The Lamborghini Urus is unlike any car in the automaker’s illustrious 54-year history — and not just because it’s an SUV. The idea of a Lamborghini SUV isn’t new. You might remember the 1980s-era LM002, which made the Mercedes-Benz G-Class look pedestrian by comparison. But while it was a sledgehammer of a truck, the Urus is shaping up to be as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel. And, it’s poised to become the brand’s best-selling model by a long shot.
We’re just a few weeks away from the debut of the Urus, so official details about it are trickling out. Here’s everything we know about the first Lamborghini off-roader of the 21st century.
Lamborghini confirms release date
A recent statement on Lamborghini’s site confirmed the release date and location: “The first Super Sports Utility Vehicle (SSUV) will be unveiled on 4 December 2017 in Sant’Agata Bolognese.” The Italian automaker also released a teaser silhouette.
What will it look like?
Lamborghini teased us with the Urus Concept at the 2012 edition of the Beijing Auto Show. It set the overall tone for the design, but a computer-generated image of the car briefly shown in one of the company’s teaser videos confirms stylists have tweaked some of the lines over the past couple of years. It gets an updated front fascia that borrows a handful of styling cues from the Aventador S. Sizable air vents punched into the front bumper keep the temperature in check under the hood.
The rakish roofline and pronounced haunches carry over with only minor changes, but the production model’s rear-end appears to be a little bit longer than the concept’s, a concession likely made in the name of practicality. This is the daily-driveable Lamborghini, after all. That doesn’t mean the Raging Bull has gone soft; the Urus will be the Lamborghini of the SUV segment, and it will certainly look — and sound — the part.
To play the all-important tech card, Lamborghini designed an interior with two large touchscreens on the center console. There is one that displays the infotainment system, and a second one for the climate control settings. They replace the bulk of the buttons commonly found between the front passengers. There is also a third screen behind the steering wheel that occupies the space normally reserved for the instrument cluster, a setup already found on the brand’s supersports cars. Fully configurable, the digital instrument cluster will adopt a different look depending on which driving mode is selected.
Beneath the body
We have a better-than-decent idea of what the Urus’ specifications sheet will look like from chatting with Lamborghini’s top executives over the past few years. At launch, the engine bay will receive a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 tuned to send 650 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels. Motor Trend recently tested an early prototype and reported a neck-snapping zero-to-60-mph time of 3.7 seconds. It keeps accelerating until it reaches 186 mph. The Urus will benefit from Lamborghini’s expertise in carbon fiber, and it will boast the best power-to-weight ratio in its competitive set.
After inaugurating Lamborghini’s first turbocharged engine, the Urus will spearhead the brand’s foray into the world of hybrid drivetrains. Its second powertrain will be a gasoline-electric plug-in system, according to Autoblog, but details about it are still being kept secret. It’s reasonably safe to assume the electric motor will be capable of driving the Urus on its own for short distances, however. It needs to in order to grant the SUV access to the zero-emissions zones that will be implemented in big cities.
The Urus wouldn’t be a true SUV if it wasn’t capable of going off-road. It won’t match the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon’s chops in that department, but it will come with a drive mode selector that will offer different settings for low-adherence surfaces such as gravel, snow, and sand. Lamborghini published a teaser video to show what it’s capable of over the various terrains it was built to tackle. Maurizio Reggiani, the head of the company’s research and development department, told Digital Trends the suspension will be pneumatic, so the different modes will increase the ride height as needed. Ground clearance on demand will help the Urus feel at home on and off the pavement.
When can I buy one?
Lamborghini has already started production of the Urus in a major extension of its factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy. The cars rolling off the assembly line are preproduction prototypes that are being torture-tested all over the globe, from the hot Arizona desert to the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle. They’ll also be used for training purposes.
Behind the scenes
Lamborghini expects to sell 3,500 examples of the Urus annually. If that doesn’t sound like much, check this out: The company built a record-breaking 3,457 cars in 2016. If the Urus lives up to its expectations, Lamborghini will have doubled its footprint in just a few short years.
Consequently, it’s investing hundreds of millions of dollars to increase the size of its factory from 800,000 to 1.5 million square feet. It’s also going on a hiring spree, adding hundreds to its team at home and abroad.
“It’s a very delicate period, which is why 2017 will be a very important year for us. Don’t underestimate the big step we’re taking,” Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali told Digital Trends. “Everything has to be perfect when the car lands on the market. It will be a new market, and new customers,” he added.
What’s in a name?
The Urus is an 18,000-foot mountain in the Peruvian Andes, but have you ever heard of the Lamborghini Titicaca? Didn’t think so. The company isn’t known for sourcing its nomenclature from geographical features in Latin America. Instead, the Urus is named after a species of wild bull that became extinct during the 17th century.
Update: Added specifications, image from the digital instrument cluster.