Back at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, Lamborghini gave the world a look at what a modern Raging Bull-badged sport utility vehicle might look like. Not a bad-ass, ultra-rugged Rambo Lambo redux, but a car-like crossover for the new, eco-conscious millennium. They called it Urus. In the three years since, there's been plenty of "will they, won't they" in the auto media, and each passing month has seemingly increased the chances that they would not. Well, Lamborghini has now put any doubt to bed, announcing this week that it is moving ahead with production of a luxury SUV.
It's no big revelation that crossovers and SUVs are on fire around the world. Sales grew 21 percent in Europe and 12 percent in the United States last year. In China, the world's largest auto market, SUV registrations were up nearly 50 percent in the first quarter of this year. It's safe to say that the SUV is a winning bet for virtually any auto manufacturer ... even an Italian exotic supercar manufacturer.
Over the next few years, we'll see a number of brands with no historical or logical relation to the SUV segment entering the market for the first time. Both Rolls Royce and Bentley are developing SUVs, and now Lamborghini officially joins them.
"This is a proud moment for everybody in Lamborghini," states Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann. "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."
The new SUV will join the Aventador and Huracán lines, and Lamborghini expects to sell about 3,000 SUV units annually, more than doubling its current sales levels. The model, which Lamborghini refers to simply as "SUV," not Urus, will be built at Raging Bull headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy. Lamborghini plans to nearly double the size of its factory from 80,000 to 150,000 sq m (861K to 1.6 million sq ft) and add around 500 new jobs as part of the product expansion.
Lamborghini intends to deliver its SUV to market by 2018. Those that might not be excited to see one of their favorite Italian sports car badges on an SUV can read that as "3+ years for Lambo to change its mind."