Even so, you quickly grow accustomed to the car’s size and before long you’re slotting the long-throw lever through the gears to revel in a soundtrack that only gets better as the revs keep rising.
Those anticipating the panther-like yowl of a Countach at full chat may at first be disappointed, but the trademark Bizzarrini engine sound isn’t altogether absent.
The growl is there, but deeper, lower and more animalistic. Imagine that same big cat, but rather than flashing across the plain to snaffle a wayward gazelle, it’s lugging a chest of drawers up a flight of stairs, straining and heaving with the effort.
It’s particularly noticeable going uphill: plant your right foot and the Lambo squats briefly before charging irresistibly skyward, defying gravity, aerodynamics and several other laws of physics in the process.
It’s difficult to wrap your head around something so large – so square – moving quite so quickly, short of dropping it out the back of a helicopter.
In truth, that feeling has more to do with the car’s mass than its outright speed: despite there being more than 440bhp available, the sheer weight of the Lambo means that, even if you throw mechanical sympathy to the kerb, it still takes over 7.5 secs to reach 60mph.
But boy does it feel quicker. If you’re brave enough the LM002 will reputedly hit 118mph in top gear, but few examples have ever had their legs stretched to quite that extent.
It’s so big, so tall and so involving to handle that even at sensible speeds it takes almost all of your concentration to thread it between looming hedgerows and oncoming traffic.
But, just as you wouldn’t judge Usain Bolt on his talent at the pole vault, it’s unfair to rate the LM002 solely on its ability to handle narrow country lanes.
The Lamborghini was designed for the desert – bespoke sand tyres were an option from new – and it’s out in the wilds that this car is really at its best, where its 12in ground clearance, locking diffs, and60º approach and 45º departure angles can be fully exploited.
Like the Cayenne, Bentayga and DBX, the LM002 looks wholly unsuited to prowling the King’s Road.
But unlike those fads of fashion, misformed through selective breeding like British bulldogs struggling to breathe, the Lamborghini excels when in its element.
Images: Olgun Kordal
Thanks to Bell Sport & Classic
- Sold/number built 1982-’92/241
- Construction steel spaceframe chassis with riveted aluminium and glassfibre panels
- Engine all-alloy, dohc-per-bank 5167cc 60º V12, six Weber 44DCNF carburettors
- Max power 444bhp @ 6800rpm
- Max torque 368lb ft @ 4500rpm
- Transmission ZF five-speed manual, two-speed transfer box, with part-time 4WD
- Suspension independent, by double wishbones, coil springs and telescopic dampers
- Steering power-assisted recirculating ball
- Brakes ventilated discs front, drums rear, with servo
- Length 16ft 1in (4902mm)
- Width 6ft 7in (2007mm)
- Height 6ft 1in (1854mm)
- Wheelbase 9ft 10in (2997mm)
- Track 5ft 3½in (1615mm)
- Weight 5950Ib (2699kg)
- 0-60mph 7.7 secs
- Top speed 118mph
- Mpg 8
- Price new $120,000
- Price now £250-300,000*
Prices correct at date of original publication
Tested: off-beat soft-roaders
Future classic: Mercedes-AMG G63
Luxury on the farm: Range Rover vs Mercedes G-Wagen