Lamborghini swore they would never do an SUV. They brushed off rumor after rumor to the contrary. They even showed other concepts to throw people off the scent. But apparently, all their statements were a smokescreen because the newest Lamborghini is here . . . and it’s an SUV. Following in the footsteps of Porsche and every other luxury manufacturer, Lamborghini just released their very own luxury SUV, the Urus. Well, they released an SUV again, that is.
Although the Urus is a shock for those expecting another supercar debut, SUVs are not new for Lamborghinis. From 1986-1993 Lamborghini produced the LM002. Originally, the LM002 was produced as a military vehicle. However, after losing the account to AM General (also known as the producers of the H1), Lamborghini sold the truck to Sheiks, movie stars, and mental ward occupants.
The Urus is not related to the LM002 in the slightest, however. The LM002 was the right kind of crazy. It had a Countach engine, was barely drivable, and was a classic example of Italian lunacy at its finest. The Urus cannot afford such eccentrics. The LM002 was built with product first, business plan later procedure. The LM002 probably didn’t make any money but was just an expensive marketing campaign for the poorly managed Lamborghini at the time. But the Germans own Lamborghini now, and they don’t take kindly too the “all play and no work” mentality; just look at the friction between them and Greece, for example. So the Urus has been designed to produce profit as well as power figures.
The segment for big dollar supercars is shrinking rapidly, so the way forward for many sports car manufacturers has been creating SUVs. This way, their buyers can still show their status, without the compromises of a supercar. The results of this new strategy has horrified automotive enthusiasts since the introduction of the Cayenne, but the car makers have been laughing all the way to the bank. Additionally, with ferocious demand for SUVs and status in China, Lamborghini is cashing out in a big way. And the product fits this goal.
Brash and exceedingly loud, the Urus is not a pretty truck. Every inch of the Urus seems to be designed to show how obnoxious its occupants are. From front to back, the Urus is slashes, creases and sharp lines. However, it is a Lamborghini in the classical sense that it is outrageous to look at, and will draw attention wherever it goes. Plus, it doesn’t look nearly as out of place next to the Aventador and Gallardo as it should. Lamborghinis were always designed to draw attention, but the Urus seems to be designed as a rolling tribute to conspicuous consumption.
The interior is gloriously ridiculous as well. Like the supercars that have come before it, it appears that you can’t see out of the Urus either. The seats and dash are the resting places for a whole herd of cattle hides, and the décor has more in common with a jet fighter than a car. Plus, the Urus won’t have side view mirrors, only little cameras on the outside that will display the sides of the car on a video screen inside the car at all times. Once the flight of fancy on concept cars, the technology is now road worthy. And I could think of no better vehicle to equip it on than the Urus.
Like all Lamborghinis before it, though, it will be fast; absurdly so. Lamborghini has announced that when the production Urus arrives it will have around 600hp. The type of engine that will be making that figure has not been announced, though my fingers crossed for a V-12. Power will most likely be directed to the ground by all four wheels, and the truck will most likely share platforms with the Audi Q7. That may seem like a compromise on such an exotic vehicle ($200,000+ estimated), but Audi and Lamborghini tie-ups have always worked out well. However, basing the Urus off an Audi will not stop many critics from claiming that the brand is being watered down.
Not that Audi and parent company VW care, of course. Enthusiast opinions are not necessary in this segment, and are often terribly wrong. When the then independent Porsche debuted the Cayenne, critics claimed it would ruin the brand. Again these concerns were raised when the Panamera debuted only a short time ago. But, much to enthusiasts’ chagrin and irritation, those two models are Porsche’s best selling models.
With the Aventador, many in the automotive community wondered if the days of crazy Lamborghinis were gone. And they are. However, they are still patently absurd cars in the best way possible. The Urus, however, will not be bought by the eccentric millionaire playboy types that bought Espadas, Miuras, and Countachs of yesteryear. At $200,000, it will be out of the reach of the average club patron, but the customer base will no doubt be more at home at the Jersey shore than the shores of Saint-Tropez. But, there are a lot more of those people in this world than those looking for supercars, especially here in the United States, and Lamborghini estimates that 50% of sales will be here.
So prepare yourself, the Urus will be such a success that you will be seeing a lot more of them than Aventadors and Gallardos. And that’s a pity when a small kid won’t grow up with an evocative supercar on their bedroom wall, but an SUV with a Lamborghini badge on the hood. Luckily, though, they may take the Urus racing in Dakar so there is a glimmer of hope yet of this truck keeping Lamborghini’s tradition of lunacy alive. This Urus is just a concept, but Lamborghini says to expect the production model sometime near 2015.