead of its premiere; crossing the finish line at 4,302 m in 10:32.064, beating the previous 2018 record of 10:49.902.

Purer, Sharper Design

A purer, sharper, more prominent bonnet and bumper design highlights the Performante’s super sports genetics. The new lightweight carbon fibre engine bonnet and the extensive use of carbon fibre throughout align with Lamborghini’s ‘Performante’ heritage – benchmarking the Urus as a unique driver-oriented Super SUV.

The bonnet, with deep cuts in the hood lines down to the new bumper, is forged from lightweight carbon fibre in body colour (partially visible carbon fibre as an option), while the roof in optional carbon fibre references other super sports models such as the Huracán Performante and Super Trofeo.

The new black front air intakes deliver increased engine cooling, a new air curtain draws airflow over the front wheels, and a newly designed rear spoiler with carbon fibre fins and design inspiration from the Aventador SVJ increases rear downforce by 38%. Aerodynamic efficiency is improved, and overall downforce is increased by 8%. 

Lower and Wider

New steel springs lower the Performante’s chassis by 20 mm, and its wheel track is 16 mm wider with broader carbon fibre wheel arches embracing new forged 22” or optional 23” lightweight wheels with titanium bolts and specially developed Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick tyres.

A lightweight titanium Akrapovič sports exhaust is standard and develops a characteristic Lamborghini resonance depending on the drive mode selected, according to the manufacturer, and a bi-colour livery scheme accentuates the Performante’s dynamism.

Inside, the cockpit features black Alcantara with a hexagonal seat stitching design as standard. “Performante trim” and further options, including Ad Personam customisation and an optional “Dark Package”, are available. The matt black treatment can be extended to other interior details, including the lever of the central Tamburo.

Regarding drivability, faster intervention from the rear-wheel steering increases turn-in agility, while a new differential optimises torque distribution and vectoring in on-road and off-road modes. The re-engineered drive modes include Strada, Sport, Corsa and a new Rally mode, elevating the super SUV’s sportiness by amplifying its oversteering character on rough and more extreme surfaces.

Last Word

The Urus Performante is now available to order, and the first international deliveries are expected by the end of this year. Pricing for South Africa has not yet been announced, and the model will most likely be introduced locally late in 2023.

Report by Ferdi de Vos | Images © Automobili Lamborghini 

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