A distant successor to the “Rambo-Lambo” military-style SUV Lamborghini put out in the 1980s, the company’s newest venture is named for the size and appearance of the urus, an ancestor of today’s Spanish fighting bull. A behemoth next to the rest of the current Lambo lineup, the Urus’s design is powerful, bold and streamlined. It definitely has a presence in the auto sphere, but will it fly in showrooms?
Launched last month at Auto China in Beijing, the Urus features a proposed twin-turbo V8 hybrid system that can harness around 600 horses while optimized to deliver best-in-class emissions. As an early concept vehicle, the sporty SUV hasn’t been publically assigned additional specs yet, but according to some reports, if there’s enough interest in the Urus and the low-set platform it’s based on, owner Volkswagen Group could move forward, possibly pushing the Urus out around 2017.
While the exterior conveys a powerful, aptly bullish persona with substantial hints toward the car’s precisely engineered aerodynamics, the interior reminds us of something vaguely alien with new-age seats that almost try too hard to grab attention. That said, based on itsgorgeous Aventador J we covered last month, we imagine that the company will integrate a fair number of carbon-fiber elements in order to lighten the vehicle. We’re a fan of the massive 24” wheels, and the sleek embedded LEDs and TFT cockpit screens are welcome features.
The Urus follows in the footsteps of other luxury automakers hoping to cash in on an SUV sports line. We are just as hesitant about the Urus as we are about its competitors’ designs, such as Bentley’s EXP 9 F. While the prospect of taking advantage of the market and creating an SUV success, such as Porsche’s Cayenne, BMW’s X series, and MB’s M series, is tempting, one has to realize that commercial viability under the $100K price tag is much easier when you’re dealing with auto lines that usually stay within that area. The 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo is rarely seen below the $200K mark. Get the hint?
While some critics may argue, “if you build it, they will come,” the market for this type of vehicle (again, not attacking the Urus, but all sport-luxury SUVs in general) entirely comes down to the market you are aiming for. That is where our first clue lies. The future owners of vehicles like the Urus aren’t primarily the American one percent, though we wouldn’t count out a few movie stars picking one up to chauffer their international collection of adopted children, but the more likely scenario lies with the very market the Urus was strategically launched in: China.
The rising class structures of tech-rich Asia, oil-rich former Soviet countries, and the Sunni monarchs (and their many children) of the Middle East will be where these cars could make their potential home. Not only does a limited-production, astoundingly powerful SUV with proven sports street cred make an attractive travel vessel, it also makes a nice collector’s car for show.
All in all, it’s a powerful streamlined beast; we’re just not sure how successful this category of vehicle can be. Perhaps if one of these carmakers were to see these concepts through to production, then we could actually see if the interest is there. Who knows; it could be a whole other ball game if the market is right.
ENGINE: Twin-Turbo V8 Hybrid (Tentative)
HORSES: 600 HP
For more information, click here, or check out the official unveil in China below!