Making sure the brand’s future direction is in line with its heritage “is crucial to everything we do”, according to Foschini. “That’s why we look to LM002 for the Urus, and there are other possibilities in our heritage too,” he said.
In order to accommodate production of the Urus, which will launch in December, Lamborghini has already doubled the size of its production site in Sant’Agata Bolognese, including building a state-of-the-art production facility with the capacity for further expansion.
Autocar understands that the frontrunning model for production is currently a front-engined, four-door four-seater. This layout was evaluated with the Estoque concept that was revealed in 2008, but development of that car was eventually put on hold in favour of the Urus due to the global economic crisis, surging global sales of SUVs and the financial benefits of sharing the VW Group’s MLB Evo platform.
Now, however, the four-door, four-seat concept is seen by some senior figures at Lamborghini as the ideal layout to bridge the gap between the Urus and its other two models.
The Urus is expected to double Lamborghini sales and generate the profits required to justify further investment. Crucially, it should also change Lamborghini’s traditional customer demographic and attract more family-oriented buyers. Such a car would share its MSB-derived underpinnings with the new Porsche Panamera and Bentley Continental GT, which is due to launch later this year.
“The Urus will change the dimensions of Lamborghini’s customer base completely,” said Foschini. “We require completely new standards and we have worked hard to achieve them. The Urus is a game-changer, not just in what it will do for volumes and profits but also in terms of how it will change our customer base. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for change that we must grasp fully. It is a car for Lamborghini customers of the past, most of whom have an SUV in the garage among their collection, and for the future, for customers who love Lamborghini but have always wanted a car they can use every day.”
A car in the mould of the Estoque would offer customers a still practical alternative to the Urus as their families grow up. Fears that such a car could cannibalise Urus sales are said to have been eased by the fact that most Lamborghini buyers today own multiple cars (an average of four for Huracán owners and seven for Aventador owners).
Lamborghini previously built the Espada in the late 1960s, a two-door four-seater that was converted (without factory backing) to the one-off four-seater Frua Faena, created by Pietro Frua. In the same era, it sold the Islero in the US, which became the Jarama – both cars were created with the goal of offering supercar performance in a more practical bodystyle.