First off, when the Lamborghini Urus sport utility vehicle debuted in China, rumors indicated that it could happen as soon as 2015 but according to the discussion with Automotive News Europe, Lamborghini research and development director Maurizio Reggiani stated that production would begin no sooner than early 2017.
Over the next few years, Reggiani and his group of supercar builders will work on finding a way to bring the weight of the Lamborghini Urus down under 4,400 pounds. The problem is that the PL73 Volkswagen chassis platform that is used for current sport utility models like the Porsche Cayenne and the Audi Q7 weighs considerably more than 4,400lbs – with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo tipping the scales just under 4,800lbs while the Audi weighs a hefty 5,300lbs. This will leave the engineers from Lamborghini working to cut at least a few hundred pounds from the VW full size SUV platform and one of the ways that they could cut weight is by using a smaller engine.
The Lamborghini Urus follows in the footsteps of the LM002, which was powered by the same high performance V12 as the high end Lamborghini Countach of that time period. This led many to believe that the 600 horsepower in the Urus would be provided from either the V10 from the Gallardo or the V12 from the Aventador. The problem is that both of those motors are a bit on the heavy side so Lamborghini could call on either the 4.2L twin turbo V8 from the Audi RS lineup or the 4.8L V8 found in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. However, considering that the production of the Urus could be almost 5 years away – there is a good chance that a new V8 engine could crop up before the Lambo sport ute meets the world in production form.
In addition to using a lighter engine and lightweight dual clutch transmission, Lamborghini engineers will likely look to use lightweight composite for items like the seat structures and perhaps even the center “hump” running down the middle of the vehicle with aluminum combined with magnesium panels on the hood, rear hatch and doors. Should they succeed in getting the weight of the Urus down under 4,400lbs, the new Lamborghini SUV will easily be the lightest sport ute in the world. For comparison, the 465 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is one of the best performance SUVs in the world market and it weighs a beefy 5,100+ pounds so in regards to the super Jeep, the new Lambo SUV will have a significantly better power to weight ratio.
Lamborghini expects to sell around 3,000 units of the Urus SUV a year once introduced – which will effectively increase their current production and sales rate by around 200% (Lamborghini sold 1,600 vehicles in 2011). The Italian automaker believes that the Lamborghini Urus will be instantly popular in the high end SUV market in the United States, China, Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The company expects that 45% of the Urus models sold annually we be in the Americas while China and the Middle East will combine to make up 30% and Europe and Russia comprise the final 25%.
The company has declined to comment on price but we expect that it’s going to be pretty expensive. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo that uses the same platform and a 500hp twin turbo V8 carries a starting price of $108,750 but if you load it up, the price heads right past $125k. Considering that the Lamborghini name itself carries a naturally higher price than a Porsche model plus the improved performance and the higher level of interior quality – it wouldn’t come as any big surprise if the Urus started in the range of a quarter million dollars. However, will the company go with the big price tag like that and hope to move 3,000 units a year or will the company keep the price lower in an effort to move units?
With almost 5 years between now and the expected production date of the Lamborghini Urus, we will have plenty of time to speculate. Click here for more on the Urus from the Beijing debut, including images of the Lambo SUV inside and out.
Source: Automotive News