There is no stopping Lamborghini from transforming its Urus sports utility vehicle from a concept this year into a production model no later than early 2017. According to Lamborghini R&D Director Maurizio Reggiani, in an interview with Automotive News Europe, the company has given instructions to turn the Urus into a production model that would the best-performing and lightest vehicle in its category.
Lamborghini, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, unveiled the Urus concept at the Beijing International Motor Show in April. The Italian supercar maker expects to receive the go-signal for the development of the Urus into a production SUV before the end of 2012. Lamborghini expects the Urus production model to become its top-selling model with an annual volume of 3,000, mainly because of the strong consumer demand in the United States, China, Europe, the Middle East and Russia.
Lamborghini posted a worldwide sales volume of only 1,600 units in 2011. Lamborghini, as well as sister brand Bentley and Italian competitor Maserati, are aiming to copy the feat achieved by Porsche with its Cayenne sports utility vehicle.
Cayenne now accounts for more than half of Porsche’s global sales. Lamborghini chief executive Stephan Winkelmann expressed optimism for the company’s future in the SUV segment, saying that it poses the “biggest growth potential and the highest emotion.” The Urus production model is expected to use VW Group’s large SUV platform, the PL73.
The same platform will also be used for the next-generation Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg. Bentley will also be using the PL73 platform to develop a production SUV out of its EXP 9 F concept, which the company unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March. Like Lamborghini, Bentley is also waiting for approval from its VW Group parent to commence the development of the SUV. As for the Urus, Lamborghini set its target weight at less than 2,000kg, making it around 200kg lighter than any of the current SUV models.