1992 Lamborghini LM/American 4x4
4dr Sport Utility Vehicle
12-cyl. 5167cc/450hp 6x2bbl Weber
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The Lamborghini LM002 doesn’t seem quite as crazy now as it did in 1986. Influenced by the stillborn Chrysler Cheetah military project, the idea of a ground-pounding desert dog supercar-powered box on wheels seemed quite bizarre. Surely it was doomed to be a marketing failure? Of course that was before the Hummer, the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen, and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo made their appearance. Nowadays it seems quite acceptable.
All these years later, the LM002’s statistics make for interesting reading. It was powered by the Countach’s QV 5.2-liter, DOHC V-12, developing 385 bhp. Early models had six carburetors, but later ones gained fuel injection. The engine drove through a 5-speed ZF transmission with a two-speed reduction box, offering a choice of 10 speeds and two- or four-wheel drive. Top speed was almost 125 mph.
The chassis was tubular steel and the brutal, boxy five-door body was hand-made with fiberglass fenders, hood and roof as well as aluminum doors. Leather interior and air conditioning was standard and the LM 002 could be ordered with equipment ranging from Spartan to plushy.
Pirelli came up with special Scorpion tires, available in two patterns (sand or mixed-use) and able to run flat, though reportedly costing the eye-watering price of $2,500 each. Perhaps that’s why early adopters included King Hassah II of Morocco and Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna, who had a “station wagon” body on his LM002.
Canadian industrialist, oil baron and Formula One racer Walter Wolf envisioned the LM002 as a fast desert vehicle for oil exploration (presumably by the chairmen of Shell, BP, Total Oil etc.) and he underwrote the development of the vehicle. But he and Lamborghini were probably very disappointed about the size of the market. Only 328 Lamborghini LM002s found buyers in the eight years of production.
The LM002 was known as the “Rambo Lambo” in the US and probably still counts among the fastest pure off-roaders. Other planned variations included the LM003 which was intended to have diesel power, and the LM004, which used the huge 7.2-liter Lamborghini V-12 that was developed for offshore power boats. Not much came of these plans however, and the LM002 remains just yet another interesting chapter in Lamborghini history.