|Also called||“Rambo Lambo”|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Sport utility vehicle|
|Body style||4-door Pickup, 4-door Sport Utility Truck|
|Layout||Four Wheel drive|
|Platform||tubular steel frameriveted aluminium body panels|
|Engine||5167 cc V127.2 L L804 marine V12|
|Wheelbase||2,950 mm (116.1 in)
|Length||4,790 mm (188.6 in)
|Width||2,000 mm (78.7 in)
|Height||1,850 mm (72.8 in)
|Curb weight||2,700 kg (5,952 lb)
The Lamborghini LM002 is an SUV that was built by the Lamborghini automobile company between 1986 and 1993. The LM002 was an unusual departure for Lamborghini which, at the time, was primarily known for high-performance grand tourers and sports cars. The LM002 is also the first four-wheel drive model manufactured by Lamborghini.
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This V12-powered super dune buggy gets on the list — well, my list anyway — purely because of its appalling clientele. The “Rambo Lambo” was the civilian version of a military vehicle that Lamborghini sold to those beacons of democracy, Saudi Arabia and Libya, among others. The luxurious Lamborghini LM002 appealed to spoiled young Saudi sheiks wanting to cross the sand to survey their oil field holdings. Uday Hussein, son of Saddam, had one, which the U.S. military cheerfully blew up in 2004 during a “test” to simulate the effects of a car bomb.
Lamborghini built its first military vehicle, a prototype vehicle codenamed the “Cheetah”, in 1977. Lamborghini had designed the vehicle with hopes of selling it to the US military. The original Cheetah prototype had a rear-mounted ChryslerV8 engine. The only finished prototype was never tested by the US military, only demonstrated to them by its designer, Rodney Pharis. It was later sold to Teledyne Continental Motors by MTI and is apparently still in the US. This led Lamborghini to develop the LM001, which was very similar to the Cheetah, but had an AMC V8 engine.
It was finally determined that the engine being mounted in the rear caused too many unfavorable handling characteristics in an offroad vehicle, and the LMA002 was built with an entirely new chassis, moving the engine (now the V12 out of the Lamborghini Countach) to the front. After much testing and altering of the prototype, it was finally given a serial number and became the first Lamborghini LM002. The production model was unveiled at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986. It was dubbed the “Rambo-Lambo. Civilian models were outfitted with a full luxury package, including full leather trim, tinted power windows, air conditioning, and a premium stereo mounted in a roof console. In order to meet the vehicle’s tire needs, Lamborghini commissioned Pirelli to create the Pirelli Scorpion tires with custom, run-flat tread designs. These were made specifically for the LM and were offered in two different tread designs, one for mixed use and the other for sand use only. These tires could be run virtually flat without risk and could handle the desert heat, the loading and the speeds of the LM. The LM002 was fitted with a 290 litre fuel tank.
For those requiring even more power, the Lamborghini L804 type 7.2 litre marine V12, more commonly found in Class 1 offshore powerboats, could be specified.
The military version of the LM002 was never built and contrary to many claims across the internet of orders from the Libyan and Saudi Arabian military, no military versions of the LM002 exist and none were sold to foreign governments or military forces.
In 1988, Lamborghini sent an LM002 to a team of special engineers with the intention of making it capable of participating in the Paris Dakar Rally. They stripped it of anything that added unnecessary weight and gave it an upgraded suspension, engine modifications which brought it to 600 hp (450 kW), full roll cage, plexiglas windows and GPS equipment. Funding ran out before it could officially be entered in competition, although it did participate in the Rallye des Pharaons in Egypt and another in Greece, both times driven by Sandro Munari.
Near the end of the Lamborghini LM002‘s production, Turin based autoshop owner Salvatore Diomante created a one-off “Estate” version by enclosing the back area and raising the roof. This added significantly to the interior room.