A Lamborghini SUV has been in the works for some time now. So when the Urus debuted in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show last week, it wasn’t really a surprise.
But make no mistake, this is a very important model for the brand. Last year was a record year for Lamborghini in the US, with 1,095 cars delivered, and management believes the Urus will double the brand’s total sales here.
And why not? SUVs are a staple in the American car buyers’ consumption diet. From mass market CUVs to high-end land yachts like the Range Rover HSE, America’s appetite for SUVs isn’t going away anytime soon.
And that’s what Lamborghini is betting on. The production Urus in the flesh is stunning. Besides the python-like front fascia and angular wedge body, the super SUV, as Lamborghini calls it, contains a lot of features—and power.
Under the hood the Urus packs a 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo engine producing 650 hp. Lamborghini claims with 162.7 hp per liter, the Urus has one of the highest power outputs in its class and the best weight-to-power ratio, at 7.44 lb/hp. The Urus can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds, climbing to a top speed of 189.5 mph, which Lambo says makes it the fastest SUV available.
Like the Aventador S, the Urus will have rear-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension with active dampers. The Urus will include Lamborghini’s drive management system, dubbed ANIMA, that allows the driver to use settings like Corsa (race), Sabbia (sand), and Neve (snow) to power the car through changing environments. And of course there’s EGO mode, where, you guessed it, the driver is in control and can adjust steering, suspension and traction to his or her liking.
According to Alessandro Farmeschi, Lamborghini’s chief operating officer, the reason for making the Urus was two fold.
“The Urus is the perfect response to two things—the first is to having something for our customers who are demanding and asking for a product like this, I mean it’s clear the trend in the market is for SUVs,” he says in the video above. The other reason is history.
“Having also a heritage with the LM002—for many people it’s considered the very first SUV—we decided to enter the market with the Urus,” he says. “Urus is a car with the performance of a super sports car, with the benefits of a typical SUV.”
Lamborghini is also hopping on another trend—hybrid drivetrains. And Farmeschi confirmed to Yahoo Finance that Urus would indeed have hybrid power in the future.
“Let’s say that in our plan, we have a a hybrid version coming in the future,” Farmeschi reveals, noting that a hybrid power unit “fits with the packaging of the car,” and that it being a SUV means you’re already paying a weight penalty for it versus a super sports car. Farmsechi thinks it’s the “perfect platform” for hybridization.
Could we see hybrid, if not all-electric power coming to Lamborghini’s sports cars? We’ve seen McLaren and Ferrari (RACE) do it, and with the Volkswagen (VOW.DE) group’s technical expertise, we’re likely to see it trickle down (or up?) to sports cars. The big question will be whether fans of the glorious roar of the naturally aspirated Lamborghini engines warm to the cool efficiency of electrical power.