The long-awaited Lamborghini Urus super sport utility vehicle will transform from a concept SUV to the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, says a company executive.
Lamborghini R&D chief Maurizio Reggiani told Autocar that the new model will likely be revealed in 2017 and go on sale in 2018. Along with the plug-in hybrid version, it will also come as a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8 model, he said.
The concept SUV was first shown at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, which Lamborghini praised as becoming “the ultimate super athlete in the SUV segment.” It will be the first Lamborghini SUV to come to market since the LM002, which was sold from 1986 to 1993.
Turbocharging will be a critical power source for the PHEV and twin-turbo V8 versions. Lamborghini’s other models can find a good fit in normally aspirated engines, but this type of “superports car” needs the right responsiveness from the engine, and to feel the spark of every cylinder, he said.
”Turbocharging will be ‘completely mandatory’ for the Urus,” he said, because as an SUV it needs a lot of torque to do its job.
A 48-volt motor will also power some of the SUV’s other necessities. It will be sharing a platform with the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, and will also feature a 48-volt-powered active anti-roll suspension. Lamborghini is part of the Volkswagen family and is owned directly by Audi.
Autocar says it will be the only hybrid in the Lamborghini lineup. It will actually be the first electrified variant of any of its available models.
In October, German publication AutoBild reported that the Italian sports carmaker would be tapping into Volkswagen’s Porsche division to bring over the Mission E all-electric concept supercar to build a Lamborghini model on.
Reggiani said the company will concentrate its R&D efforts on power, weight, and aerodynamics, because “handling is a function” of these factors. Along with handling and performance, Lamborghini is likely balancing its efforts with concern over global emissions rules that will becoming stricter by 2020.
In the end, Lamborghini is known for high performance.
“We want to be a leader here and have a chance to change the rules of the game,” he said.