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Classic YouTube: The Promotional Video For The Lamborghini Cheetah U.S. Military Prototype


Classic YouTube: The Promotional Video For The Lamborghini Cheetah U.S. Military Prototype

The idea of a Lamborghini-built military vehicle really does sound intriguing. Sure, it was the 1970s, but even then, between the Muira and the Countach, Lamborghini was quickly making a solid name for themselves as Ferrari’s nightmare. The reality of the situation, though, was a lot more mundane than one would hope. The Cheetah was built on the U.S. Army’s “Fast Attack” concept for a Jeep/M151 “Mutt” replacement, and if you had seen the FMC XR-311 concept, you would have cried “copycat” too. Both concepts used a rear-mounted Chrysler small-block and TorqueFlite automatic and both concepts had the same four-seater layout. Unlike the XR-311, however, the Cheetah stuck with a waterproofed 318ci instead of at least offering the 360ci, and with a curb weight of 4,502, the Cheetah wound up being a pig-slow beast that had sketchy handling. The lawsuit that Lamborghini and designer MTI were slapped with from FMC in 1977 bankrupted Lamborghini, which into receivership before being purchased by the Mimran brothers in 1980. While the Cheetah was a failure, Lamborghini capitalized on the research done and brought the project back to life as the LM-002 off-roader. This is the promotional video that would have been shown to Army staff and government officials during the testing process. Honestly, we wouldn’t have been convinced either.


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