Posted Apr 28th 2012 8:01PM
Lamborghini was in the off-road business before the cult classic LM002, cooperating with MTI on a military vehicle concept dubbed Cheetah in the mid-seventies that it hoped to sell to the international armed forces. The 2,045 kg (4,500-pound), fiberglass-bodied troop carrier used a 5.9-litre, 180-horsepower Chrysler engine mounted in back. Hardly Cheetah-like, the vehicle delivered lackluster performance and didn't handle well.
Even worse, it was a badly translated copy of a vehicle already made by another firm, which landed MTI and Lamborghini in court when the Cheetah was revealed at the 1977 Geneva Motor Show. The U.S. military tested the sole prototype and totaled it.
Perhaps this is the worst part: the Cheetah was such an expensive failure for Lamborghini that it was one of the reasons the company was unable to follow through on its commitment to BMW for the M1 project changing the course of history forever.
And with that history lesson digested, you'll get even more wry satisfaction from the narrator's dialogue in the Cheetah promo video, which you'll find past the jump.