We don’t have the sex appeal of Adrienne Barbeau or Tara Buckman climbing out of a Lamborghini Countach [Maybe not you, Oldham—Ed.]. Even if we did, we left our skintight spandex jumpsuits back at the hotel. But we are hauling ass through the California desert in a black Lamborghini, specifically Robert Patel’s modified 2020 Lamborghini Urus. This is definitely a Cannonball moment.
Cue the music. “Ball. Cannonball, Cannonball, Cannonball. Cannonball. It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Be anything you want to be.”
Patel has owned Kar Tunz since 2015, establishing the Pleasanton, California, shop as a Bay Area go-to for performance, appearance, and tech upgrades. “We work on anything and can do anything. Whatever the customer wants,” he says. “We do a lot of Raptors, 911s, Audis, Corvettes, McLarens. Muscle cars, too. Right now, we’re also working on a 1969 Camaro.”
For our test, Patel, his right-hand man, Ava Nalamothu, and the owner of Open Flash Performance, Shiv Pathak, drove the Urus down to Southern California along with his heavily modified 2019 BMW M5 Competition. Although Kar Tunz performed most of the modifications on the Lambo, Pathak dialed up the SUV’s power.
We’ve known Pathak since 2001. After six years of modifying engine-computer software, he opened Vishnu Performance in 1999. He quickly established a reputation for an ability to crank up power and torque levels without sacrificing drivability. In 2014, he renamed the company Open Flash Performance and has since expanded his offerings to include Ferrari’s 458, motorcycles, and twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6–powered Ford F-150s. This is the first Urus he has uncorked.
Uncaging the Bull
Pathak says his tuning has increased the power of the Italian’s Audi-based twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 from 641 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 627 lb-ft of torque at 2250 rpm to 725 horses and 750 lb-ft of torque. He employs an all-wheel-drive compatible Mustang dynamometer to verify the results, but he only quotes power numbers calculated at the engine’s crankshaft. The 4.0-liter’s dyno sheet reveals a torque curve similar to stock, just with about 80 to 100 lb-ft more everywhere.
“It’s worth noting that the car makes about 60 to 70 horsepower less on the all-wheel-drive dyno due to inadequate cooling compared to how it runs on the road at speed,” he said. “So, the dyno results represent more of a worst-case scenario stress test than a test of maximum real-world power.”
There are no hardware changes under the Urus’s hood. Boost from the two stock turbochargers is up from 11.0 psi to about 15.0 psi, and Pathak remaps the fuel and spark curves. “We’re at the limit of the hardware and California’s 91-octane fuel,” he said. “To add more power, we would have to start changing turbos, downpipes, and cylinder heads.”
The other modifications to the Urus were chosen by Patel and performed by his team at Kar Tunz. A louder and lighter Novitec exhaust system with a crossover pipe hangs under the car. Ghost Motorsports self-named lowering links have been fitted and drop the SUV about 0.5 inch. The faux diffuser, side skirts, grille, fender flares, and brake calipers are sprayed black. The exhaust tips have been powdercoated satin black. A remote-controlled underbody lighting system from Race Sport was added. Inside a K40 radar and laser detection system was integrated along with a BlackVue camera system.
Then there are the Lambo’s $8800 23-inch wheels, which are perhaps the goldest set of wheels since ancient Mesopotamians began using the material for decoration thousands of years ago. They’re forged Avant Garde AGL43s in the company’s 18K Gold finish. Gold finish is what they call it. It’s paint. The new wheels are the same size as stock yet have a slightly more aggressive offset to push the wheels outward and, according to Patel, are slightly lighter. The Pirelli P Zero PZ4 summer tires, 285/35R-23s in front and 325/30R-23s at the rear, came with the Urus from the factory. Patel says he has $277,904 in the Lambo, including the $243,596 shelled out for the car in the first place. Open Flash’s engine tune is a serious value at $2495, or about $600 less than what Lamborghini charges for electric Comfort seats.
Our Quickest SUV Test Yet
This is undoubtedly the quickest vehicle we’ve ever tested with a cheesy underbody lighting system. It may the only car we’ve ever tested with said cheesy lights. With its launch-control system activated, the Urus leaps off the line and hits 60 mph in 2.7 seconds. The quarter-mile gets done in a blistering 10.9 seconds at 125 mph. That makes it not only the quickest SUV we’ve ever tested, beating the stock Urus by a half-second in both measures, but it’s quicker to 60 mph than a Porsche 911 Carrera and dusts a C8 Corvette at the drag strip. Keep your foot down and the 5140-pound SUV beats the stock Urus to 150 mph by nearly two seconds. For reference, Lamborghini’s first SUV, the 444-hp, V-12–powered LM002 that we tested back in 1987, hit 60 mph in 7.7 seconds and finished the quarter-mile in 16.0 seconds at 86 mph.
Patel’s suspension tweaks and other modifications don’t improve the Lamborghini’s handling or braking performance at the test track, but they haven’t hurt anything either. With its massive tires, all-wheel drive, and torque-vectoring rear differential, the Urus produced 1.04 g of grip on the skidpad and stopped from 70 mph in 150 feet, basically matching the stock version’s results.
More importantly, not one of the modifications has compromised the Urus’s practicality or drivability. It’s a bit louder than stock at idle and has a considerably stronger growl at wide-open throttle, but it’s far from obnoxious or aggravating. The noise level inside at a 70-mph cruise remains a pleasant 65 decibels. The V-8’s power delivery and throttle response, even at more than 3000 feet of elevation, also are as good as anything from Sant’Agata, as is the SUV’s ride quality. The Urus’s air springs shrug off the lowering kit as if it’s not even there.
You could still race this Lamborghini from sea to shining sea in complete comfort. Just don’t forget your spandex jumpsuit. Ball.