Lamborghini SUV Moves Closer To Reality
The long-awaited Lamborghini Urus crossover SUV may have just taken a big step towards becoming a production reality, and new funding for the project might be coming from an unexpected new source: the Italian government. In an effort to spark growth in Italy’s stagnant job market, government officials are prepared to offer Lamborghini and parent company Audi €100 million in tax breaks and other incentives to fund construction of a new factory in Italy for the Urus, which would also create 300 new jobs.
According to Bloomberg Business, a group of officials discussed the matter in Rome on Tuesday, and may have included Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The source within the meeting asked not to be identified because the discussions were private, but did confirm the group would meet again soon to reach a possible agreement.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini SUV.
Why it matters
The Italian economy has been in recession since the Euro debt crisis of 2011. Unemployment rates in the country were as high as 13 percent in early 2015, and employers are showing no signs of taking on new hires. Prime Minister Renzi sees manufacturing jobs as the key to hedging this trend, and will be keen to finalize the deal with Lamborghini. Three hundred jobs may not sound like much, but the new factory should create supplier jobs as well, hopefully also in Italy.
As for the Urus, Audi is stopping just short of confirming production, telling Bloomberg in an email, “We haven’t decided on the series production of the Lamborghini Urus yet. Once this has been clarified, the question about the production location will be posed.” Final approval for the Urus is expected to come in June.
If built, final construction will happen at the proposed new facility in Italy, but key components will be produced at Volkswagen facilities throughout Europe. The VW plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, where the Porsche Cayenne chassis is currently built, is rumored to be supplying the Urus chassis as well. Engines will likely come in the form of more powerful turbocharged V8s from Audi or Porsche, and a hybrid drivetrain, complete with lithium-ion battery, has been all but confirmed too. A Volkswagen group-sourced dual-clutch transmission is expected to drive power to all four wheels.
Like most exotic crossovers we see cropping up these days, China and other Asian nations are the target markets. Lamborghini’s low-slung, two-seat offerings have been popular in China, but they also have limited appeal in areas with bad roads. Lamborghini says it could sell as many as 3,000 Uruses (Urii?), which would more than double its current output. We westerners might be scratching our heads over exotic SUVs like the Urus and the recently proposed Lotus SUV, but when the numbers are laid bare, it’s obvious these companies can’t afford not to build them.
Read our speculative review here.