In 1986, long before the Lamborghini Urus SUV was even a thought, the Italian supercar maker created an ostentatious, V12-powered, off-roading display of ’80s excess and called it LM002. True to its appearance, the LM started life as a mid-engined military prototype called “Cheetah.”
After various contracts fell through, Lamborghini decided to retool its military-spec ground warrior into what was arguably the first luxury high-performance SUV. The designers moved the engine from the back to the front, then ousted the Cheetah’s Chrysler V8 in favor of the 5.2L V12 used in the Countach. This gave the LM002 444 hp and a top speed of just over 130 mph — amazing for the time and impressive even now, considering the bricklike aerodynamics.
The LM002 was also available with a 7.2-liter V12 Lamborghini marine engine for customers who loved horsepower and had an ample supply of cheap gasoline — just the thing for oil barons and sheiks to thrash around the desert.
From 1986 to 1992, Lamborghini made just over 300 LM002s for customers ranging from the Hollywood elite to political figures like the Sultan of Brunei and Uday Hussein. Today’s luxury super SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG are significantly faster and perform better than the LM002 of decades’ past. But for presence? Nothing tops a Rambo Lambo.