Although Lamborghini top brass haven’t yet signed off the business case for a plug-in hybrid version of the Urus, which will be offered first as a non-hybrid twin-turbo petrol V8 in 2018, it is still a strong possibility.
It is more challenging to install a hybrid powertrain into a sports car, where the extra weight has a greater impact.
Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s research and development boss, said: “When you add a 200kg battery to a super-sports car, you immediately change the weight distribution of the car. You destroy the DNA of the car.
“In the Urus there will be a bigger luggage compartment, so you have the space where you can install batteries in a position that is good in principal for an SUV, and you don’t need a complete redevelopment or repackaging of the car.”
To achieve a sports car with CO2 emissions below 100g/km, Reggiani said, means installing 200kg of batteries and then “spending a quantity of money to save this weight again – you must use titanium, magnesium and carbonfibre in every part of the car”.
Lamborghini’s president and chief executive Stephan Winkelmann explained that a hybrid sports car was harder to for the company to justify financially. “If you really want to have a hybrid car with, for example, an electric range of 50km, but you want to also maintain a good power-to-weight, you are raising the bar to a million-pound car," he said.
“It is something that we cannot allow without then charging it back to the customers, and this is not a market that is so large it can last for seven or eight years. It will be dead after a couple of years.”
Winkelmann wouldn’t be drawn on when a decision whether to put a hybrid Urus into production would be made. “The V8 is most important to us at the moment but it was also important to plan the packaging of the car to make it easy to install a hybrid system without dramatic modification in the future,” he said.