- Lamborghini introduces its first utility vehicle since the LM002.
- The Urus is lean and lithe, with sensational exterior styling.
- Lamborghini says annual production of the Urus "could conceivably be around 3,000 vehicles."
BEIJING — Often rumored, sometimes teased but not confirmed until now, the Lamborghini Urus concept is the Italian supercar brand's first utility vehicle since the LM002. The Urus makes its public debut this week at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show and could be on the street by 2015.
Unlike the boxy, hulking LM002, which was built in extremely limited numbers from 1985-'92, the Urus is lean and lithe, with sensational exterior styling. With a front end design that borrows heavily from the 2008 Estoque concept, there is no mistaking the Urus for anything but a Lamborghini.
If approved — and it clearly is intended for production — the four-door, all-wheel-drive Urus will join an increasingly crowded field of high-end crossover vehicles, many of them from Lamborghini's corporate parent Volkswagen. Industry insiders in Europe expect the Urus will share a common architecture with the next-generation Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg, as well as the planned Bentley EXP 9 F, potentially giving the VW group a total of five premium SUVs, all built on common underpinnings, by 2015.
In its pre-show literature, the automaker describes the Urus as "the Lamborghini for everyday use, for the family, for leisure pursuits with friends."
"The Urus is a very concrete idea for the future of Lamborghini — as a third model line and as the perfect complement to our super sports cars," said Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann, in a statement. "The Urus is the most extreme interpretation of the SUV idea; it is the Lamborghini of the SUVs."
The company said annual production of the Urus "could conceivably be around 3,000 vehicles," with sales aimed primarily at the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, the Middle East and China.
So far, Lamborghini isn't revealing powertrain details, although a version of the Gallardo's 5.2-liter V10 is rumored, along with a possible hybrid variant. The company will say only that targeted output is around 590 horsepower, and that the Urus concept features a dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. Lamborghini adds that the Urus will be the lightest vehicle in its class, with the lowest CO2 emissions.
The four-seat Urus concept is longer, lower and wider than a number of its premium competitors, measuring 196 inches long, 78 inches wide and just 65 inches tall. In comparison, the 2012 Cayenne is 190.8 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 67.4 inches tall.
Lamborghini designers and engineers have endowed the car with a number of interesting details, including adaptive aerodynamics, variable ground clearance, full LED headlamps and generous applications of carbon fiber. The Urus concept rides on 24-inch double-spoke rims forged from matte-finish aluminum. Four hexagonal exhaust pipes are tucked under the carbon-fiber rear diffuser.
Exterior mirrors are replaced by tiny cameras whose images are displayed on two TFT screens in the cabin. The cockpit is finished in carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer, with leather-upholstered seat cushions and a multifunction steering wheel.
Edmunds.com says: Curiously, the Urus name — for an ancient breed of wild, long-horned cattle also known as aurochs — was previously rumored as a possible choice for the 2008 Paris concept that ultimately was christened Estoque.