Lamborghini LM #1
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Lamborghini LM #2
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Lamborghini LM

The Lamborghini LM002 is an SUV that was built by the Lamborghini automobile company between 1986 and 1993. Approximately 300 vehicles are thought to have been built. This was an unusual departure for Lamborghini who, until that point was primarily known for high-performance grand tourers and supercars.

The project originally began in 1977 with a prototype vehicle codenamed the "Cheetah" which Lamborghini had designed in hopes of selling it to the US military. The original Cheetah prototype had a rear-mounted Chrysler V8 engine. The prototype was destroyed during testing by the US military. This led Lamborghini to develop the LM001, which was very similar to the Cheetah, but had an AMC V8 engine. It was finally determined that the engine being mounted in the rear caused too many unfavorable handling characteristics in an offroad vehicle, and the LMA002 was built with an entirely new chassis, moving the engine (now the V12 out of the Countach) to the front. After much testing and altering of the prototype, it was finally given a serial number and became the first LM002.

Lovingly dubbed the "Rambo-Lambo", its aggressive styling and powerful engine made it a success for Lamborghini. Civilian models were outfitted with a full luxury package, including full leather trim, tinted power windows, air conditioning, and a premium stereo mounted in a roof console. In order to meet the vehicle's tire needs, Lamborghini commissioned Pirelli to make two custom, run-flat, tread designs.

The military version of the LM002 omitted some of the luxuries, and featured additions like mounting points for machine guns. The Saudi Arabian army ordered 40, each with the roof able to be opened like a hatch over the rear seats.

In 1988 Lamborghini sent an LM002 to a team of special engineers with the intention of making it capable of participating in the Paris Dakar Rally. They stripped it of anything that added unnecessary weight and gave it an upgraded suspension, engine modifications which brought it to 600 hp, full roll cage, plexiglas windows, and GPS equipment. Unfortunately, the money ran out before it could be officially be entered in competition, although it did participate in the Rallye des Pharaons in Egypt and another in Greece, both times driven by Sandro Munari.

Near the end of the LM002's production, a Turin based autoshop owner created a one-off "Estate" version by enclosing the back area and raising the roof. This added significantly to the interior room.

Trivia

Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi reportedly ordered 100 of them for the use of Libya's military.

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