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Lamborghini Made an SUV So That Rich People Can Be Basic Like the Rest of Us

Let’s talk sweatpants. To many, it has become acceptable to wear the same sporty clothes to the gym and the office. Whether you’re riding high on the “athleisure” pommel horse or not, it’s easy to understand its lasting appeal. The clothes are comfortable, yet they make you aspire for more—yes, you’re in line to order a matcha latte, but you could totally be doing burpees. Just feel how stretchy these pants are, dude.

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In the automotive world, the equivalent of the athleisure movement is the crossover, the SUV-esque car that’s making sensible sedans a rarity. Loading up at Costco may be your day-to-day reality when driving one, but should the asphalt underneath suddenly turn into rubble, you’ll get that 32-pack of toilet paper home like it’s the antidote to the zombie apocalypse.

It’s one of consumerism’s most irresistible cocktails: real-world practicality with a shot of lifestyle fantasy. You could say that this kind of poseurdom is only attractive to soccer parents who shop at big-box stores, but that’s neither fair nor accurate. (What are you, a coastal elitist?) The rich are not immune to this potent market force. Swiss fashion house Bally sells a $1,500 tracksuit. The $750 Balenciaga sock sneaker is among the most coveted shoes in high fashion. And now, for $200,000, you can own an SUV from the maker of some of earth’s most face-melting cars: Lamborghini.

The equivalent of the athleisure movement is the crossover, the SUV-esque car that’s making sensible sedans a rarity.

The fast-and-fancy crossover isn’t new. With the now-16-year-old Cayenne, Porsche proved that a sports-car maker could build an SUV and not ding the brand’s heritage. Still, a Lamborghini SUV? Even if you’re clueless about cars, you know that’s an oxymoron.

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But oh, what’s that in the rearview? It’s your skepticism being left behind thanks to 650 hp and 627 ft-lb of torque. After I took a few laps in the V-8-powered Urus on the Vallelunga track near Rome, it became clear that the Lambo wasn’t some sort of rebadged Audi Q7 crossover, with which it shares many of its underpinnings. Despite the high ride height, the car remains amazingly flat in corners courtesy of next-level adaptive air suspension. In other words, it handles like a genuine track star. Accelerate in launch control, whomp on the brake pedal, and the biggest, most powerful brakes ever found in a production car will make any doubts about the Urus’s prowess vanish.

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While 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds is fast, it’s not the unhinged insanity one normally desires in a Lambo. Does that even matter? The first year’s production is sold out, and for 68 percent of Urus owners, this will be their first Lamborghini. Comfort has its own gravitational force that can be stronger than what your ego wants to scrunch into—getting in and out of a Urus doesn’t require a chiropractor’s note like a low-slung Aventador does, but it still delivers thrills.

Maybe the future holds a more crazed Lambo SUV. For now, the downright Germanic Urus, as well as the upcoming ultraluxe SUVs from the likes of Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin, represents the wish of the superrich to be, well, basic like the rest of us.

This is not a diss. I’d totally wear track pants made from nappa leather if I could afford them.

This article appears in the September ’18 issue of Esquire.

Victor Demarchelier


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