Valentino Balboni worked at Lamborghini for about 40 years and was the company’s chief test driver for many years, during which he drove just about all of Sant’Agata Bolognese’s raging bulls. He is so important to the company that Lamborghini honoured his career with a special-edition Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni (pictured below) introduced in 2009 or about a year after his retirement.
The supercar of SUVs:
Even though he has retired, the 69-year-old Italian is still all about Lamborghinis and also a fan of the LM002’s spiritual successor, the new Urus. He was invited by the guys over at DailyDrivenExotics on YouTube to hop onto the driver’s seat of the Super SUV and take the 641-bhp beast for a light off-road adventure.
The Urus is obviously not as competent as a Mercedes G-Class or a Land Rover Defender when it comes to tackling rough terrain, but it can easily handle muddy surfaces. That’s despite of those gargantuan 21-inch wheels and the limited ground clearance even with the Terra drive mode activated. Truth be told, close to zero Urus owners are going to take their 190-mph SUVs off road, but nevertheless it’s interesting to see Valentino Balboni taking the vehicle where no other Urus has gone before, probably.
Bear in mind Lamborghini is preparing an amped-up, off-road-ready Urus previewed a couple of months ago by the ST-X concept. More than just for show, the meaner variant of the SUV will shave off 25 percent of weight over the road version and will compete in a single-brand championship set to feature a conventional race track combined with an off-road surface. The plan is to kick off the competition next year in Europe and in the Middle East.
Valentino Balboni isn’t the only one to drive the Urus off the beaten path as respected journalist Harry Metcalfe wanted to find out how Lamborghini’s new SUV handles on grass. Check out the video below.