The biggest challenge with the coming Urus SUV has been in guaranteeing it will be a fit with decades of familiar 'Lamborghini DNA', according to research and development boss, Maurizio Reggiani.
“I am looking forward to your feedback when you eventually drive the Urus, because you must be in no doubt that it is a Lamborghini,” Reggiani said. “It must be precisely evident that it is 100 percent a Lamborghini. The steering feel, the handling, the engine response, you must immediately know that it is Lamborghini DNA.”
As Reggiani tells it, the Urus provided the opportunity for the board to really take stock of of what defines the DNA of the legendary supercar manufacturer from Bologna.
“We worked inside the board to define exactly what Lamborghini DNA is. We needed to be sure what we need to do to achieve that with an SUV," he said.
Reggiani went on to explain that the unique challenges posed by an SUV platform were the most difficult aspects of vehicle development, for a manufacturer accustomed to developing super sports cars.
“The SUV obviously has a much higher centre of gravity, much higher mass, a turbo engine, which in the SUV segment is mandatory, especially for off-road work,” Reggiani said. “Even in terms of shifting gears, engine sound, it is important for us to capture that correctly for a Lamborghini buyer.”
Reggiani is confident Lamborghini has endowed the Urus with that crucial DNA and in the process, built the company’s first ‘super sports SUV’. When jokingly coaxed into whether the Urus will share the Aventador’s propensity to spit flames out the exhaust, Reggiani laughs. “I wanted it to blow flames out the exhaust, yes!” he says. “Due to the long exhaust system though, that is impossible, otherwise yes I would do my best.”
Reggiani’s team has worked tirelessly on the handling dynamics especially - a challenge, given the multi purpose ability of an SUV, even if most owners never take it off-road.
“The problem when we talk about an SUV is to have the best handling possible, but with off-road capability,” Reggiani said. He went on to explain that many hundreds of hours have gone into tuning the suspension for that dual-purpose capability.
That willingness to reshape Lamborghini thinking translates to the engine as well. “I have deep love for the naturally aspirated engine, too, but in terms of the product definition of an SUV, we cannot use a naturally aspirated engine. The SUV would not deliver on the parameters of the project. It would only suit what I wanted, what I am passionate about.”
Reggiani has taken that same approach to the development of the vehicle as a whole and, as such, the Urus will represent a significant departure from what Lamborghini has been doing for a long time now.
Reggiani went on to explain the characteristics of a turbocharged engine best suit the working parameters required by an SUV, rather than a high revving, naturally aspirated engine.
“I must be really clear to say that it is important for us to achieve the mission of this vehicle,” Reggiani said.
The Urus is expected to go on sale in 2018, which could mean we'll see a second concept or even the final production model revealed sometime this year. Eyes on CarAdvice for details as they come to hand.