Several special-edition versions of the Lamborghini Urus SUV are under consideration, including a hardcore Superveloce model and a more focused luxury model, according to CEO Stephan WInkelmann.
“We have more than enough ideas, but it is too early to confirm anything,” said Winkelmann. “All options are possible and we will work on evaluating them in the run-up to launch. If our customers want to see something, we’ll do our best to meet their needs.”
Earlier this year it was confirmed that the Urus will go into production in 2018. It will be based on Audi Q7/Bentley Bentayga underpinnings and will be priced from around £150,000.
Winkelmann confirmed that the production version of the Urus is likely to keep the concept’s rakish exterior but will have a significantly more comfort-orientated and conventional interior.
“The look will evolve from the concept, but you will recognise it both as a pure Lamborghini and from the concept,” he said. “Inside, it will have a look and feel that is a bit different from where we have been before. The surfaces are larger and the needs of occupants more around usability. The Urus must be capable of being a family’s first car all year round. It must have driveability, comfort, roominess and more.
“Top speed and performance may be important, but the Urus is more about having a car that delivers Lamborghini levels of emotion while being capable of being handled every day, on open and congested roads.”
The new model will be built at Lamborghini's headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Reports had suggested that the Italian government had granted Lamborghini a number of "tax breaks and other benefits" to ensure that a new domestic facility was opened in Italy. Lamborghini has since confirmed that the deal was made possible thanks to assistance from the likes of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and Invitalia - the Italian national agency for inward investments and economic development.
Given that the production Urus is set to use the same underpinnings as the new Audi Q7 and the forthcoming Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini's luxury SUV could have been produced in the same Slovakian factory as the Q7.
However, the new model will significantly expand the capacity of the Sant’Agata Bolognese plant, with the company saying it will invest “hundreds of millions of euros” in the facility. The factory will almost double in size, growing from 80,000 square metres to around 150,000 square metres. Lamborghini also intends to hire 500 new employees.
Launching the Urus is now considered a high priority for Lamborghini, as the company recently confirmed plans to launch the Asterion concept in production form had been shelved in favour of the SUV.
Lamborghini intends to spread its sales across the globe, and has identified the US, China, the Middle East, the UK, Germany and Russia as its main target markets. It intends to sell around 3000 units a year, which would represent a doubling of the company’s current sales figures.
Winkelmann said: “This is a proud moment for everybody in Lamborghini. 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.”
At the 2012 debut of the Urus concept car, Winkelmann targeted the BMW X6 M and Range Rover as rivals for the four-seat Urus. “Our studies have shown that nearly all existing Lamborghini owners also have a sport utility vehicle in their garage, so in this respect we consider it the perfect extension to our existing supercar business,” said Winkelmann.
At 4990mm in length, 1990mm in width and 1660mm in height, the Urus concept was 114mm longer, 7mm wider and 24mm lower than the BMW X6 M.
Lamborghini has so far refused to reveal engine details of the forthcoming Urus, beyond saying it would develop “around 600bhp”. However, Autocar understands that the production version of the Urus will be offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain using a modified version of parent company Audi’s new twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, as used by the new S6, S7 and S8, in combination with an electric motor.
Power is likely to be channelled through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and torque-sensing Torsen four-wheel drive system with an electronically operated torque vectoring system capable of juggling the amount of drive going to each rear wheel.
Lamborghini also claims it will be the fastest-accelerating production 4x4. That means it will need to deliver 0-62mph in an X6 M-beating 4.2sec and, with the help of the active aerodynamics hinted at on the concept, reach a top speed of least 186mph - the maximum guaranteed by most tyre manufacturers offering products suitable for 4x4s.
Another target set by Lamborghini is for the new 4x4 to have the lowest CO2 emissions in its sector. “The Urus will beat all comparable competitors when it comes to CO2 emissions,” said Lamborghini engineering boss Maurizio Reggiani at the Urus’s launch in 2012, reaffirming the goal of making the new SUV “considerably lighter than its competitors”.
Among the fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technologies envisaged for the new Lamborghini are automatic stop-start, brake energy recuperation and electro-mechanical steering. It will have to beat the BMW X6 M’s 258g/km and 25.4mpg official fuel economy to be classified as the most efficient in its class.
However, Audi boss Rupert Stadler would not be drawn on whether the production Urus would be the first Lamborghini road car to come with a diesel engine. “Nothing is set, but we have to consider what our customers want,” said Winkelmann. “For now, we rule nothing out.”
The state of the economy in Europe in the years between the Urus's Beijing debut and the production announcement lead to doubts about the future of the model, with sources at the company saying the economy needed to be "sound" before the car was launched. The delays continued until late 2014, before the car was finally confirmed.
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