High-performance SUVs seem to be the new craze as can be seen with manufacturers such as Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, and even Bentley having either made one already or they have one on the horizon. However, one high-end manufacturer was the first to the party and that of course, was Lamborghini with the LM002. Really though, that was a terrible name and showed nothing about how badass the vehicle was. And that is why it quickly earned the nickname of “Rambo Lambo,” which has stuck with it ever since.

The LM002 was built from 1986-1993 and at the time there was nothing else like it in the world. One of the most compelling features of the Rambo Lambo was the fact that underneath the hood sat the legendary 5.2L V12. The reason for its legendary status was simple, it was the very same engine that powered the Lamborghini Countach. It was rated at approximately 444hp and if that wasn’t enough for you there was an option of a 7.2L marine V12 that was used in offshore racing boats and was said to be up into the 600hp range.

Photo: roadandtrack

This was the first four-wheel-drive vehicle Lamborghini ever made and originally it was designed for military use. Initially, it went by the code name of “Cheetah” however it didn’t really live up to the name because rather than the V12, the prototype had a Chrysler V8 which was mounted in the rear rather than up front. One thing led to another and finally, someone made the brilliant decision to replace that tired old V8 with the Countach’s V12 as well us moving it up to the front of the rig. This, of course, resulted in an entirely new chassis which was given the serial number of LM002, hence the name.

With a nickname like “Rambo Lambo” the LM002 needed to have exceptional off-road capabilities. To ensure that was the case Lamborghini used a front, rear, and center locking differentials on top of the four-wheel drive system. That way traction wasn’t going to much of an issue when the terrain got rough and slippery. Plus, you had more than enough power on tap to help pull you up, over, or through just about any obstacle you encountered. With its military roots, the LM002 was built like a tank and weighed in at almost three tons despite having a tubular space frame and body panels made from aluminum and fiberglass.

When crawling inside the cabin of the LM002 you might forget that it’s a fully functioning off-road vehicle because everywhere you looked was covered in supple leather and all sorts of gadgetry. That should be expected when you have high-class clientele such as Sylvester Stalone, Mike Tyson, Eddie Van Halen, and even Tina Turner, all of which reportedly owned one at some point. According to Lamborghini, only 300 examples were produced and a great majority of them were probably running around Hollywood in the early 90’s.

Pictured here with the 25th Anniversary Countach
Photo: roadandtrack

Needless to say, Lamborghini has some big shoes to fill with the upcoming Urus. There’s no question that it’ll be significantly faster than the LM002 thanks to a brand new twin turbo V8 that was developed in-house. But the big question is, will the Urus have the same off-road capabilities and badassery as its predecessor. And it should only take one glance at the concept of the Urus to see it won’t even come close on off-road prowess. But as far as the question of badassery, that might be a subject for debate.

As I said, the Urus will be significantly faster, which is cool but in reality, if you wanted a fast car why not just get the Huracan or Aventador. They both have all-wheel drive so they would be able to handle snowy conditions, if you’re ballsy enough to drive it during the winter. That’s really the only reason I can come up with as to why you would want to buy the Urus in the first place, well that and the fact that it comes with more room for passengers. Either way, the Urus is scheduled to be released later on this year so it won’t be long until we get to see first hand how good it’ll be and how well it stacks up to the original Rambo Lambo.

The Cheetah prototype
That monster V12 lurking under the hood.

All photos: RoadandTrack

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