Vehicles | January 26, 2017 9:00 am

A Lamborghini So Heinous Only a Mother Could Love It

The LM Americans were a rare breed — for good reason

By The Editors

Ugly ducklings, at least in fairy tales, can morph into beautiful swans once they mature.

Raging bulls, in fables or elsewhere … apparently less so.

The third version of a project that began in 1977, the Lamborghini LM002 was first called the Cheetah. The SUV — which was designed by Mobility Technology International at Lambo’s request in the hopes of selling the model to the military — had a commercial but not much else, largely because its handling was poor due to the massive weight of its rear-mounted V8 engine.

The Cheetah design was ultimately scrapped and a revised model called the LM001 was introduced in its place. Although this model was a marked improvement and had the ability to hit up to 100 MPH, the weight and design still limited its performance. After heading back to the drawing board for a final time, engineers got the SUV’s technical specs (but not its looks) correct by putting the Rambo Lambo‘s 48-valve V12 in the front of the chassis and pairing it with a powerful five-speed manual gearbox.

Lambo LM002 (8 images)

Though the LM002 was far superior to the previous two attempts, it did not have a happy ending: only 48 of the SUVs were produced for U.S. distribution after being introduced as the LM American. One of those examples, a pearl white model from 1990 with 3,400 miles on the odometer, is up for sale courtesy of Motorcar Studio in Atlanta with an asking price approaching $301,000.

We hear it’s got a great personality.

Photos courtesy of Trace Taylor