Lamborghini will start building its Urus ultra-luxury sports utility vehicle at the Bratislava, Slovakia site of its parent Volkswagen Group in 2017, sources at VW told Automobilwoche. It will be underpinned by a modified version of VW Group's MLB platform, which will also underpin the next-generation Porsche Cayenne, the sources said.
Lamborghini will build the Urus alongside the Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Q7 as well as bodies for a new Bentley SUV. Lamborghini, Bentley and Porsche brands – all of VW Group -- are augmenting their lineups with new SUVs to cater to growing demand from affluent buyers in markets like China, Middle East and Russia.
Maserati, meanwhile, is planning to launch its Levante SUV in 2015 while Rolls-Royce is nearing a decision on whether to introduce its own offering. To prepare for the hiked SUV output at the Bratislava site, VW has installed its largest metal press to produce both steel and aluminum body panels.
VW targets to increase usage of reinforced aluminum in future SUVs to reduce vehicle weight and thereby cut fuel consumption.
The italian company unveiled its Huracan supercar at the Geneva auto show in March. Lamborghini chief executive Stephan Winklemann told Automotive News Europe in an interview that he is expecting record global sales next year due to strong demand for the Huracan.
Lamborghini posted its peak annual sales in 2008, when it delivered 2,430 supercars. The Urus will be the supercar maker’s first SUV since the LM002 in the 1990s.
Lamborghini discontinued the LM002, also known as the Rambo Lambo, in 1993 following a collapsed bid to produce military vehicles. Winklemann told Bloomberg in January that the "expectation" was that the Urus would arrive in 2017.