Lamborghini Urus. Picture: supplied

LOOK, he’s not my favourite Avenger, but if someone had to make a car based on a superhero, I guess the Incredible Hulk isn’t the worst choice. It’s not just the incredible bulk of Lamborghini’s Urus (it’s pronounced “OO-rooss”, although it sounds distinctly less awful when an Italian says it) that brings to mind the unjolly green giant.

For a start, there is the lurid paint you see here. While far from the dirty reptilian green of the Hulk, it does look like something that might come out of his nose, perhaps if he’d recently inhaled Kermit during a disastrous guest appearance on The Muppet Show.

Lamborghini is very excited about this special paint colour, Verde Mantis, which forms part of its “Urus Pearl Capsule” – a range of “assertive” two-tone exteriors painted in “four-layer pearl” colours, the most enticingly named of which is surely “Arancio Borealis” (the particular shade of orange you would only normally see while standing inside the sun).

There’s a lot of this lime-inescent paint to look at (and you’d hope so, as it’s a $17,144 option), as the Urus really is a hulking, aggressive and visually alarming machine.

I found the best way to take it in was to stand very close to the bonnet and look down, because from that angle you can glimpse the exquisite lines of the company’s legendary supercars.

Take a few steps back, of course, and it looks like a Lamborghini Huracan has gone from a sleek running shoe to a high-top pair of rollerskates. I like to picture an Italian designer weeping as he drew this car, with someone from the finance department urging him on.

I’ll admit that I don’t like the idea of this super truck. I like to live in a fantasy world where the kind of person who wants a Lamborghini and the kind who wants an SUV would not like each other. Yet it would be churlish and absurd to deny that this car was a wise move for the company, because it was always going to succeed spectacularly.

Sure enough, since its alarming arrival in 2019, more than 8300 Uruses have been snapped up worldwide. By comparison, the gorgeous Gallardo supercar shifted barely 14,000 units in a whole decade, and at the time it was the company’s bestseller.

While the idea of a Lambo SUV might disturb me, the reality is, I’m slightly sad to say, quite wonderful. Irresistible is perhaps a better term, because its engine – a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 making 478kW and a whopping 850Nm – is an overwhelming experience. It’s also what makes this car feel constantly angry, much like the Hulk, and it’s hard to avoid the sensation that it might suddenly leap away from you and sucker punch the vehicle in front that’s daring to slow it down.

The Urus’s “Anima” (or “Soul”) switch allows you to dial up this aggression to Corse (or “Race”), which also lifts the Lambo’s level of loud to the point of involuntary guffawing. It’s not just the thrash-metal revving, it’s the constant thunder-bangs from the exhaust, which sounds like the Hulk is running along behind you, smashing old metal rubbish bins into each other. I drove past a shocked-looking policeman at one point and feared he might arrest me for noise violations.

Incredibly, all this violence and speed – 0 to 100km/h takes just 3.6 seconds – is matched with a kind of superhuman level of handling ability. The steering also feels properly Lamborghini-sharp and it really can attack corners in a distinctly non-SUV fashion.

There’s some nose-lifting under acceleration, but when you point it at a bend it’s like the Lambo DNA is in there somewhere, trying to suck this huge Urus closer to the road, where supercars should sit.

The seating position is still too high off the ground for me, and its 2.2-tonne weight makes itself known when you have to slow down, but it does feel properly luxurious, and expensive, inside.

The Urus is also vast and comfortable in the rear, although the front seats are so big you can barely see past them. This shouldn’t be a problem, as I imagine anyone foolish enough to sit in the back will have their eyes closed in prayer.

Clearly, the Urus is not a supercar, but neither do I buy the idea that it’s an SUV (although it is, thankfully, all-wheel drive). My car was fitted with optional “Off-road modes and Trailer Towing Prep” (just $1237, and thus cheaper than the embroidered Lambo logos on the headrests, at $1767), but it only takes one look at those vast, shiny 23-inch wheels to put the lie to the idea of anyone daring to take one off-road. Ski resorts, though? Absolutely.

You’ll need the kind of bank Mark Ruffalo no doubt got for playing Hulk, of course, as the Urus costs $395,888 (or $497,803 for our test vehicle, which was wearing a staggering $101,915 worth of options).

Personally, I’m going to wait for a Captain Marvel flying car.

–        The Australian
City Of Joburg Anti Fraud

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