Lamborghini is on a mission to double its sales and the brand thinks that its new SUV, the Lamborghini Urus, will be the vehicle needed to achieve this goal.
The Urus is set to be the first SUV in Lamborghini‘s history (if you exclude the ‘Rambo Lambo’ LM002) and it will be powered by the brand’s first turbocharged engine, a twin-turbo petrol V8.
To find out more about the new SUV and its role in the company’s growth, CarAdvice sat down with Lamborghini chief executive officer, Stefano Domenicali, and Lamborghini board member for research and development, Maurizio Reggiani.
When asked whether buyers will get a Lamborghini experience when they buy this car, Domenicali was adamant brand purity hasn’t been lost, telling CarAdvice that it will remain a proper Lamborghini.
“Yes. It’s a pure Lamborghini,” Domenicali said. “This was one of the most important discussions, it is outstanding. The things we discussed several times and feedback from the board was for it to be a real Lamborghini.
“If you perceive and close the eyes without seeing anything and drive the car, you will know it’s a real Lamborghini.”
Reggiani then chimed in when we asked the pair whether they had driven an Urus prototype and if so, which aspects of it they appreciated most.
“Sound, suspension, chassis control and engine power. We will have a turbo — and for one reason. With an SUV you need to have a level of torque at low rpm and only a turbo engine can release this. Otherwise if you want to do… dune surfing… without a turbo you don’t have enough torque to come out from the dune,” Reggiani said.
“This was a strategic decision and it’s the first time Lamborghini will use a turbo, but not in a super sports car. In an SUV. Why? Because if you made an engineering calculation of what is needed to use in off-road capability, you see immediately you need torque that only a turbo can release,” said Reggiani.
All of this torque would be hard to send through most of the dual-clutch gearboxes on the market — especially when paired with a dual-range gearbox — so we posed the question to Reggiani, who confirmed for the first time that the brand will use a torque converter as opposed to a dual-clutch or ISR gearbox (like the one seen in the Aventador).
“We’ll be using a torque converter, because the torque necessary will be so high that no double clutch can manage this level of torque. We want to be the best in terms of torque and power,” Reggiani said.
Lamborghini says that the turbocharged V8 engine will be its own unique unit, while the platform the Urus rides on will be shared with the Audi Q7.
If Lamborghini’s recent carbon fibre developments are anything to go by, we expect the car to be lightweight in comparison to its peers.
The Urus is expected to go on sale in 2018, with a likely showing at next year’s Frankfurt motor show.
Do you think Lamborghini can product an SUV that still feels and drives like a Lamborghini?