Lamborghini Could Build the Urus SUV Outside Italy
The Lamborghini Urus SUV is set to garner plenty of milestones for Lamborghini should parent company Volskwagen green light it for production.It would become only Lamborghini’s second foray in the SUV market. Apart from that, it could also become the first Lamborghini model to be built outside Italy.
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann hinted at the possibility in an interview with Car Advice, citing production capacity at its Sant’Agata Bolognese factory as the primary reason in the possible decision to build the Urus at Volskwagen’s factory in Slovakia. According to Winkelmann, production of the Aventador and the Huracan will likely leave little space for the Urus in Sant’Agata, especially if Lamborghini wants to reach its target of selling 2,500 to 3,000 models a year.
Lamborghini has made no secret about its preference to add the Urus to its current lineup. While it is a huge investment in the part of the company, the SUV is expected to double sales of Lamborghini models after the Urus makes its expected debut by 2017.
But doing so would mean taking a step that Lamborghini has never taken before. For a company that prides itself on heritage and tradition, building a Lamborghini outside of Italy would go against that ethos. Still, if you ask Winkelmann, building the Urus outside of Italy is a small price to pay for the potential sales benefits the automaker stands to gain from introducing the Urus as a third model to complement the flagship Aventador supercar and the Huracan.
It’s just a matter of convincing the mother ship that such a move would pay off in the long run.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lamborghini Urus.
Why it matters
Winkelmann’s comments to Car Advice aren’t the first time Volkswagen’s Slovakia facility was mentioned as a potential production site for the Urus.
Back in April 2014, sources told Automotive News that VW’s Slovakia plant was already being eyed as a possible production facility for the Urus. It would certainly make sense for the SUV to be built there since a lot of companies under the VW umbrella already use it to build their own SUVs. The Audi Q7 is produced there, same as the Volkswagen Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne. The presence of the Cayenne in that facility is especially important since the Urus will reportedly be built on a modified version of VW Group’s MLB platform, the same platform that will underpin the next-generation Cayenne.
Volkswagen has also improved the facilities in the factory, having previously installed a new metal press that will be able to create steel and aluminum body panels. The pieces are in place for the Urus to be built in that facility. The only question now is whether VW lets it.
To that, we say, “go ahead and do it already!”
Much has been made about Lamborghini’s Urus SUV since it first debuted in concept guise at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. Through it all, two things has remained clear about the Urus: Lamborghini wants to build it and more importantly, the public wants Lamborghini to build it. Sadly, Lambo’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group, has yet to officially give its blessing for the Urus to be built, even if Lamborghini has come out time and again saying that the SUV will be ready by 2017.
Right now, very little is known about the Urus other than its shared platform with the Porsche Cayenne. It’s still unclear if the production version — if it comes to that point — will retain the same dramatic styling as the Urus Concept or if Lamborghini’s going to make some tweaks along the way.
Even the SUV’s powertrain is still a mystery. Back in May 2014, Lambo CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Auto Express that the Urus could become the first Lamborghini to carry a turbocharged engine. Winkelmann has since started singing a different tune, most recently telling Car Advice at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show that Lamborghini isn’t planning on using turbocharged engines anytime soon.
It’s worth noting that the Urus Concept was given a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 engine that had 600 horsepower and combined with a permanent all-wheel-drive system. Whether Lamborghini decides to go the turbo route with the Urus remains to be seen.