Confirming what we had heard several weeks ago, Lamborghini will introduce an SUV at the Beijing auto show in April. Auto Express reveals that the new Lamborghini will be a sporty three-door design called the MLC.
Despite efforts to keep the project a secret, news of the Lamborghini SUV leaked to the press earlier this year. The MLC is under development now and will reportedly be launched in 2015 or 2016. It will fight cars like the BMW X6 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and Maserati Kubang. China and the U.S. will be the model's largest sales markets. China will be especially important, as about one-fifth of orders for the Lamborghini Aventador coupe have come from Chinese buyers.
The new Lamborghini SUV will be based on the same platform shared by the next-generation Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, and rumored Bentley crossover. However, Automobile Magazine says Volkswagen Group boss Martin Winterkorn isn't a fan of the plan -- he apparently wanted a four-door Lamborghini based on the Estoque concept. A sedan model is still a slight possibility, but the SUV will probably come first.
Auto Express reveals that Lamborghini has made major changes to the shared VW Group platform, replacing major parts of the chassis with carbon fiber in order to trim weight by 880 pounds. That will keep overall curb weight for the Lamborghini MLC under 4400 pounds.
Power will come from a front-mounted 5.2-liter V-10 massaged to produce between 550 hp and 580 hp. The engine comes from the Lamborghini Gallardo but will be tweaked for more low-end torque in the heavier SUV. Lamborghini is also said to be considering its first hybrid drivetrain, which would supplement the V-10 with an electric motor producing as much as 100 hp.
As to styling, expect flared fenders, aggressive scoops and intakes, and an overall design language inspired by the aforementioned Estoque concept.There won't be any resemblance to the first Lamborghini SUV, the boxy and utilitarian LM002 (pictured). Lamborghini will probably try to sell about 1500 copies of the MLC each year for the sum of $200,000.
Sources: Auto Express, Automobile Magazine