Many years from now, when historians are chronicling Lamborghini’s rise and fall, they may very well split the company’s annals with a dividing line labelled ‘Urus’.

Up until the introduction of the firm’s third showroom model, the controversial new Super Sport Utility Vehicle that this week’s road test is focused on, Ferruccio Lamborghini’s eponymous company had built mainly mid-engined supercars – and in numbers that only began to exceed 2000 units a year earlier this decade. The dark days of 1980s Mimran brothers ownership and of receivership, and the Volkswagen Group’s 1990s resurrection of the company, didn’t seem that long ago.

After the Urus, however, Lamborghini has become a different company entirely. The site of the firm’s Bolognese headquarters has doubled in size, and it expects to produce more than 8000 cars in 2019 – enough to comfortably outstrip upstart McLaren’s success, and to finally put it on a level footing with eternal rival Ferrari in global volume terms.

But what might Ferruccio himself have made of the decision to turn to a car like the Urus to finally realise his ambition of getting even with Enzo? Well, by getting into the usual exhaustive detail, we should shortly be in position to make a good educated guess.

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The current management certainly seems to approve – much as that should hardly come as a surprise. Chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali claims it is “a true Lamborghini in terms of design, performance, driving dynamics and emotion… and a perfect fit within the Lamborghini family”.

Time to find out if – and if so, exactly how – a 2.2-tonne SUV built on a shared platform can hope to deliver in those rarefied terms.

Price £167,000 Power 641bhp Torque 627lb ft 0-60mph 3.3sec 30-70mph in fourth 5.1sec Fuel economy 19.0mpg CO2 emissions 335g/km 70-0mph 43.3m

The Urus range at a glance

Lamborghini’s SUV line-up currently comprises of one stand-alone model. As such, there is no need to choose engines or trim levels for your Urus: it’s a 4.0-litre V8 with 641bhp or nowt. That said, the options list is a fairly extensive one: wheel sizes range from 21in to gigantic 23in affairs; there’s a range of gaudy interior upholstery colours to choose from; and there’s plenty of optional carbonfibre panelling. More sensible options include a handsfree tailgate and additional active safety systems.

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