SAN DIEGO — When buying a supercar, personality matters. In the same way that the breed of dog you own reflects on the type of person you are, a supercar brand says a lot.
Buy a Ferrari and it’s likely that you’re a racing enthusiast and passionate about automotive history. A McLaren and you might be all about precision engineering. An Aston Martin might mean you want to be Sean Connery’s 007.
But a Lamborghini is about flash. Scissor doors, loud colors and louder exhausts — that’s what Automobili Lamborghini is, and it’s perhaps the best carmaker in the world when it comes to those things. It’s a ten-year old boy’s bedroom wall poster.
It’s why when I picked up a friend’s ten-year old niece from school in the Lamborghini Urus — a $270,034 SUV based on the Audi Q7 — a ten-year old boy on the playground yelled “LOOK A LAMBORGHINI!” That one outburst captures everything that matters about this car.
It’s loud and brash and has the largest brakes ever fitted to a road-going car, and it’s everything you could possibly want it to be. If you’re the type to buy a Lamborghini, at least.
Here’s a dirty secret about supercars: they suck to drive. They’re about as comfortable to sit in as a dentist chair. They’re finicky and have terrible turning radii, and you’re constantly terrified of scraping the ridiculously low nose on every speed bump and driveway. And they’re utterly unusable as cars, because there’s no place to put people and stuff and you can’t fit groceries in their tiny trunks and they’re just utterly pointless for anything but going on a racetrack which most supercar buyers will never, ever do.
But the Lamborghini Urus gets you 95% of the way there, which means it’s the best Lamborghini you can buy. It gets ten-year olds to yell and point, while simultaneously giving you a thrill every time you turn it on because Lamborghini has put the engine start/stop switch under a red button to make it feel like you’re launching a missile. And to put it in drive, you need to pull on the giant flappy paddle instead of hitting a button because buttons are just so pedestrian.
And you put it in reverse by pulling on a giant handle in the middle of the center console, and then you change between drive modes with a switch that feels like you’re putting on the afterburners on a fighter jet. Everything about the Urus is an event, which makes sense because that whole control scheme is pulled straight from the Huracan supercar — only you’re in a big, comfortable SUV that you can fill with luggage and four humans and that can get over speed bumps without issue.
The exhaust is loud if you want it to be and quiet (or relatively so) when you don’t. It has 360-degree cameras, which means it’s easy-ish to park even though the rear visibility is truly terrible for an SUV. That’s another reminder that you’re driving a Lamborghini, because who cares what’s behind you?
I took the Urus to the South Orange County Cars and Coffee, and it drew as many admiring glances as all the zillion-dollar supercars parked around it. It’s an attention-getter, which is, after all, what a Lamborghini is all about. And you can take it to Whole Foods and it won’t give you a backache if you take it to Vegas for the weekend.
People on the street were coming up to me the entire time I had it. I got constant thumbs up in traffic or folks taking selfies with it when it was parked. It has all the appeal of a Lamborghini sports car with none of the drawbacks.
A lot of people made jokes about it being a fancy Audi Q7 because that’s what it is, somewhere underneath. But then Lamborghini equipped it with staggeringly beautiful 22-inch rims ($4,420) and an outrageous amount of exterior carbon fiber trim ($22,177) and a Bang & Olufsen stereo ($6,313) that only really shines when you’ve cranked the volume higher than is probably safe for your hearing.
It might be a boring Audi somewhere underneath, but the Urus is a Lamborghini where it counts: in your heart. There’s no logical reason to spend $270,034 on a car. But that doesn’t matter, because inside every Lamborghini buyer is a ten-year old boy with a bedroom wall that needs adornment. If you buy this car, you’ll be making that boy’s dreams come true — and making dreams come true is what supercars are all about.