Even though a four-door sports saloon is much closer to a supercar maker's philosophy than an SUV, Lamborghini wants to test the waters with a four-seat crossover model.
The VW Group-owned company’s second SUV after the 1980’s butch LM002, was unveiled today at the 2012 China Auto Show in the form of the Urus concept. We have already seen the photos of the crossover, but now have the full specifications on the concept that the company describes as being “a true Lamborghini”.
As is the tradition, the SUV's name is derived from the world of bulls. The Urus, also known as Aurochs, is one of the wild ancestors of domestic cattle. According to the Italian automaker, the Spanish fighting bull, as bred for the past 500 years, is still very close to the Urus in its appearance.
At 4.99 m long (196.5 inches), 1.99 m (78.4 inches) wide and 1.66m (65.4 inches) tall, the Urus is about 120mm longer and 16mm wider but also 30mm lower than a BMW X6.
Lamborghini has not yet specified the front-mounted engine, but it says it will have an output of 600HP and the lowest CO2 emissions in its class. Chances are a production model would be fitted with either a V10 or Audi's new V8 turbo, perhaps even both. Either way, the engine transmits its power to both axles via a dual-clutch gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive transmission with traction control.
The Urus uses the same platform architecture as the Bentley EXP 9 F study and the next generations of the VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7.
According to the company, the class-leading CO2 emissions target will be achieved thanks to the lightweight design philosophy not only in the chassis and bodywork, but the interior as well, through the use of what Lamborghini calls “innovative” carbon fiber technologies.
This offers the advantage of a low center of gravity, improving handling, another area where the Urus aims to beat its competitors. Since it’s an SUV, the off-roading part is taken care of not only by the AWD system but also by the variable height suspension and front spoiler and the good approach angle.
“The Urus is a very concrete idea for the future of Lamborghini – as a third model line and as the perfect complement to our super sports cars”, said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Lamborghini. “SUVs stand for freedom and emotion. SUVs make up one of the most successful market segments worldwide. The Urus is the most extreme interpretation of the SUV idea; it is the Lamborghini of the SUVs.”
It’s also the first modern Lamborghini that seats four instead of just two passengers and can be used as a family’s sole car. This, of course, while true, is mostly pure PR talk, just like the claim of the Charging Bull having an SUV history. First, it’s highly unlikely that any Lamborghini-owning family has only one car, and second, the LM002 sold a mere 300 units in its six-year long lifespan.
The truth is that the Urus’ mission is twofold: the first part is to convince the company’s customers to park a Lamborghini rather than a Range Rover next to their Murcielago/Gallardo/Aventador in their garage.
The second part is to significantly increase Lamborghini’s production. The bean-counters at the VW Group estimate that the SUV, which is targeted mostly at the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, the Middle East and China, can reach annual sales of around 3,000 units.