A look back at the Lamborghini LM002 Rally car

As Lamborghini get ready to launch their new SUV, the Urus, people are getting pretty nostalgic over the Italian carmakers last 4×4, the LM002, launched in the 80’s at a time of big shoulder pads, big money and big hair, the ‘Lambo was a pretty impressive piece of kit, even more so that it dipped its toe in the rally scene…

With the LM002, Automobili Lamborghini once again left the world in awe when they announced that it would participate in the most famous and competitive rally of all time: the Paris-Dakar. Legendary driver Sandro Munari would be at the helm along with his trusted navigator Mario Mannucci. At that time, Sandro Munari was at home in Sant’Agata Bolognese, where he helped the engineers to develop and set up the cars.

The LM002 was completely overhauled for the race: the V12 engine was boosted from 455 to 600 HP and the car was stripped of any trims that might weigh it down. Everything was made lighter using components derived from competition cars. Out went the luxurious interiors and the radio, and in came a roll bar and five-point safety belts, as well as an advanced navigation system. The new windows were made of plastic, and so too was the new, decidedly more capacious fuel tank, which was based on racing models. The suspension and braking system were redesigned to improve their response and make them even more reliable, and the front windows were like those on other racing cars. The spare wheels were in the rear well, and the manual controls for the four-wheel-drive system went into the tunnel console. The rear seats were taken out and two racing seats were, of course, placed in front.

Once all these modifications had been made, the first racing car ever produced in the Lamborghini factory was ready to roll: a powerful car with incredible endurance and absolutely stunning off-road performance.
Nevertheless, this special version of the LM002 never flashed by in the rally for which it had been designed, the Paris-Dakar, due to the lack of sponsorship. But in 1988 it could be admired racing off-road in Greece, where it remained in front until it had to withdraw, just a few miles from the finish.

From fashion streets to desert tracks, the LM002 knew no boundaries.

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