Four years after hinting it had an SUV in mind with the Estoque concept vehicle, Lamborghini is indeed getting into the game. After a few feints and dodges, the maker has officially confirmed that its oft-discussed third model line will be a sport-ute known internally as the LB736.
But eager buyers will get to know the new offering – which debuted today at the Beijing Motor Show – as the Lamborghini Urus. And, yes, that’s in form with Lambo naming tradition, Urus a type of bull. No, not that kind, it’s the ursine equivalent of a draft horse. And the Italian maker is deadly serious about the launch of the new SUV.
Lambo styling chief Filippo Perini has come up with a design that’s distinctly different from the other SUV offerings from the other Volkswagen AG luxury brands, notably the Audi Q7 and the, er, controversial EXP 9 F concept from Bentley revealed at the Geneva Motor Show last month.
“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 Automobili 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.”
If there’s anything familiar in the design of the Urus, it’s the descending greenhouse that might vaguely echo the upper body shape of the popular new Range Rover Evoque. But, both the angular nose, with its massive air scoops, and the sweptback tail, with twin integrated spoilers, are perfectly in line with the edgy look we’d expect from a Lamborghini.
The maker says it measures in about eight inches longer than the new Lambo Aventador and four inches longer than a BMW X6. As for the numbers that might matter most to Urus buyers, expect the 4×4 to deliver “around” 600 horsepower, the maker hints, though it has yet to confirm the precise powertrain configuration. Oh, and it will drive out of U.S. showrooms at a price expected to top $200,000.
Yes, it’s got the ground clearance to take on some real off-road challenges, but electronic controls will let the Lamborghini Urus settle down as much as 3.5 inches when it takes to the highway where – let’s face it – it’s most likely to be driven.
The maker is suggesting it could build about 3,000 of the new super-utes annually, with as much as half going to the States. But the fact that Lamborghini officials are in China to pull the wraps off Urus suggests they see plenty of opportunities here, as well. And for good reason, considering that China is rapidly catching up on the U.S. in terms of luxury car sales. Indeed, the Middle Kingdom last year became the largest single market for VW Group sibling Bentley Motors.
To prove the capabilities of the new Urus, Lamborghini tells our friends at Autoblog that they are seriously considering an entry into the uber-challenging Paris-Dakar rally.