Being one of the most outrageous cars of the 1980s, the Lamborghini LM002 finally made its way to one of the most renowned car collectors; Jay Leno. When he takes this ‘beast’ for a drive, … man, it sounds so good.
At almost 5 metres long and 2 metres wide, fitted with gigantic tailor-made tires, 4-wheel drive and last but not least, a 5.2 litre Countach V12 engine, this Lamborghini LM002 settles comfortably in the ‘impressive’ category.
Nowadays this sounds not that special, but in in the 80s 450 bhp in an enormous intimidating off-roader was nothing short of mind-blowing, by any standards. Maybe even more diabolical than the Lamborghini Diablo which provided its engine to the last produced LM002’s (including the 1990 LM002 Jay Leno drives). Imagine a 2.700 kg jeep going from 0-100 km/h in 7.8 seconds in the 80s and early 90s. That’s even impressive by today’s standards. And what is even more impressive is that raw V12 sound that makes this truly the ‘Rambo Lambo’ it was called in those days.
The LM002 started life as a prototype for the US military, but the contract never came through and Lamborghini decided to produce a civilian model. It was very luxurious with full leather interior, air conditioning and a stereo mounted in a roof console. The tires where custom developed Pirelli Scorpion’s which are now 4300,00 USD a piece!
The Countach V12 was placed in the front to enhance off-road capabilities. Later models (from 1990 on) featured the Diablo-engine (with the Countach crank).
The manual 5-speed, front- and rear differentials (with limited slip) and lots of power made this LM002 very popular in the Middle East. The Sultan of Brunei even had an estate version custom built (a one-off). For customers longing for more power, the Lamborghini L804 type 7.2 litre marine V12 was available. An engine used for powerboats… in a car developed for the desert. Things didn’t get any crazier…
So be sure to watch Jay Leno’s video and don’t forget to turn the volume up. The engine is really a joy to hear. And the car as a whole is nothing short of impressive. As all the cars featured by Jay Leno, this 1990 Lamborghini LM002 is in pristine condition.
Lamborghini currently is developing the spiritual successor of this car, dubbed the “Urus”. Which is slated for release somewhere in 2017. But honestly, I don’t think it can ever beat the wild, untamed character of the LM002. Going by the prototypes, the Urus will rather be a luxury SUV with the well-known angular Lamborghini styling. Not a brute off-roader with the heart of a sportscar. So the Lamborghini LM002was the first and sadly, also the last of its kind.