It’s been five years since Lamborghini first unveiled their Hybrid SUV concept – Urus – at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show. Since then it’s been waning between remaining a viable but ultimately unrealised vision – like the mythical Estoque super saloon – or a full-fledged addition to the Lambo stable.
In 2013 more hints that the Italian super-car maker was serious about the Urus came from then Chief Executive Stephan Winkelmann who said the company’s future plans were very much in-line with a high-performance SUV in its offer.
Via an interview with Digital Trends, Lamborghini’s current CEO Stefano Domenicali has confirmed that production of the überSUV will begin in April 2017, with prototype test vehicles rolling off the line first. Production of customer-bound examples be underway by July 2017 ::::
Domenicali said that Lamborghini expects the Urus to account for a sizeable chunk of annual sales and, however, to preserve the marque’s supercar exclusivity, they will cap the number of Huracan and Aventador models to 3,500 per year.
In contrast, Lamborghini expects to deliver around 3,000 examples of the Urus once production is in full swing, essentially doubling their overall vehicle sales with this one new model. To accommodate for this, their factory in Sant’Agata has expanded considerably and should be able to meet the demand targets the Audi-owned supercar maker has set for its foray outside
To accommodate for this, their factory in Sant’Agata has expanded considerably and should be able to meet the demand targets the Audi-owned supercar maker has set for its foray outside their two-door mid-engine mainstays.
The powertrain that lives under the Urus’ bonnet is still a slight mystery, unfortunately it’s flagship V12 isn’t likely to fit, making the smaller V10 from the Huracan more plausible. Domenicali says that hybrids will have a future in Lamborghinis, and the all-wheel drive Urus makes the best case yet for them to implement such a system.
Should they not mind borrowing an engine and powertrain combo from their German benefactors – Audi or the VW Group at large – there is certainly a deep reservoir of powerful options from which to choose.
We’ve already been given clues on the guts of Urus, Lamborghini R+D Chief Maurizio Reggiani confirmed in December last year that the Urus will be the first, and only product in the marquees lineup to sport a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
In an Autocar report, Reggiani played up the Urus’ integration into the brand.
“The design of the Urus is pure Lamborghini. It has evolved considerably since the concept, and the finished car is much better inside and out,” Reggiani said. He went on to mention how turbocharging will be “completely mandatory,” Regiani said. “A super sports car is completely different. You need the responsiveness of the engine, to feel the spark of every cylinder. We will keep normally aspirated engines for our other models. They are still the best choice.”
Doubtless, Lamborghini purists will be heaving a huge sigh of relief. The Urus will also gain a 48V-powered active anti-roll suspension, ensuring that the SUV drives with the nimbleness a Lamborghini should. Reggiani says that Lamborghini will be concentrating its R+D efforts into power, weight, and aerodynamics.
“Handling is a function of these, hence its priority, Regianni said, “We want to be a leader here, and we have a chance to change the rules of the game.”
We’re certainly looking forward to seeing the Urus come to market in 2018. If anything, to see how Sant’ Agata intends to attack this highly lucrative segment, dominated by competitors from Bentley, Porsche, Jaguar, and even Maserati.