Crossovers, in America, have taken the country by storm. The sedan is fast falling out of fashion as the larger hatches/smaller SUVs offer an ideal blend of fuel economy, space, comfort, and utility. Cars like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4 are owning the segment on the entry level, but luxury manufacturers are also enjoying success in the segment — Mercedes’ GLA and GLK, Audi’s Q5, BMW’s X3, and the Lexus RX offer the same formula, only wrapped in more leather and with more gadgetry at a higher price.
Not wanting to miss out on the rush, some of the world’s most prestigious automakers are jumping into the segment’s top end. Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley have all pledged to build high-end SUVs, and this week, Lamborghini announced its candidacy also.
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to industry followers. Lamborghini brought forth the Urus concept at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, which took the fighter-jet inspired styling the brand is known for and applied it to a high-riding, four-door crossover concept. It’s also not the first high-riding Lamborghini — the LM002, or “Rambo Lambo,” has that title, when it was made in the late 1980s.
However, the Rambo Lambo wasn’t long for this world, and soon the Bolognese-based brand was back designing super cars that nearly brushed the ground and couldn’t seat more than two people comfortably. But as market tastes shift, it appears that the company is willing to give utilities another shot.
This won’t be another pseudo-military off-roading vehicle though. Expect the Urus — or whatever it will be called — to be as refined and potent as Lamborghini’s super cars when it drops in 2018. It won’t compete with Land Rover so much as it will with Bentley’s forthcoming Bentayga, or the Rolls-Royce yet-to-be-named utility. Don’t expect some sibling rivalry with Porsche; the Urus will likely be priced well above the range-topping $157,300 Cayenne Turbo S.
There’s still so much in the air that it remains to be seen what kind of powerplant the Urus will be using. It could, as per tradition, stick with a V12 (like the LM002), use the demon-summoning V10 found in the Huracan, or maybe a form of the hybrid powertrain found in the Asterion concept.
Whatever it ends up with, we know it’ll be brash and refined simultaneously, and will likely shame all the other utes in the prep school parking lot. We also know that it will be built in Italy, and Lamborghini plans to spend “hundreds of millions of Euros” to expand its Sant’Agata plant to accommodate the new production.
Automobile reports that the Raging Bull expects to produce somewhere around 3,000 units per year, and added that it’ll likely use the platform that will support the next-gen Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q8. The jury’s out on real-world practicality (towing, cargo, etc.), but who knows — Lamborghini may have gotten their start building tractors, but it’s a very different company now.
by Justin Lloyd-Miller