It surprised no one when the Urus became the best-selling model for Lamborghini in less than five years of its launch. The Italian super SUV has now got its highly anticipated update in the form of the Urus Performante that dials the bullish madness up a notch.
We’re familiar with the Performante moniker from Lamborghini, courtesy of the track-focused version of the pre-facelift Huracan. The Urus has undergone a similar treatment with more aggressive aero and styling, increased performance, and weight reduction.
The Urus Performante features a lot of carbon fibre, some of which is an optional extra, that helps make it 47kg lighter. It’s not the most drastic diet but every little helps when it comes to driving dynamics.
This souped-up Urus gets restyled front and rear end with more aggressive aero elements. The grille is bigger, the bumper now has more air intakes than before and the integrated aero blades have more depth to them. Even the chin spoiler has a sharper edge to it. Those new air curtains help direct airflow over the front wheels for improved aerodynamics. Many of the elements in the front fascia are finished in carbon fibre and or blacked out for a meaner look.
Then there’s the new look for the hood with deep grooves to direct air and louvres to help dissipate heat from the engine bay. In carbon fibre, it offers a sporty contrast to the body colour, just like a racecar. This section of the Urus Performante design flows out towards the A-pillars to match the new carbon fibre roof.
Lamborghini has given a similar treatment to the rear end as well. The Urus Performante now has a notable roof-mounted rear spoiler that increases the SUV’s downforce by 38 percent. It even has small endplates. In addition, there is a lip spoiler along the top edge of the boot lid that sits below the rear windscreen.
The bottom half of the Urus’ rear gets more significant design changes with aero-centric blades and cutaways behind the rear arches to help dissipate dirty air from the wheel wells. It gets a slightly more aggressive design for the carbon fibre rear diffuser while the quad-exit exhaust layout remains the same. The Urus Performante gets the lightweight titanium Akrapovic sports exhaust as standard.
In profile, it’s easy to see that the Performante trim sits lower than the ‘standard’ Urus. Its new suspension setup brings the chassis 20mm closer to the ground while the overall wheel track has been widened by 16mm. The Urus Performante can be fitted with massive 23-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber to match the look and the performance. Meanwhile, the new aerodynamic elements for the body have made increased its overall length by 25mm. Lower, wider, longer – a good combination of characteristics when chasing improved dynamics.
Under its sportier skin, the Urus Performante features incremental improvements to its performance capabilities. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 now produces 657hp, or 666CV (leaning into the brand’s naughty devils image maybe?), and 850Nm of torque. It gets 4WD as standard but features a new differential for increased performance. The power is distributed via the 8-speed automatic transmission with variable characteristics depending on the drive mode. Lamborghini claims a 0-100kph sprint time of 3.3 seconds, reaching 200kph in 11.5 seconds, and a top speed of 306kph.
Other tweaks and changes include a recalibrated steering for better driving feel and improved rear-wheel steer to keep up with the updated torque vectoring system. While the Urus Performante does not debut any new driving technologies, Lamborghini states that it has re-engineered the drive modes of its super SUV. Strada is for the comfy commute, Sport offers enhanced throttle response, and Corsa turns it up to max show-off mode in terms of handling and noise. There is a new drive mode for the sportier Urus, one that should have been offered from the beginning in our opinion, called Rally. It is said to amplify the car’s slide-ability with optimised active anti-roll bars and dampers for rougher terrains.
The cabin of the Urus Performante also features a fair helping of carbon fibre details and Alcantara. As standard, the interior is blacked out in Nero Cosmus with body-coloured accents. Distinctive details include the Performante stitching on the seat bolsters and the hexagonal patterns. Overall, it has the same layout as the regular Urus but that’s no bad thing. There are some updates to the graphics for the infotainment and driver’s display and the updated drive modes on the ‘TAMBURO’ selector.
Ahead of its unveiling, Lamborghini gave the Urus Performante some bragging rights outside of the spec sheet. A camouflaged model was used to set a new record for the fastest time set by a production-spec SUV at the iconic Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The racier SUV was able to complete the 20km route with 156 turns in 10 minutes and 32.064 seconds, blasting past the previous record of 10 minutes and 49 seconds set by the Bentley Bentayga.
Even though we know it won’t beat the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, we’re keen to know how close the Urus Performante will be. They have near identical powertrains, so it all comes down to the suspension and aero package between these two ludicrously fast SUVs. In terms of outright horsepower, Aston Martin has them both beat with the limited edition DBX 707. I think we all know what super SUV comparison test to watch out for in the coming months *wink*.
Lamborghini plans to begin customer deliveries for the Urus Performante by the end of 2022. It has an official starting price of around US$261,000 but given the car’s popularity and the long list of options, we’re sure some will be sold for more than US$400,000.
What do you make of the Lamborghini Urus Performante? Is it a fitting mid-life update for the super SUV or were you expecting more? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons blog for more cool updates from the car world. You can also follow us on Instagram for more automotive content.