top of page

1997 Lamborghini LM003

The Timor/Lamborghini LM003 Borneo/Galileo was an off-road design study by SZ Design (Zagato)

During the Indonesian group's ownership of Automobili Lamborghini SpA, a study was made to put the gargantuan LM002 off-road Lamborghini back into production.

It was known that the LM002 had its flaws, but it still was a steady low volume seller. Therefore a United Kingdom-based company was contacted to design a successor to the LM002. Still, later this job was handed over to SZ Design, a company based on the remains of the Zagato Design Studio.

This was to become the LM003, named Borneo or Galileo, depending on what market it was offered. The LM003 model was a confusing name because an LM003 did already exist in the past. It was, in fact, an LM002 with a Turbocharged Diesel engine installed into it instead of the massive V12. Still, because the complete car was very underpowered with this engine configuration, only one prototype was ever made and never left the factory.

A preliminary drawing was made for the new LM003 project, which you can view at the top of this page, but an in-depth market research study revealed only a small interest would exist in the new LM003. Most Lamborghini customers or future customers were not exactly waiting for a new off-road vehicle from Sant'Agata; a more wanted car would have been an Espada successor like the L149 project or a new Diablo successor.

Therefore the Borneo/Galileo never even made it into a prototype; this drawing and a few others made by Zagato exist, together with some technical proposals, were about all that ever came from this try out although an actual full-scale mock-up was created of the LM003.

The shape of the Borneo looked much like the current Range Rover, probably to the biggest competitor for the new LM003 during that period. The Range Rover was about the only high-end luxury pseudo-off-road vehicle in existence. The Mercedes M-series, the Lincoln Navigator, or the Hummer did not exist yet. As you might notice, all cars in this market area use a similar layout, using a type of station car look, just like the LM003 was designed to, although Michael Kimberley decided the new LM003 would be presented with three different body configurations, one like the drawing shows here, a 'normal' four-door version like the previous LM002 and probably a third looking much like the open-top Hummer which appeared later.

The new LM003 Borneo would become a joint venture between Timor, an Indonesian-based automaker, and Automobili Lamborghini SpA. The body shell would not be made in Italy but the Far East. The LM002 bodywork was made in Spain when it was still in production.

A closer look at the LM002 Estate page will show you, in fact, a modified LM002. This LM was converted into a similar-looking shape to this LM003 and is currently located in the United Kingdom.

In my personal opinion, the market is currently open for a new high-end luxury off-road vehicle. The Mercedes M-series and Lincoln Navigator sales are quite well, so a new Lamborghini Off-road vehicle could still make sense from a marketing point of view. Naturally, a small engined V-8 car to succeed the Jalpa would sell better, but the very high-end market is where Automobili Lamborghini SpA could make a difference.


Images: Zagato;

Explore by Year, Make or Designer
bottom of page