Since 1963 the general public has kept its eyes on Lamborghini. Coveting their sports cars, getting to drive one, or being lucky enough to own one is the mark of a true fan of the high-end luxury vehicles. But simply being a Lamborghini fan in general isn’t enough; if you’re a real fan, a die-hard fan, you’ll typically have a favorite model, and you’ll know just about everything about it that can be known.
With a totally objective perspective, we like to choose different cars, cars that are considered high up on the list of favorites, from a variety of makes. We take our choice, research it, and put together a list of ten facts about it so that our readers can familiarize themselves with it better. Most of the time we hit the nail on the head and find ourselves feeding a car lover’s addiction with the list we put out, and it pushes us to come up with another make, model, and fact list for your enjoyment.
Our list today is about the 1987 Lamborghini LM002…also known as the ‘Lamborghini Truck’. Produced from 1986 to 1993, the LM002 was basically an off-road, truck-type vehicle, and even though it was off the beaten path for Lamborghini, they had tried their hand at something similar before with the LM001 and the Cheetah. Neither of those, which were built basically for military use, were accepted with open arms or love. After changes were made to the vehicle, the LM002 was born, and it was the first vehicle to be built in a series of three, which we’ll touch base on more at some point on our list, along with nine other facts about the 1987 LM002 that will be just the fix some of our Lamborghini fans and constant readers will need. So buckle up and hang-on as we take an off-road look at a Lamborghini that makes the company’s beaten path look like just another race track…if you catch our drift.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About the 1987 Lamborghini LM002
‘One’ Isn’t Necessarily the Loneliest Number
While the Lamborghini LM002 wasn’t extremely popular for its time, it gained enough popularity for the company to create a couple of other vehicles and group the three together into a ‘series’. The grouping was referred to as ‘Lamborghini Militaria’ (hence the ‘LM’ designation), and they were all somewhat like the Humvee and a bit like the FMC XR311, with a purpose of being a primary competition to the Jeep, as far as the military was concerned. Lamborghini made changes later on to fit the model type into the luxury SUV market, and over 300 LM002s were sold.
Under the Hood
The LM002 has a bit of power, all right, and that power comes from a 5.2 liter, V12 engine, and that engine is capable of putting out 444 horsepower , which just happens to be 300 horses more that the Range Rover that has a 3.5 liter V8. Not to shabby at all. But we know that Lamborghini is as much about power as it is about luxury, so it shouldn’t be any surprise at all.
Standing Up to the Competition
But it does more than just hold its own in the horsepower department. It is also twice as fast as the same Range Rover. Besides beating it out in horses, the LM002 is also capable of going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 7.7 seconds, which means that it was twice as fast. In addietion, it had a top speed of 118 miles per hour, which happened to be exactly 23 miles per hour more than anything Solihull put on the market. It’s a bit surprising that Lamborghini didn’t have better sales when it came to this vehicle…could it be due to price?
Inadequate Interior That’s Economically Inferior
While it’s a cool-looking vehicle with a whole bunch of novelty value for the collector, the LM002 was not the vehicle that people were lining up to buy during their weekend car shopping jaunt. The bucket seats barely fit the normal human’s backside, the gear shifter is too far away, with gears in places you know nothing about, and the steering wheel is so close to the top ridge of the dash that your fingertips are nearly sheered off when you turn a corner. But that’s not the worst of it. This particular vehicle takes high-performance fuel, which is expensive, to say the least. Then the 5.2 liter V12 we were busy boasting about earlier gets its grip on that costly fuel and sucks it up at a rate of 8 miles per gallon. Yes, that’s right…eight. Not your economic, comfortable family ride, that’s for sure. The good news is that it gets about 262 miles to the tank, which isn’t bad when it’s considered as a whole.
The Utilitarian Cockpit with the Wood and Leather Trim
So, we’ve discussed the cockpit a bit: The too-close steering wheel, which turns way slowly, by the way; the shifter that feels like its mounted clear across the cabin; oh, yeah, and the seemingly tailored seat that no one’s rear fits right in. All of that aside, the LM002 was still considered something of a luxury vehicle when it was designed and manufactured, so Lamborghini just had to add something that would remind drivers and passengers alike just what they’re tooling around in. The bucket seats that are so narrow are upholstered in leather, and the inside trim is done in real wood, not that plastic look-alike stuff that we see in Pinto’s and the like. Anyway, just an added touch of class to sit in while you pass.
Fit for a King?
Being the extremely unique vehicle that it was, especially for the times, the LM002 drew a lot of attention, from both fans and naysayers alike. One little known fact that hints to the car’s weird popularity is that Moroccan king HRH Hassan ended up buying the very first production unit of the model. Lambo Cars also says that Keke Rosberg, the renowned race car driver, ordered one new as well. So, we know that their reputation preceded them, and they got a lot of attention, at least for being out of the ordinary, if nothing else.
Other Famous Owners
The two orders above were only the beginning, which is surprising only because they only made around 300 of the model, and it didn’t go over as well as they would have liked. What is not surprising is the fact that many more of them were bought by the rich and odd, as well. Other owners you jumped on the bandwagon include cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, Sylvester Stallone, Mike Tyson, Tina Turner, Muammar Qadaffi, Eddie Van Halen, and Uday Hussein. My explanation for this phenomenon would be that only this particular list of people happened to be both rich enough to afford it while being eccentric enough to enjoy it.
Power is for More than Speed
According to another piece in Automobile Magazine, they power that the LM002 was given wasn’t just there for going fast. In fact, all that power was required. The beast weighed in at 6,700 lbs., and they were architecturally awkward pounds, at that. Having that much bulk to move around would be a chore with any engine other than the one it got.
What About That Bulk, Anyway?
You may have picked up on this fact a bit earlier, but there is a reason the LM002 is so large and in charge: Battle. The bulk can move through just about anything that stands in its way and can certainly intimidate anything that charges at it. It was designed to endure lots of dust, dirt, and the rockiest of terrains. It can take on a grade of 120% without batting a headlight and was extremely popular because it was good off-road. It was made with war in mind; it simply didn’t fit the bill the military had before them back then.
Now for the Bottom Line
Back in 1987, when the LM002 was new, interested buyers could get one for themselves for around $113,000 to start, which is just under $250k in today’s dollars. They can still be found today, for those who may want to put one in their collection, and can usually be purchased for just under $100,000 (but you’ll likely find they run a bit higher, to tell you the truth)
Today we have such aerodynamic, economy-minded SUVs and crossovers that it is difficult to imaging that anyone would want to buy a Lamborghini LM002. But there are those out there who desire ownership of such because of the collectable status it bears, and that’s completely understandable. In many ways, though, this model truck set the bar when it comes to the cars we have now, and that should be no surprise…we had to start somewhere. So, if the LM002 is a must-have for you, feel free to check one out; they’re easy enough to find online, and if you’re lucky you’ll end up paying a little less than you would if it was brand new. Best of luck in your mission, and stay safe on the road.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith