Lamborghini Urus S driven on the streets of London

WORDS: JEREMY TAYLOR | PHOTOS: LAMBORGHINI

Lamborghini’s best-selling Urus has been granted a mid-life facelift that offers more of everything – including a price hike. The all-action SUV with supercar performance is now faster than ever and boasts even angrier looks.

The Urus first gate-crashed into the UK’s booming SUV market in 2017. Porsche had already caused a stir with the Cayenne Turbo – arguably the first of the super-SUVs – but a front-engined, practical Lamborghini that was capable of carrying an entire family sounded too good to be true.

The S shares the same 4.0-litre V8 as that original model, but with power upped to 657bhp, a 0-62mph time trimmed 0.1 seconds to 3.5 seconds, and a price rise from £182,000 for the outgoing Urus to £188,000.

Alongside the S is the new Performante, an even faster Urus that has already broken the record for an SUV on the fabled Pikes Peak hillclimb in America. The performance-enhanced Performante is much harsher on the road, utilises the same engine as the S but travels from 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds and costs from £209,000.

This S then is effectively the new ‘entry-level’ model but I suggest very few drivers could tell the difference from the original on a public road. That’s especially true around central London, where reining in the best-selling Lamborghini of all time to just 20mph requires epic self-restraint.

Even a Lamborghini enthusiast would be hard-pushed to spot the difference between the latest S and the original Urus. New ‘streamlined’ front and rear bumpers are the most obvious changes. A matt-black skid-plate is another giveaway, while many of the other visual updates cost extra – the 23-inch Taigete wheels in bronze and diamond polish are one of three designs on offer, ranging from 21 to 23 inches.

A retuned exhaust system improves the sound at start-up and offers a more distinctive note in each drive mode, of which there are now six. The latest is the perfectly named Ego mode, allowing drivers to tailor the drivetrain and air suspension to their own individual set-up. As with the Off-Road Drive mode, very few Urus drivers will likely ever engage it.

On asphalt, the new Urus S is a blast. Burbling around town, the merest blip of the throttle pedal sees all hell break loose. Hard cornering is flattened out by an active anti-roll system, four-wheel steering sharpens up handling and, when you finally lose your bottle, some of the industry’s largest carbon-ceramic brakes bring everything back to reality.

Inside, the S cabin is considerably better than that of the Aston Martin DBX, which still suffers with an old Mercedes infotainment system that isn’t even touchscreen and desperately needs an update.

The Lamborghini, on the other hand, has several connected services, including navigation and security features, all of which can be managed from a phone app.

Lambo is offering revised colour and trim packages for the new S, with a range of funky, dual-matching schemes called Sportivo, as well as fancy stitching patterns for the leather.

Need something greener? There’s almost certainly going to be a hybrid variant introduced to the line-up in the next few years, but for now, the S vies for the title of the best super-SUV a lot of money can buy – provided you don’t mind a lengthy waiting list, of course.