Lamborghini has tasked its top engineer Maurizio Reggiani to develop the production Urus, the best-performing and lightest vehicle in its category. Lamborghini's r&d director said that he would likely be doing this for the upcoming four or five years as this is a “very challenging” task. He told Automotive News Europe that it would have to “think outside the box."
He said that the company anticipates that production will begin “no sooner than early 2017." The Urus concept was displayed last month at the Beijing auto show. Lamborghini predicts that the go signal for the SUV’s production will be given before the end of 2012.
Lamborghini believes that the SUV will be its No. 1-selling model with a volume of 3,000 units each year due to the high demand in China, the U.S., Europe, Russia and the Middle East. In 2011, Lamborghini reported worldwide sales of 1,600 units of its existing models, the Gallardo and Aventador coupes and roadsters.
The SUV niche will also be more exciting with the entry of sister brand Bentley and Italian rival Maserati. They all aim to match Porsche’s success, which relies largely on the Cayenne SUV for over half of its worldwide global sales.
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said that the SUV segment is the right one since it has the largest growth potential and the most emotion. He added that the company has decided to invest in profitability. The production Urus will use VW Group's new large SUV platform, named the PL73, which will be built on the next-generation Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg.
This same architecture will be used as the base for Bentley's new production SUV that was previewed in March at the Geneva auto show with the EXP 9 F concept.Bentley has yet to get the approval from VW Group to produce its SUV. Under the hood, the Urus is expected to receive a twin-turbo, gasoline-direction-injection V8 engine. According to our sources, this could be an evolution of the current 4.2-liter 450 hp engine found on the current RS models, but on the Urus the new engine is expected to deliver an impressive 600 hp.