“This engine is not used by anybody else, only for Lamborghini. To be the most powerful in the class it must have something that is dedicated to our brand. It must be able to produce the right amount power and torque, but do that in conjunction with the right transmission and chassis control that makes it a true Lamborghini.”
Winkelmann has already had an early experience of twin-turbocharged V8 Urus during benchmarking comparison tests against Lamborghini’s luxury SUV rivals.
“In early autumn I drove a prototype for the first time on a racetrack and the performance was great,” he said. “I was astonished; it was more than any of us expected, which is a car that is very powerful but easy to drive, with very good handling, and also in terms of driveability and comfort, it has a limousine feel in an SUV. This is very important to us.
“It will be a true Lamborghini because it will be the fastest among the SUVs. We will have the most powerful engine and will have the car that is going to be a real super sports SUV. It has to keep the balance between matching the DNA of the brand, that is being a car that is really driveable and also have a lot of off-road capability, but the driving on the roads is much more important.”
“It’s a major step. We are almost done with the exterior design. There are minor adjustments. If you see the car you will recall the red concept we showed at Beijing, but it now has more roominess and an evolved design; it is more state-of-the-art compared with that concept”.
Winkelmann said a plug-in hybrid version of the Urus is still a possibility further down the line, and the car is being engineered to accept a battery pack and electric motors. However, the car will remain strictly four-wheel drive; although Lamborghini recently unveiled a rear-wheel-drive Huracan variant, this policy won’t be repeated on the Aventador and Urus. The former needs all-wheel drive to safely harness its power, and the latter must retain authentic off-road capability.
The definitive Urus production car is expected to be revealed at the Geneva motor show in the spring of 2018, although the company hasn’t ruled out bringing that forward to Frankfurt in late 2017 if development proceeds swiftly.
Lamborghini’s third model will go on sale at a price range similar to that of the Huracan, putting it in the £180k region.
Special-edition versions of the Urus already lined up
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.”
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.