Mention the word “Lamborghini” and most will picture a super car like the Countach or Diablo, some landowners will see the renown tractors of the same name, but a few will remember the V12 4×4 project for the military, the company’s first 4×4 offering.
The now rare and sought after LM002 was produced from 1986 to 1993 by the exclusive Italian manufacturer that evolved from a military vehicle contract the company chased. The prototype unit, the “Cheetah”, had a rear mounted Chrysler V8 and was built in 1977 but proved to give poor performance when off road.
The LM001 was developed but with an AMC V8 but proved to have the same handling problems as the Cheetah.
After many more design tweaks, Lamborghini finally settled on a Countach V12 engine fitted up front, with a 450bhp output, 369lb-ft of torque, a five speed manual gearbox and a monster 77 gallon tank for fuel that you will need to fill regularly.
The LM was demonstrated to the US military but no contract was ever agreed and the truck was fitted out with luxury trim for the civilian global markets.
The vehicle was first unveiled at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986 and dubbed the “Rambo Lambo”. Only 301 units were ever made, 48 went to the US and the rest were distributed world wide.
One of these impressive trucks is currently up for sale in Houston, Texas for $249,000 or £164,000 with a little change to put in the tank for the trip home.
In 1988 one vehicle was entered in to the Paris Dakar with a tweaked 600bhp engine, but team funding ran out before the race date and it never happened although it did enter two other desert type races in Egypt and Greece.
On 18th July 2004, the US military blew one up to simulate the effects of a car bomb, why they could not use a Ford Escort is unknown …