Lamborghini Confirms Italy-Built SUV For 2018
Third Raging Bull Will Be Volume Seller
The production version of Lamborghini’s aggressive Urus concept SUV from the 2012 Beijing Motor Show has an official target date and manufacturing facility, according to Lamborghini parent company Audi. The production Urus (or whatever the name may end up being) will likely be introduced in 2018, with production based at Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese production facility in Bologna, Italy. Sant’Agata is also the site of production for Lamborghini’s two current models: the “entry-level supercar” Huracan and range-topping Aventador.
In order to make space for the SUV, Lamborghini will be investing “hundreds of millions of Euros” into the factory over the new model’s lifecycle, expanding it from 80,000 square meters to about 150,000 square meters (that’s more than 1.6 million square feet, for those of us in the Land of the Free Refills). The expansion will also justify the hire of 500 new factory employees, an achievement that justified a significant tax break from the Italian government, according to Bloomberg.
“With the decision to produce the Lamborghini SUV in Sant’ Agata Bolognese we have proven once more our commitment to Italy as an important automotive industrial nation,” said Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management Audi AG. Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann said much the same, stating that the company is committed to “safeguarding the values of ‘Made in Italy’ worldwide.”
A new production line will need to be built, especially since the new SUV will be the first Lambo utility vehicle since the LM002, which ended production in 1993. Like that hardcore off-roader, the production Urus will likely receive an engine from its corporate brethren, which in this case would be the Audi-sourced 5.2L V-10 currently used in the Huracan. However, the Urus will be much more on-road oriented than the LM002, which was originally intended for military duty.
Indeed, Lamborghini has previously promised that the Urus will be the best-performing SUV in the world, putting industry greats like the Range Rover Sport SVR and Porsche Cayenne Turbo firmly in its sights. The Lambo will broaden the company’s appeal in up-and-coming parts of the world like China and Russia, where huge amounts of wealth haven’t yet translated into road surfaces fit for a low-slung supercar.
The company predicts that Urus owners will include those who own other Lamborghini sports cars but want SUVs for family or daily driving duties, as well as individuals who are new to the brand. If Lambo can move the 3,000 Uruses (Uri?) a year that it predicts, the company’s sales volume will double. We doubt that will be a difficult goal, as the Porsche Cayenne outsold the 911 and Boxster combined in its first year of full-availability sales.
The latter part of the decade is shaping up to be quite the era for high-buck, high-lux SUVs. The Urus’ corporate cousin, the Bentley Bentayga, should arrive before 2017, while Rolls-Royce’s Project Cullinan “high-sided, all-terrain motor car” will follow a year later. All three will have eye-watering price tags, easily cresting $200,000 before options.
Source: Audi, Bloomberg,