The Lamborghini 4x4, previewed at the Beijing motor show today as the Urus concept and set to go into production in 2016, is crucial to the firm’s goal of nearly tripling sales and securing its future, according to boss Stephan Winkelmann.
Lamborghini is targeting annual sales of 3000 luxury 4x4s, on top of around 1500 to 2000 Aventador and Gallardo models. “Lamborghini needs a third model line that will provide sales stability and ensure profitability,” said Winkelmann. “We have looked at every sector, but it’s clear that a 4x4 offers the best opportunity for success.
“The extreme supersports segment is very cyclic and very sensitive to new product launches and economic downturns. Therefore, it is clear Lamborghini needs a wider customer base to ensure long-term profitability.”
Winkelmann has targeted the BMW X6 M and Range Rover as rivals for the four-seat Urus, which is likely to be priced from around £150,000 when it goes into production. “Our studies have shown that nearly all existing Lamborghini owners also have a sport utility vehicle in their garage, so in this respect we consider it the perfect extension to our existing supercar business,” said Winkelmann.
The Urus has already been granted the internal Lamborghini codename LB736. Insiders say the production version is likely to keep the same rakish exterior looks (other than the concept’s oversized 24in wheels) but will have a significantly more comfort-orientated and conventional interior. It has been conceived to sit on the same four-wheel drive underpinnings as future incarnations of the Audi Q7, Bentley Falcon (as previewed by the EXP 9 F concept at the Geneva motor show), Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.
“It is the most suitable [platform] in terms of costs and shared investment,” said Lamborghini engineering boss Maurizio Reggiani. “For production, it would incorporate lightweight carbonfibre structural elements combined with an aluminium-intensive chassis to achieve a target weight less than the competition.”
Such measures are already being developed by Audi for the second-generation Q7 due out in 2014. That car is claimed to weigh up to 250kg less than today’s first-generation model.
Thanks to: Autocar