After much hemming and hawing, the powers that be at Lamborghini has finally confirmed that its luxury SUV has been greenlighted for production. The SUV, based closely on the Urus concept, will go on sale in 2018, though, so there’s enough time to save up for it if you have been waiting for one.
First unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, the Urus concept looks like a beefed up Aventador on stilts, and is an inevitable move in the face of demands for SUVs from luxury car manufacturers everywhere. Never mind the spiraling oil prices or the fact that most of them will never see a speck of mud or loose gravel in their lifetime, luxury SUVs have been a big seller for most of the major luxury manufacturers. Porsche has the Cayenne, Mercedes-Benz has the GL and ML, Audi has the Q, and BMW has the X cornered. Maserati and Bentley are also hard at work with their own versions, the Levante and Bentayga, respectively. Even venerable marquee Rolls-Royce is jumping into the fray with the Cullinan. Lamborghini’s SUV, whether it is called the Urus or not, will have to fend them off to succeed.
Believe it or not, Lamborghini actually has a history with SUVs. It arguably kicked off the whole super-luxury SUV trend with its LM002 in 1986, before wisely dropping it to give us the wild supercars that we revere it for now.
Although Lamborghini would not state it yet, we reckon that its SUV will be powered by a variation of the Huracán’s naturally aspirated V10, with around 600 horsepower on tap. It will most likey feature a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system not unlike that used on upper-level versions of the Cayenne, but also different in some ways. It is understood that Lamborghini’s top brass will also go to some lengths to ensure the new SUV is a Lamborghini, and not just a rebadged Porsche.
“This is a proud moment for everybody in Lamborghini,” Stephan Winkelmann, company president, said in a release. “The introduction of a third model line endorses the stable and sustainable growth of the company and signifies for us the beginning of a new era.”
— Lamborghini (@Lamborghini) May 28, 2015
“Lamborghini, Italdesign Giugiaro and Ducati have developed very successfully under Audi parentage, and kept their Italian identity,” Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of Audi AG, added. “With the decision to produce the Lamborghini SUV in Sant’ Agata Bolognese we have proven once more our commitment to Italy as an important automotive industrial nation.”
Lamborghini expects to sell about 3,000 of its SUV a year in the U.S., China and other markets with lots of millionaires, essentially doubling its annual production. It says it is expanding its Italian factory to handle the SUV.