The Lamborghini LM002 must have seemed like a four wheel drive from a parallel universe when it was introduced in 1986.
The larger than life SUV was fitted with a modified version of the 5.2 litre V12 from the Lamborghini Countach, and if that wasn’t enough could tick a box to opt for the 7.2 litre Lamborghini L804 V12 developed for off-short racing boats.
In the 1980s, a decade of excess fuelled by quaaludes, big hair, egos, and cocaine, the Lamborghini LM002 still seemed a little over the top. We had no way of knowing when it was released that decades later companies like Porsche, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, and others would all release super-SUVs of their own.
The project to build the LM002, nicknamed the “Rambo Lambo”, initially began as a plan to create a military vehicle similar to the American Humvee. This vehicle would be targeted not just at military buyers but also at oil exploration companies who needed a large desert-capable four wheel drive that could carry executives in air-conditioned comfort.
The first prototype was called the Cheetah, it had a rear-mounted Chrysler V8. This was followed by the LM001 which was similar but fitted with an AMC V8, American V8s were originally used to appeal to American buyers. After testing it was discovered that the rear mounted engine wasn’t ideal for off-road use, a new chassis was developed with a more traditional front engine placement, this was the vehicle that would become the LM002.
In order to minimise weight as much as possible the LM002 has an aluminum and fiberglass body, that said the curb weight is still a prodigious 2,700 kgs (5,952 lbs). Fortunately the Countach-derived V12 could climb a 120% gradient, and propel the Rambo Lambo from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, topping out at 210 km/h or 130 mph.
When ordering your new LM002 you could opt for the full luxury package which included leather trim, power windows, air-conditioning, and a premium surround sound stereo system. Pirelli developed a new tire for model designed to handle the power and performance, they were a run flat design meaning you weren’t likely to get stuck in the sand dunes if you got a puncture.
The fact that an already thirsty Countach V12 was pushing almost 6,000 lbs meant that the model needed a 169 litre (45 US gallon) fuel tank. Fuel economy numbers vary depending on source, but the best figures you could generally hope for would be between 6 and 8 mpg.
Lamborghini kept the LM002 in production from 1986 to 1993, they built 328 of them and today they remain very popular in the Middle East due to their combination of luxury, brand name appeal, and genuine off-road ability.
The 1990 Lamborghini LM002 you see here formerly lived in Monaco before moving to France, it was bought more recently by its current owner and moved to Kuwait where it has remained since. It’s showing just 11,600 kms on the clock and it’s due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s in London on the 24th of October with a price estimate of between £180,000 and £230,000. If you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images: Ahmed Qadri ©2019 Courtesy of RM Auctions
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