Lamborghini builds racing version of Urus; Plans racing series for 2020
Remember SUV racing in NFS Underground? It will become a realityby Michael Fira, on
Lamborghini, once a brand completely uninterested in motorsport, is preparing to build a racing version of its Urus Super SUV, dubbed the ST-X. It should lead to a single-make racing series that will feature Rallycross-style courses.
The manufacturer from Sant’Agata Bolognese unveiled the Urus ST-X concept that is a very accurate preview of Lamborghini’s first racing utility vehicle. It was presented to the press at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, where Lamborghini hosted its annual World Finals for the Super Trofeo series.
Unlike another SUV-based series that should kick-off next year, the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy, the Urus ST-X will race on mixed surfaces similar to rallycross events where cars have to run on tarmac as well as on gravel. Lamborghini says the championship will take teams and drivers on a tour of FIA-approved tracks in Europe and beyond.
We haven’t even got an SUV racing series and Lamborghini is already plotting an SUV series
Lamborghini showed off the Urus Super SUV last December during a rather dodgy presentation at their headquarters in Italy. However, the LM002’s spiritual follower is in no way flawed. As arguably the first Super SUV ever made, the Urus is also one of the most luxurious utility vehicles on the market today, including the latest models from Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
But the racing version will shed most of its posh materials and creature comforts in an effort to shave off any excess weight.
In fact, Lamborghini announced that the ST-X is 25% lighter than the street-going Urus.
That means it will only weight about 3,640 pounds with the addition of a full-size FIA-approved steel roll cage and fire suppression system. An FT3 fuel cell replaces the standard fuel tank.
The ST-X as presented at Vallelunga this past weekend is very similar to the standard Urus. The body kit is almost identical, save for some extra carbon fiber elements here and there and the addition of a racing exhaust that exits through the side skirts. Also, the 21-inch center-lock wheels with Pirelli tires replace the 5-nut road rims.
The new racing Urus models will be built by Lamborghini’s in-house racing department, namely the Lamborghini Squadra Corse. They will debut the car at next year’s World Finals event before the series’ debut in 2020. The series itself will be centered around both European as well as Middle-Eastern venues and will feature an ’arrive-and-drive’ package for prospecting competitors. Basically, those wealthy enough to enter will only have to show up and drive as Lamborghini Squadra Corse will worry about the logistics and the preparation of all of these four-wheeled behemoths.
Lamborghini also pointed out that the races will be held on multi-surface courses created particularly for this championship at FIA-approved race tracks.
What that means is that the Urus ST-X will tackle the sort of tracks we see rallycross cars race on.
That’s why you shouldn’t rule out the appearance of a ’joker lap’ element in the new Urus series to spice things up. In rallycross, a joker lap is a lap that each driver must do once in each heat which is slightly longer than the usual course. This has the potential to change the order in the race.
In any case, seeing 10 or 15 Urus ST-X monsters racing should be a sight to behold. After all, the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine from the road going version still produces 650 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque under the hood of the ST-X, enough to kick some dirt around!
Read our full review on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.
Read our full review on the 2019 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63.