A Lamborghini SUV makes sense. Especially one with 600 hp, rear-biased all-wheel drive, head-twisting sports-coupe styling and trash can sized 23-inch rims. Which is why the Italian bull-worker has been testing the waters with its stunning, swoopy-roofed Urus concept cross-over. Fact is, Lamborghini can’t grow just by cranking out low-slung, high-horsepower supercars, no matter how gorgeous we think the Aventador and Gallardo are. These are big-boy toys with a demand that ebbs and flows with the economy. Now an SUV, that’s a real car. A daily driver. A car for the Chinese
captain of industry to be chauffeured in. The Dubai oil baron to go play with falcons in. Demand could possibly be as high as 3,000 a year. Just look at Range Rover. Or Porsche with the Cayenne Turbo. Heck, Bentley’s even thinking of getting in on the act.
And there’s history here. Back in ‘85, Lamborghini gave the world, and the Italian army, the LM002, a rugged SUV on steroids, powered by a 444 hp Countach V-12. Ahead of its time, it faded before the sport-ute boom of the crazy ‘90s. Looking for all the world like an over-sized Range Rover Evoque, the Urus is all origami creases, big blistered wheel arches and front air intakes and slatted grilles that wouldn’t look out of place on a skyscraper HVAC unit. Don’t bother asking what’s under the hood, because chances are it’s irrelevant as right now Lamborghini doesn’t have a powerplant that can (a) fit under the Urus’ door-wedge hood line—a Gallardo V-10 might just at a squeeze—or (b) provide the kind of fuel economy, sustainability, and emissions to meet upcoming government standards.
But as Lamborghini is part of the ever-burgeoning VW Group, there’s a lot that Audi/VW/Bentley/Porsche/Bugatti are working on that might provide a future solution. And that naturally includes hybrid-electrics. Don’t get attached to that broad-shouldered body styling either. Even if the Urus got a production green light this year, a production version would be unlikely to arrive before the end of the year. Car design will have moved on dramatically by them. Let’s hope the same applies to that oddball name. In true Lamborghini tradition, it has bull connotations—Urus was the wild ancestor to the modern domesticated cow. But being an SUV, and a Lamborghini one at that, we’re just disappointed the concept didn’t come with a set of sturdy ‘bull’ bars.