By Matt Beaumont
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
The LM002 is an off-road vehicle and just over 300 were manufactured by Lamborghini from 1986 until 1993. It was an unusual departure for Lamborghini which, at the time, was primarily known for high-performance, hand-built, super/sports cars. The LM002 was not the first of its kind to be built by Lamborghini. Two prototype vehicles, the Cheetah and the LM001 paved the way for LM002. Both were intended for military use, but were not well received. The LM001 introduced the idea of using a front mounted Countach V12 to power the car which was carried forward to the next model, the LM002, which was the first of the three to see series production by Lamborghini. The LM002 is part of a series of vehicles, the Lamborghini Militara,
This was, in its day, a beast of a car measuring nearly 5 metres long and 2 metres wide and it weighing 2700kg. This physical mass was probably one of the reasons it had a 40ft turning circle.
Other big numbers, for the time, relating to this car were: an engine of 5.2 litres or even an optional 7.0 litre; the fuel tank which held 169 litres; the massive 325/65 VR 17 tyres; and the performance which was a maximum speed of 130mph 0-to 62mph in a very respectable 7.8 seconds.
I would like to say that this review is based on my own opinion, and my views of the model that I bought.
The model is produced by GT Spirit (GTS) under their own brand and also made for Kyosho. At the moment there are two versions: a white one with a red interior (the subject of this review) marketed by GT Spirit; and a black one with a white interior marketed by Kyosho. Both versions are limited to a batch of 500. They are moulded in resin to 1:18 scale in China. This is GT Spirit’s standard material for their models.
GT Spirit have done a very good job in replicating the LM002’s looks, note I didn’t say good looks!. And the model is up to their usual standard. The wheels look very crisp and have the tyre valves present in the cast of the wheel, the massive balloon tyres are very nicely done as well, Glazing is up to the usual resin model standard of GT Spirit, Otto and the like.
Some really nice touches include the replicated chequer plate in the rear section of the car and the hand rails around the top of the same area. Seats are fitted in the external passenger area for troops or bodyguards I suspect.
Lighting has been done very nicely as well, with bulbs visible in the main head lamps.
Not a lot to say about this. There is the usual GT Spirit fair but minor detailing. The base also features the metal plaque with the number in the edition and the 2 cross head screws holding the model together.
This can be only viewed through the window apertures as this is a sealed resin model. What can be seen looks well done, for instance you can clearly see switch gear wood trim displayed on the dash and the stereo head unit in the overhead console between the driver and front passenger. I am not sure that I would have specified the red leather interior that they use, but it is well modelled. I did try to take the model apart to get a better look but the base did not want to separate from the shell and being resin I did not want to force the issue.
Personally I am very pleased with this model and I was fortunate to find it on e-bay at a reasonable price, but if you are tempted to buy one shop carefully as some traders seem to be applying a premium to this model as they do with all of the GT Spirit and Otto releases, and I’ve seen some being sold at more than twice the price that I paid. For some reason the black Kyosho version is often dearer than the white GT Spirit, why I don’t know as they were both limited to the same number in the edition.
So if you’re a fan of this big old beast from Sant’Agata there’s nothing really to to stop you buying it as no one else currently produces it in 1:18 scale though Look Smart are rumoured to be releasing it later this year.
CMF produced a version some years ago though I have never seen one in the flesh. T.R.L Models advertised models in a range of colours: red, white, matte black, green and in full camouflage ‘dress’. Each colour was limited to an edition of 99. The red one featured the OZ alloy wheels, the rest all have the same wheel design as the GTS model. Be cautious if you go down this route as I have read that they had issues with paint discolouration emerging on the white version over time.