Military Lamborghini: an unlucky LMV but full of ideas and mobility

(To Gianluca Celentano)

The decade after the 1976 was the period in which in the land of engines, Emilia Romagna, Lamborghini gave rise to a copious series of revolutionary projects of concept car, of which however only one arrived in production joining the consolidated super fast of the house of Sant'Agata Bolognese. In that period, in fact, under the spotlights of the world, one of the jewels of the Lamborghini house shone with its own light Countach, worldwide synonymous with the brand.

What is the connection between Lambo and military means? I imagine that several of you are posing this legitimate question since Lamborghini with the super SUV URUS and the most modern associated technologies tries again, after thirty years with the launch of an 4x4 Sport Utility.

In fact, both Lamborghini and Rayton Fissore with the elaboration of the Iveco 4 × 4 WM40-10 were the first national producers to focus on the concept of SUVs.

But before describing the history of the "military Lamborghini" it is imperative to underline the aspects that from the distant 1963 continue to breach the hearts of "Taurus" enthusiasts, always leaving them constantly fascinated.

Strong, aggressive, futuristic lines, but also unusual and with an aeronautical appeal of its models - see the Huracán ALA (photo) - in addition to a careful selection of names that put a certain subjection, seem to be the basic elements together with the undisputed quality and the music of its engines, which since its inception confirm the power and uniqueness of the Lamborghini production .

Thanks to the historic V12, its performances have made Romagnola the fastest car in the world together with Ferrari's cousin, which is certainly more sober and slender for lines and instrumentation.

Many people will know that Lamborghini started its production starting from the never-ending concept of FORZA, realizing exceptional agricultural tractors that are still very much in the market today.

Perhaps, precisely because of this polyvalence between design and power inherent in the DNA of each Lamborghini, the Emilian home wanted to present some models dedicated to operational use and military reconnaissance. Although they have been muted with respect to the official production of the supercars, the prototypes and models produced seem to have launched or at least contributed to the current essential concept of Multirole Versatile Military with independent wheels. Having observed numerous Light Vehicle exhibited at Eurosatory 2018, the historical appeal to the 4x4 dreams or concept cars of the Lamborghini house is truly perceptible.

AM General HMMWV (Humvee) from the idea of ​​the Lamborghini CHEETAH HMV?

"In Italian it is pronounced Quote, like the nice and agile Tarzan monkey "

Maybe a debut in the wrong period as a super versatile concept or a questionable appeal to the American XR 311, did not bring luck to the prototype Quote, which had proposed to offer a Light Special to the US Army; in some ways he remembered the best known Dune Buggy.

The design of this Hight Mobility Vehicle already reflected the concept of Light Multirole forty years ago and many consider it the hummer H1 ancestor destined to teach up to 2006 embracing the MRAP and LMV evolution.

The Cheetah, produced in the United States, was actually a reconnaissance car that in some respects might remember the current ones Flyers Americans we have already treated (v.articolo). Resin bodywork and a Chrysler rear engine from 5.9 cc for 180 horses combined with a General Motors automatic transmission to 3 gears, had a total mass of only two tons and 5 seats for the crew. With independent suspension and rear-wheel drive, it is not difficult to think of the large understeer that could be generated, certainly quickly controlled by the size of its tires and the interesting compromise between trim, suspension and height. The ability to cross the fords with a depth of about half a meter was also noteworthy.

Lamborghini Military LM "High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle"

The evolution of Lamborghini to affirm the home of the bull in the military world has continued thanks to the engineer Giulio Alfieri and the first project "CITA" which has succeeded the prototype LM001 always with rear engine.

This unique example of LM001 had characteristics, like the rest of the rest, to be reinforced with ballistic panels and a tubular frame with the possibility of mounting a turret for a MG.

It was a little less than 5 meters long with a weight of two tons and always with the possibility of housing 5 military. The engine was an American AMC V8 with rods and rockers and a Motor Craft four-wheel carburettor associated with an automatic transmission to 3 gears. The novelty of the prototype resided in the use of a permanent all-wheel drive, however, according to news, did not eliminate the problem of imbalance on the rear, considering the 180 thrusting horses released by 5.9 Yankee.

The LMA news

From the base of LM001 takes shape the idea in some ways guessed, and always bearing the signature from Eng. Alfieri, to change the position of its powerful engine, moving it anteriorly. This choice took the bivalent abbreviation of Lamborghini Military Front or "Alfieri".

We could consider the development of the LMA concept the only prototype named after LM004, which took real shape and consistency on the market in the 1986 with the name Lamborghini Military 002.

LM 002, a "de Luxe" too much extra

In fact, in the case of LM002 the vehicles produced were little more than 300 but unfortunately there was no debut in the American barracks and much less in the Italian ones, but only an exclusive and custom production.

A Lamborghini in the battalion?

I still remember, with pleasure, the engine of the Fiat AR76 that started in the morning before the alarm clock, tearing for the first few minutes when perhaps the off-duty officer had to make the last inspection lap.

Being woken up by a Lamborghini V12 would have certainly been more electrifying but also excessive, do not you think?

In those years, however, on the upper floors of the Defense it is presumable that it was deciding how and with what to replace the Fiat AR 76 and it is possible that the idea of ​​Land Rover in response to the turn over he was already making his way.

Assembled partly in Bilbao in Spain and in Sant'Agata Bolognese, the LM002 fitted the characteristic carburetor engine of the Lamborghini Countach V12 from 450 5.1 cc horses aspired as per the tradition of the house of Taurus. However as for the Countach, versions for the US market adopted a Bosch K-Jetronic power system.

