Lamborghini isn't an automaker most people associate with sport-utility vehicles. Then again, neither was Porsche until the Cayenne was introduced. However, those of you with a sharp memory of the '80s and early '90s may remember the slab-sided, menacing Lamborghini LM002 SUV. Nicknamed the "Rambo Lambo," the LM002 looked like it drove straight off the set of a Mad Max movie. All that was missing was a roof-mounted gun turret. In the same era when the Humvee was considered cool, the LM002 fit right in with an in-your-face, outrageous style.
But times have changed, and so has Lamborghini. Now under the corporate ownership of the Volkswagen Group, the niche brand has resources at its disposal it couldn't have imagined two decades ago. The result of this new collaboration is the Urus SUV concept. Keeping with the bovine theme of the brand, the Urus name comes from the name of the wild, ancestral forebears of modern cattle. The contemporary Spanish fighting bull is a close descendant of the Urus in appearance, the company claims.
So far, we have few mechanical details other than some dimensions and styling features. The Urus has an overall length of 196.5 inches, a width of 78.3 inches, and a height of 65.4 inches. Compared to the Porsche Cayenne upon which we believe it's based, the Lamborghini is 5.7 inches longer, 2 inches wider, and 2 inches lower.
The scant mechanical specifications we're teased with suggest possible V-10 power, and potentially some sort of hybrid system. Lamborghini quotes a target output figure of 600 hp, as well as the lowest CO2 figure of "all comparable vehicles." What exactly is the Urus directly comparable to? The Porsche Cayenne S Turbo and the upcoming Maserati SUV are two possible targets. The Aventador's 6.5-liter V-12 cranks out 691 hp, and the Gallardo's V-10 is good for around 560 hp. With a twin-turbo V-8 in the VWAG corporate power train arsenal, the exact engine configuration is anyone's guess. However, a dual-clutch transmission actuated by two generously sized paddle shifters was alluded to in the release, suggesting the Urus will have driving dynamics to match its sharp styling.
What we can tell you is that the Urus is one of the most aggressive-looking SUVs we can remember seeing in quite a while. While there's an inescapable resemblance to the Range Rover Evoque, the Urus is definitely substantially larger and more aggressive. The prominent front air intakes show a strong family resemblance to the Gallardo and Aventador, with the triangular-shaped headlights looking like those on the Aventador. The lights themselves are full LED, from the headlights themselves, as well as the driving lights. In addition to the obligatory LED lighting, there is also liberal use of carbon fiber, with the material adorning the front spoiler, side sills, and rear diffuser, as well as the winglets on the massive 24-inch wheels. Conventional outside rear-view mirrors have been replaced with cameras, a recurring trend in concept cars, and one that's technically feasible if regulatory authorities would approve it.
The Urus interior makes generous use of Forged Composite, a material first showcased in the Sesto Elemento concept car, and is a result of a collaboration with Callaway Golf Company's Quantum Composites division. Comprised primarily of microscopic carbon fibers in a resin, it is one-third as dense as titanium, but even stronger than the pricey metal. The material makes up the center tunnel skeleton, seat shells, and portions of the dashboard and door panels. Another theme repeated in the Urus' debut was light weight. Again, no exact figure was given, but considering the Sesto Elemento is a staggering 50 percent lighter than a current Gallardo, depending on how much of the material is used in the Urus' construction, it could be very light for an SUV indeed.
A configurable TFT screen faces the driver, and a touch-screen multi-function display in the center console. Although there's little doubt the Urus' driver has the best seat in the house, rear passengers get their own touch screen in the center console.
And unlike the ultra-rare LM002, of which barely over 300 were made during its entire seven-year production run, Lamborghini is targeting an annual output of 3000 units of the Urus, with the primary markets being the U.S., UK, Germany, Russia, the Middle East, and China. If produced, the Urus would become the highest-volume Lamborghini model to date. At its peak, the Gallardo sold 1787 units worldwide in 2008.
Although the prospect of yet another SUV from an exotic brand may elicit a collective groan from the performance purists, the Porsche Cayenne's success ultimately bankrolled the development of the Cayman, and countless desirable variants of the 911 and the new 991. If the Urus' production and success help bring models like the Sesto Elemento or something similar to market, that should keep enthusiasts happy.