Over 800hp: is the Manhart Lamborghini Urus the craziest SUV ever?
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The Lamborghini Urus is already an unorthadox concept — a super-SUV built on a normally humdrum VW Group platform, with a 478kW 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 heart, the biggest brakes on any production car, and typical Lamborghini design and flair throughout.
But, you know how it is. What's wild and unique today will most likely be common and old hat the next, and undoubtedly there will soon be a swell of people who want even more performance out of their Urus SUVs.
Lamborghini haven't yet announced a go-faster Superveloce (SV) production version just yet — although Lamborghini's former CEO and President Stephan Winkelmann said it would be a good idea once upon a time (he's since moved to Bugatti).
But this leaves the door for private tuning houses to fill the void for the hungry masses, and the first cab off the rank is Manhart Performance.
If that name's familiar, it's probably because of their work on BMWs. The German company also dabbles in Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and a few more including Lamborghini.
In the case of the Urus, Manhart's work has put its numbers through the roof. Engine output has been increased from 478kW and 850Nm to a frankly crazy 597kW (801hp) and 980Nm. That's more — way more — power and torque than the amazing Nurburgring-crushing 566kW/720Nm Aventador SVJ.
Although it's only enough to trim a few tenths off the Urus' 0–100km/h acceleration time, perhaps because of the weight or the sheer task of translating all that power to the pavement.
Manhart say that these gains all come through new turbochargers, an ECU remap, a new exhaust system, and added strengthening on the Lamborghini's eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Those changes are supported by the traditional array of visual changes — including additional carbon fibre on each side, wheel-arch extensions, and stripes — plus different 21-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber (the standard car gets P-Zeros too, for reference).
As interesting as the Manhart is, expect Lamborghini themselves to upstage it with a higher-performance Urus of their own eventually.
Lamborghini haven't teased or suggested anything concrete in the recent past, but it's worth noting that the brand have confirmed a race series for the SUVs — featuring modified example of the Urus. The concept was called the Urus ST-X, and featured plenty of fettling from Squadra Corse ... namely in the form of weight reduction, a roll cage, a larger fuel tank, less frontal aero, and centre-lock wheels.
Most of that stuff would be absurd on a production Urus. But, with claims that the ST-X's weight reduction makes for a 25 per cent lighter vehicle, it shoes the potential scope for performance improvements.
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