Rare Lamborghini SUV to Cross the Auction Block
Across its early years, the Lamborghini formula – though radical – remained relatively the same: build an eccentric sportscar and heave a bombastic V12 underneath. It worked for the 350GT, the Miura, the Countach, and a number of other notable raging bulls. But in 1986, that formula took a dramatic turn. Lamborghini dusted off its stillborn Cheetah 4x4 prototype, gave it a thorough reworking, and showed up to the Brussels Auto Show in the Lamborghini LM002 – an off-road brute popularized both by Hollywood and some rather unsavory dictatorial characters of the period. RELATED: Take a closer look at the famed 1986 Lamborghini LM002
And if that’s a lineage you are itching to become a part of, you can hold your number high for this pristine 1989 LM002 example. It will be shown at RM Auctions’ Arizona sale on January 15 and 16.
While its upper crust appeal was undeniable, the genesis of the LM002 was a more combat-centric lifestyle, intended as a capable military vehicle for the armed forces of the world. As such, its edgy looks were a byproduct of its rather rugged underpinnings. The Lamborghini LM002 was built upon a tubular steel space frame chassis, featuring a heavy-duty off-road suspension underneath, and came dressed in aluminum and fiberglass body panels.
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But as with any Lamborghini, its most marked feature – next to its rakish looks – was its engine; in this case, a 5.2-liter V12 plucked from the Lamborghini Countach. The potent mill spun out 455 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque through a five-speed manual and four-wheel drive system. It was capable of rocketing the more than 6,000-pound Lamborghini to 60 mph in around 7.7 seconds. Not bad, even by today’s standards.
Its deployment date never materialized however, and Lamborghini instead marketed its $120,000 off-road monster to a different clientele, which included the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Van Halen, and Muammar Gaddafi. In some ways it’s easy to pigeonhole the LM002 as another supercar blunder, but with today’s luxury market full of brutish high-horsepower four-by-fours, it looks more like remarkable foresight.
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