Lamborghini have officially unveiled the Lamborghini Urus Concept at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show. The Urus Concept is Lamborghini’s second SUV after the 1980’s LM002.
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.
Although we’re not convinced that the Italian supercar maker has any business building a SUV, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann has reminded us that the company founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, originally intended to build comfortable, practical grand touring cars. At the same time, however, Winkelmann also cut through the ‘bull’, admitting that an SUV is necessary as supercars alone can’t maintain a business. “The super sports car segment is very cyclical not only due to the entry of new models, but also is very sensitive – much more sensitive – to economic downturns than the normal luxury [segment],” he says.
Winkelmann predicts Lamborghini could sell 3 000 units a year – a huge number considering the company sold a combined 1 600 Gallardos and Aventadors last year. Unlike Lamborghini’s first SUV, the infamous LM002, it would not be hideously expensive to build, but rather, it would share the same basic architecture that will underpin the next Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. It may also be built in one of the Volkswagen Group’s factories, as the SUV’s volume would easily outstrip the capacity of Lamborghini’s facilities in Sant’Agata, Italy. Pricing would likely start at about R1.5 million, which is roughly the same as a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and go up to around R3 million.
Of course, the Lamborghini Urus Concept gets permanent four-wheel drive, similar to the rest of the Lamborghini range and, while Lamborghini has remained silent about the engine fitted to this concept car, many have speculated that the SUV will get the V10 from the Gallardo, however, the V12 from the Aventador or the new (bi-turbo or supercharged) V8 unit under development at Volkswagen are all possibilities. Output figures quoted for the Urus Concept are upwards of 440 kW. This places it against the BMW X5M and X6M, which feature 32 kW less. The Urus uses a dual clutch transmission.
The Lamborghini Urus concept features a height-adjustable front spoiler, a deflector at the upper edge of the rear windshield that diverts the airflow onto the adjustable spoiler and an adaptive rear spoiler. The Y-shape headlamps now take on a horizontal form and feature full LED technology with three high-performance LEDs. The wheels are 24-inch double-spoke designs, forged from matte-finish aluminium and fitted with five carbon-fibre winglets for ventilation. Exterior mirrors are replaced with small, aerodynamically optimised cameras. These display through two TFT screens on the left and right of the cockpit.
The Lamborghini Urus is finished with a carbon-fibre reinforced polymer interior. The center tunnel is an open, skeletal carbon-fibre structure constructed from Forged Composite stretching the length of the inside. Four bucket seats are fitted with a lower position than other cars in this range. The interior is simple, two large shift paddles are found behind the steering wheel. All other functions, indicators, lights and windshield wipers are incorporated into the multifunction steering wheel or the center console. Two touch screens are fitted to the centre console at the front and the rear.
If the Lamborghini Urus is given the green light for production, expect to see it on the road by 2015.