The one. The only. The Rambo Lambo.
We’re only a few months away (December 4, to be exact) from the official reveal of the Lamborghini Urus, the Italian automaker’s second SUV. Before that happens, Lamborghini figured now is the ideal time to look back at its first SUV, the LM002, also affectionately known as the Lambo Rambo. Lamborghini Storico, the company’s in-house restoration shop, recently completed work on this black LM002, chassis number 12231. It’s now on display at the Lamborghini museum.
The LM002 program was originally intended as a high-performance off-road military vehicle back in the 1970s. Codenamed Project Cheetah, Lamborghini was making an effort to win the military contract that ultimately went to AM General, which built the now iconic Hummer. But Lamborghini opted to continue with the project anyway in 1981 under the guidance of engineer Giulio Alfieri. He evolved the concept and in 1986 the final production model was revealed at the Brussels Motor Show. Under the SUV’s hood was something very special: the V12 engine from the Countach Quattrovalvole, capable of 450 hp at 6,800 rpm.
With its aluminum and fiberglass body, four-wheel drive transmission, transfer case and three self-locking differentials, the LM002 was capable of exceeding gradients of 120 percent and could reach a top speed of more than 125 mph. Because of its initial military intended background, the LM002 could tackle roads, sandy and snow-covered surfaces and just about anything else with relative ease. But unlike Project Cheetah, the production SUV came with a luxurious interior. From 1986 until 1992, just 300 examples were produced, making each one special in some way. Remember this if you’re ever fortunate enough to come across one.