At the Beijing Auto Show on Monday Lamborghini unveiled their first sports utility vehicle (SUV) in almost 20 years, the Urus, which will cost $200,000 and likely be available for purchase in 2015. Research and development director Maurizio Reggiani revealed details and specs regarding the new model in an interview with Automobile Magazine. Check out the interview and photos of the car here.
Reggiani told them that reactions to the new car from both the press and the public has been overwhelmingly positive, and noted that he is more excited about the fact that people within Lamborghini's parent company, the Volkswagen Group, and even competing auto manufacturers, were impressed with the concept model they presented in Beijing.
It means that we were really able to define a completely new concept for the Lamborghini brand, he said. We were able to translate what is recognizable about Lamborghini sports cars.
One of Lamborghini's main goals was to make sure that the SUV had the same DNA and personality that Lamborghini is known for. He said emphasis was put on two main criteria: low weight and sharp front suspension. The first will likely mean utilizing a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber-the Urus is expected to weigh 330 pounds less than its competitors (i.e. the Porsche Cayenne). Regarding the front suspension, Reggiani expects that responsive, precise handling will make the Urus a fan car to drive.
The Lamborghini won't just be fun to drive. It will also turn out to be the most practical automobile the luxury car company has ever sold. Branching out into the luxury SUV market will allow Lamborghini to offer features that Reggiani classified under the category of daily usability, referring to comfort, interior room and an easy driving experience. Furthermore, the suspension height can be changed to move between sporty and practical driving. The car will also boast aerodynamic components that only go into effect when they are necessary.
According to Reggiani the concept car shown on at the Beijing Auto is an actual working model and back in Italy Lamborghini employees are already hard at work to design the packaging for the final model of the Urus.
Reggiani noted that the Lamborghini SUV will be highly customizable in order to have a Lamborghini SUV that is not something that is similar to others.
The new Lamborghini may be an SUV but it's not all-terrain vehicle. . Reggiani said that the Urus will be somewhat able to drive off-road, but it specifically designed to perform on paved surfaces. He noted that must people who buy luxury SUVs are unlikely to plan any treks through rivers or forests.
The people that use an SUV in a real off-road condition are probably only five percent of owners, he said.
The Urus is expected to see high sales numbers in both the US and China, Lamborghini's two top markets worldwide. The luxury car company is also eyeing the oil-rich Middle East as a possible market with optimism, though the Urus has not be tailored to meet the specific tastes of that region's consumers.
We don't design or build cars for a single market, Reggiani said. We build a car that's a Lamborghini, and the market follows.
Reggiani expects the Lamborghini SUV to attract new auto consumers to the Italian luxury brand, specifically the cross section of drivers who want a high-end car with more practicality. He hopes that the Urus will appeal to both young people who are looking for a fun driving experience as well as the elderly who seeks comfort and luxury.
He expects to sell as many as 3500 models a year once the Lamborghini SUV is released, conflicting with reports that the company would manufacture 3000 models each year. However, Reggiani also admitted that nothing is definite yet. Any decision regarding moving forward with the Urus will be made by the third business quarter this year.