Valentino Balboni Drives the Lamborghini Urus Off-Road

Because of work regulations, Valentino Balboni had to retire from Lamborghini in October 2008. The 69-year-old bull tamer started his career in Sant’Agata Bolognese in April 1968, but even though he’s retired, Valentino continues to live and breathe Lamborghini day in and day out.
Valentino Balboni Drives the Lamborghini Urus Off-Road 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from YouTube
Daily Driven Exotics had the chance to ride shotgun with the ex-chief test driver in Orange County with the help of Lamborghini Newport Beach. Even though the Urus is nothing like the LM002 from the 1980s, Valentino acknowledges what purpose the super-SUV serves the Raging Bull.

2018 was a record-breaking year for Lamborghini, totaling 5,750 sales compared to 3,815 the previous year. The Urus accounted for 1,761 of those vehicles although deliveries of the 650-PS blunderbuss started in July 2018.

The United States continues to be the most important market for the Italian automaker (1,595 sales in 2018), followed by the United Kingdom (636) and Japan (559). That’s right, ladies and gents; the Land of the Rising Sun loves Lamborghini despite most people’s preference for kei cars!

Turning our attention back to the Urus, chief executive Stefano Domenicali announced that Lamborghini predicts 7,000 sales for 2019 thanks to the additon of the twin-turbo V8-engined bull to the lineup. In other words, double the sales volume compared to a few years ago.

Priced in the ballpark of $200,000 in the United States, the Urus also happens to match the rear-wheel-drive Huracan LP580-2 Coupe. Speaking of the Huracan, the 2020 model year comes with the mid-cycle refresh of the V10-powered supercar.

The Urus will soon get hybrid assistance thanks to Porsche, whose Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will serve as the building block for the powertrain. The plug-in hybrid Urus is expected to match or even surpass the range-topping Panamera, which is rated at 680 PS (671 brake horsepower) and 850 Nm (627 pound-feet) of torque from 1,400 to 5,500 rpm.

In related news, Bentley is expected to roll out the Bentayga Speed by the end of the year. The twin-turbo W12 could be tuned to produce 650 PS (641 horsepower), thus matching the Urus’ Porsche-developed twin-turbo V8.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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