The Italian car scene is full of awe. From exotic ’70s Lancia Stratos to today’s Lamborghini, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Maseratis. All of these companies have their roots in racing and have carried that spirit into making street cars that are as home on the track as they are (mostly) in the afternoon. But Italian manufacturers don’t forget to make some weird, crazy, cool, good SUVs and other super SUVs. Here are five SUVs that could only come from Italian manufacturers.
The Lamborghini Urus wasn’t Lambo’s first SUV
You probably know that the Urus wasn’t Lamborghini’s first SUV. The exotic LM002 looks like an AMG Hummer, but it’s the AMG Hummer you drive with gloves and strings hanging around. Launched in the 1980s, it quickly earned the nickname “Rambo Lambo” for its tough looks, all-wheel drive, and 5.2-liter or 7.2-liter V12 engines. But it was an anomaly for Lambo up until then: LM002s came with full leather, power windows, air conditioning, and excellent stereo. Those were the options considered the ultimate in luxury in 1986. Although designed as a military vehicle, most have now found homes in private collections as an example of what happens when a supercar manufacturer makes an off-road animal.
The Lamborghini Urus is more than the sum of its parts
What happens if you take an already amazing Audi Q7, remodel it with something that looks like a UFO, and pump out a twin-turbo V8 to 641 hp? You get Urus. Of course, it’s an exotic $218,000 SUV. But, for that money, you get 60mph faster than a Countach or Diablo could ever dream of, and you can take four friends with you. The Urus will finish at 204 miles per hour, which not long ago was a million dollars in Bugatti territory. Today’s Urus shows that we live in a golden age of SUVs, where they can be stylish, fast, comfortable, and yes even reliable.
You can get a Ferrari V8 in a Maserati Levante
Maserati went through some tough times in the ’80s. It made some terrible cars like the Bi Turbo that are only now experiencing its renaissance. But in the 2000s, the company re-emerged and started producing Ferrari V8s, coupes and sedans. That’s right, with the same V8 you can get a 488 (mostly). Then Maserati decided to make an SUV. The Levante is not designed for off-road driving, but it can sprint from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds. It’s about the same speed as the Urus, but starts at $84,700 for a V6. Maserati says it has a perfect 50/50 weight balance, and has all the luxury goodies and driver aids for most other SUVs in its class.
The LaForza was a one-off Italian SUV in the 80s
Laforza (or sometimes LaForza) is weird. Very strange. And you could buy one in the US in the 80s. That’s what happens when you ask the guy who designed DeTomaso Pantera, some Ferraris to design, and an Italian SUV that competes with Range Rovers. But instead of Rover’s questionable V8, they came with the same 5.0 engine as the Mustang GTs or the GM V8 supercharged. It was built in Cherasco, Italy, and then completed in Brighton, Michigan. Although it was not fast, or even capable of off-road driving, it was luxurious. La Forza finished the interiors in equal measure in wood and leather as the contemporary Rolls-Royce. Oddly enough, there are still some La Forza on the way.
Ferrari hopes to set a new standard for SUVs with Purosangue
Ferrari, of course, is known for making amazing street cars. Enzos, Boxers, La Ferrari, F40 and F50 have definitely set the standards for supercars and supercars for the past 40 years. But now Ferrari is stepping into the realm of the super SUV, or super SUV, to make Italy’s ultimate SUV, the new Purosangue SUV. The name means “pure-blooded”, like a race horse, and is said to have a huge, powerful and melodic V12 engine at the front. It’s probably based on the Grand Rome Tour, but it’s longer, seats four or five adults, has four-wheel drive, and has enough room to carry enough luggage for a ski trip in your favorite Swiss chalet.
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