In the LM002 prototypes, it would seem that an interesting test has been tested - at least in terms of consumption - 5 cylinder 3.6 liter turbodiesel and 150 CV cylinder units produced by C.Vancini and U. Martelli known as the Cento VM in Ferrara, but also of an 7.0 cc of Lamborghini produced and set up on motorboats for offshore competitions.

Curiosity and URUS

Among the historical customers of the Lamborghini LM002 are Mike Tyson, the Gheddafi family, but also Silvester Stallone, who at that time was shooting the Rambo movie. For this reason the LM 002 is also known by the nickname "Rambo Lambo".

The new Lamborghini URUS is powered by a V8 4.0 biturbo engine derived from that of the Audi RS6, and with this model the house of the Taurus seems to have given the green light to the supercharging even if not for now autochthonous; interesting then the air suspension and the automatic 8 gear with converter that with its clutches of exclusion, also emphasizes the engine brake. In Europe, however, SUVs derived from super-fast do not seem to be understood even if they are more suitable in terms of active and passive safety.

It affects, and could not be otherwise, its performance from 0 to 100 km / h in just 3,6 seconds and a max speed of 305 km / h that make it the fastest SUV in the world with its 650 cv or 850 Nm.

If to drive a Super like Lamborghini, it is essential to have supported a dedicated track course, we could argue that the driving of road vehicles starting from 500 horses, could be assimilated to that of a road bike where the ratio weighs power and about one horse per kilo. It can be really "embarrassing" to manage many horses that start to push shortly after the thousand laps.

The multi-faceted innovation of the Sant'Agata house is the use of sophisticated electronics that allows, depending on the use, the programming for an urban guide rather than off road or without limits. With this intelligent management applied on the new generation Lambo - one perhaps criticized by the purists - its horses become manageable and pleasant in any condition without any problem.

The numbers of LM002

A real beast of power with its 220 km / h speed, a unique value for a '80 SUV that on the dirt road maintained excellent drivability up to 170 km / h.

Pirelli tires were the ones to keep it on the road as well as its independent suspensions Scorpion 325 / 65 VR17 produced exclusively for the Lamborghini in the types road e all terrain.

Interesting news on the transmission with its gearbox S5-24 / 3,5 to 5 manual gear produced by ZF and matched (it was the period of the exceptional Lancia Delta Integrale) to a gearbox reducer able to transmit anteriorly and posteriorly and with variability, respectively the 25% and 75% of torque. The spaces on board are sporty and wide and in some ways reminiscent of those of the 80 Range Rover but from the windshield of the Lamborghini are nicely in sight the shapes of its engine bonnet.

Almost five meters long by two wide, but above all an important mass of about three tons marked the limits for the common mortals, with consumption in the order of 4 km / l, provided that the sound of its engine did not invite us to dare to more with the accelerator recording a consumption of one kilometer per liter.

His tank of 150 liters was placed under the two-seater sofa and inside in addition to the radio phone was possible to enter the fridge bar for the desert routes.

Air vents, bull bar front and back together with the charm of a very special 4x4 pickup, the LM002 had not compromised, or liked immediately or hated.

In addition to the analog instrumentation on the large instrument panel, a circular hatch could be made in the ceiling, and the same housed numerous electrical controls for vehicle and climate functions. Its interiors, as is still the case today, were rigorously handmade and built to last over time as befits a safe investment. In fact, today its value can go up to 400 thousand euros.

Criticized, but appreciated

The Anglo-Saxon press was not very tender with criticism of the LM002 by including it in a blacklist of models Out... A type of vehicle that must capture you without asking you too many questions about the rational purpose of the purchase. Its performance and its versatile driveability were the strong points as befits Lamborghini, but it should not be forgotten that the only replacement of the muffler is around three thousand euros and a dozen are used for a change of tires produced exclusively by Pirelli for this model.

But it is precisely in the United States that its sales have registered an interesting concentration with imaginative and perhaps even tacky customizations.

The US ARMY blew it up

The news goes back to the 2016 on behalf of the interesting automotive magazine Quartamarcia, and the episode seems to have the taste of a gratuitous disfigurement in 2004 at Baqubah in Iraq.

According to the news, in fact, a specimen of the Lamborghini LM002 owned by Uday Hussein, son of Saddam, after being cannibalized by some details such as logos and steering wheel, was filled with explosives by American soldiers, who seem to want only to observe the effects of an explosion of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) on an LMV vehicle.

Without going into the merits of the conflict in the Middle East, it is certainly not very illuminating and ingenious to find a historical car with a limited production, which if properly conserved, could represent a historical value as well as an heirloom of war. free of too many shadows.

Lamborghini Milan

A new dynamic and young reality, that from the 2017 the house of the Bull, thanks to the commercial partner Bonaldi auto, has chosen to represent and make known its brand in Milan at the viale Serra showroom. A staff and a management in synergy between enthusiasts and well-trained contacts, have also proved to be top with Difesa Online and we can not exclude some future news for our readers.

The Italian dragon, Sandro Munari

From the Paris Dakar to the Monte Carlo Rally, the rider Sandro Munari was an indisputable world champion in the wheel and an official Lancia driver Stratos e Fulvia, and think a bit 'that just with the Lamborghini LM002 prepared with well 600 horses participated in Egypt at the Rally of the Pharaohs.

I dedicate this article to him. In the '97 in Monza he sponsored the event Mercedes Benz & AMG "Pilot for a day" giving me many advice with calmness, sympathy and elegance.

Thanks Sandro!

(photo: Lamborghini cars / author / web)