A lot of publicity is understandably being generated by Lamborghini's new Urus performance SUV, but it's not the first venture into the world of SUVs by the Italian supercar manufacturer. In fact, its first foray into the high-riding vehicle world was back in the early 1990s, and a rare 1990 American specification example of the LM002 that really was the first Lamborghini SUV, was auctioned last week for a hefty price by RM Sotheby's.
At the auction in New York, the LM002 sold for $467,000, which is more than twice as much as a brand new Urus costs. The Lamborghini has covered just 19,153 miles since new, it's undergone a comprehensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration, and it originally cost $158,000 when it first entered the USA through Florida.
The LM002 was the first Lamborghini production SUV, but it was based on the Cheetah, which was a rear-engine 4x4 the company developed with an American defense contractor for the US army. The Cheetah didn't win the contract with the military, but Lamborghini took its basic underpinnings and added a big dose of wood and leather to the interior along with the 5.2-liter V-12 engine from the Countach, and put it into production as the LM002. Only 301 units of the Lamborghini SUV were built between 1986 and 1993, and only 48 of these were made to LM/American specifications and delivered to the United States.
Restoration of this particular example was valued at $325,000 and covered the Countach engine, a new exhaust, an entirely new interior, and the addition of modern amenities such as an Alpine stereo head unit and integrated Bluetooth. The LM002 also features a massive and entirely necessary 76-gallon fuel tank, and this one that has just been auctioned also has a specially designed set of Pirelli Scorpion run-flat tires.