It's been a long time coming, but the official word has finally come down: Lamborghini is going to build the Urus.
The Italian automaker first gave us a sneak peak at the crossover concept in New York, before revealing the Urus in concept form at the Beijing Motor Show back in 2012. And we had a chance to catch up with it again in Monterey that summer. That's a lot of buildup.
Ever since, Lambo has been toying with putting it into production as its third model line, alongside the existing Huracán and Aventador two-door supercars. All it's been waiting for is the go-ahead from parent Volkswagen, which it has now received. Autoblog received confirmation from a spokesman at Lamborghini of the Urus' production approval, with official details to be announced within the next few hours. Word has it that the high-riding Raging Bull will hit showrooms in 2018, but watch this space for more details as we find them.
The Urus (or whatever it's ultimately called) will join a burgeoning market for high-end crossovers, alongside the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Jaguar F-Pace, Aston Martin DBX and Maserati Levante. Unlike those forays, however, Lamborghini's will not be its first SUV. That honor will forever belong to the LM002, nicknamed the "Rambo Lambo" that came out just before the original Hummer and was powered by the Countach's V12 engine.
Just what will power Sant'Agata's new crossover remains to be seen. However the signs have been pointing towards it at least being offered with the company's first hybrid powertrain, as previewed in the Asterion concept from Paris. With substantial incentives being offered by the Italian government, it is expected to be built in Italy – or at least assembled there. Much of the production work is likely to be carried out in Slovakia where the Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne (with which the Urus is destined to share its underpinnings) are made.
Scroll down to read the official announcement.
Rome/Sant'Agata Bolognese, 2015-05-27
Lamborghini prepares for a new era
Automobili Lamborghini announces a luxury SUV as a third model to join its product range. The market introduction of the series model is planned for 2018. A concept of the car was first presented as the Lamborghini Urus in 2012 at the Beijing auto show.
The new vehicle will be produced in Sant'Agata Bolognese and will herald additional growth and significant opportunities across the marque with the expansion of the product range. It will also determine a substantial increase in the production capacity of the factory. Over the lifecycle of the new vehicle the company will invest hundreds of millions of Euros.
The project will be realized due to the joint commitment of several parties involved, including Volkswagen Group with AUDI AG as Lamborghini shareholder, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Invitalia (Italian national agency for inward investments and economic development), Emilia Romagna Region, the Union Representatives and the entire Automobili Lamborghini team.
Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann declares: "This is a proud moment for everybody in Lamborghini. The introduction of a third model line endorses the stable and sustainable growth of the company and signifies for us the beginning of a new era."
He adds: "The new SUV will be made in Sant'Agata Bolognese, demonstrating our commitment to safeguarding the values of 'Made in Italy' worldwide."
Production of the new Lamborghini SUV in Sant'Agata Bolognese will see significant development of the factory site, increasing from the current 80,000 square meters to an area covering ca. 150,000 square meters. The project will include the construction of new facilities, such as a new production line, warehousing and enlargement of the R&D department. The addition of a third model line will also provide important opportunities for the supplier network in Italy and internationally, and have a strong impact on human resources: Lamborghini intends to hire 500 new employees.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management Audi AG states: "Lamborghini, Italdesign Giugiaro and Ducati have developed very successfully under Audi parentage, and kept their Italian identity. With the decision to produce the Lamborghini SUV in Sant' Agata Bolognese we have proven once more our commitment to Italy as an important automotive industrial nation."
Luca de Meo, Board Member for Sales and Marketing Audi AG underlines: "Lamborghini is today one of the world's most exclusive brands. We at Audi are very proud of all our Italian subsidiaries. I am delighted at this outcome for both Lamborghini and Italy, and thank the Italian government for their collaboration in helping to make this possible."
A luxury SUV sees Lamborghini challenging an unexploited, fast-growing and fascinating car segment, and expanding its clientele significantly. These will include Lamborghini super sports car customers who to date have driven SUV models from other brands, as well as families and customers new to the Lamborghini marque. Distribution of volumes will be well balanced among the three major sales regions: EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Target markets will be primarily the USA, China, the Middle East, United Kingdom, Germany and Russia. The annual volumes will be around 3,000 vehicles and will double the company's current sales performance.