They Say Lamborghini’s Chief Technical Officer Hinted at a Potential Urus Performante, But It’s Probably Not Happening
Will it or won’t it? That’s a question only Lamborghini can answerby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 01:20
The Lamborghini Urus Performante has taken up residence in the rumor mill for a few months now. Lamborghini’s chief technical officer, Maurizio Reggiani, has now brought life back to the Urus Performante, and it appears that the high-spec version of the Urus SUV will likely become a reality at some point soon. Granted, Reggiani didn’t explicitly say that the Urus Performante is coming. But he also didn’t say that it wasn’t.
Whether or not it ends up happening will depend entirely on Lamborghini. So in the absence of a clear direction on Lamborghini’s part, we’re taking it upon ourselves to talk about the veracity of these rumors and how it’s going to affect Lamborghini’s booming Urus SUV business moving forward.
Why Lamborghini Won’t Make a Urus Performante
It’s hard to imagine Lamborghini offering a performance-heavy version of the Urus.
A Urus Performante doesn't make sense because the “standard” Urus is already selling like crazy and the company doesn't want to dilute itself too much.
In the second half of 2019, Lamborghini sold 1,761 units of the Urus SUV. If that figure isn’t impressive enough, Lamborghini followed that six-month swing by selling a whopping 2,693 units of the Urus in the first half of 2019. Put those two figures together and in the full year from July 2018 to June 2019, Lamborghini sold 4,454 units of the Urus.
You can spin these figures whichever way you want, but you can’t deny that the Urus has been a sales hit since it entered the market. Sure, the idea of an extreme version sounds enticing on paper, but there’s also something to be said about the Urus identity as a usable Lamborghini that still carries with it Sant’Agata Bolognese’s performance DNA.
The Urus, by virtue of its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine that produces 641 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque, already addresses the demand for serious performance out of the SUV.
All you need to do is switch on to Sport and Corsa modes and the suspension goes down, the ride becomes stiffer, and the twin-turbo V-8 responds differently. In other words, it behaves like a true Lamborghini. The numbers bear fruit, too. The Urus is capable of sprinting from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and from 0 to 124 mph in 12.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 190 mph. The Urus is already one of the fastest production SUVs in the world.
Building the Urus Performante would not only undermine the “standard” Urus, but it could also dilute the Performante name.
You don’t need an extreme version of the Lamborghini Urus to appreciate what the SUV is capable of. The standard Urus already accomplishes those things on its own.
A Lamborghini Urus Performante Would Be Extreme - and Limited
There’s a train of thought that says “don’t try to convince yourself that something makes sense just because it doesn’t.” That’s where we are with the Lamborghini Urus Performante. We pointed to several reasons why it wouldn’t make sense for Lamborghini to build one, and yet, we remain excited about the possibility that Lambo actually does build it. It doesn’t help that Lamborghini’s chief technical officer, Maurizio Reggiani, didn’t squash the possibility outright during an interview with Automobile Mag. “Sometimes, it’s clear you need to invent or reinvent yourself in an order that cannot be predicted,” he said. “This will be our target also for the Urus.”
Taking the unpredictable route with a model like the Urus leads to one thing: a hardcore version of the SUV. Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman was the first to report about the rumored hot Urus and the nameplate that it will be carrying back in May 2019. According to Lieberman,
the Urus Performante would have more power, less weight, and possess serious aerodynamic improvements. In other words, it’s a racier version of the already racy Urus SUV.
Of course, if Lamborghini does give the green light to develop and build the Urus Performante, it could come with several caveats, one of which could be the volume of production. Lamborghini hasn’t shied away from capping production of certain “special” models at super limited quantities — it has built a handful of one-offs over the years — and the Urus Performante wouldn’t be an exception. The fact that the Urus’ production capacity is bigger than all Lamborghini models before it makes it even more important to draw a clear line in the sand with regards to the number of units it builds of the Urus Performante. I mentioned earlier that there’s a possibility that a Urus Performante could dilute the SUV market, but capping production to a limited number of models — 300 or fewer would be a good number — is one way to work around that potential problem.
An upgrade to the Urus’ twin-turbo V-8 engine is also a must. Perhaps Lamborghini could lose its mind and raise the output of the V-8 engine to more than 700 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. Doing that would also require a new chassis setup. Stiffer springs, bars, roll, and arms would be needed.
The Lamborghini Huracan Performante did get some engine upgrades, and those resulted in an increase in output for the Lambo supercar — from 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque to 631 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque — to go with improved performance times. The Lamborghini Huracan Performante can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds as opposed to 3.2 seconds for the standard Huracan.
|Lamborghini Huracan||Lamborghini Huracan Performante|
|Engine:||5.2-liter V-10||5.2-liter V-10|
|Horsepower:||602 horsepower||631 horsepower|
|Torque:||413 pound-feet of torque||442 pound-feet of torque|
|Transmission:||seven-speed LDF dual-clutch||seven-speed LDF dual-clutch|
|0 to 62 MPH:||3.2 seconds||2.9 seconds|
|0 to 124 MPH:||9.9 seconds||8.9 seconds|
|Top Speed:||201 MPH||202 MPH|
Even without any concrete details on the Lamborghini Urus Performante, it’s not a stretch to imagine that the upgrades and improvements that Lamborghini makes on the extreme SUV would yield similar results.
|Lamborghini Urus||Lamborghini Urus Performante|
|Engine:||4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8||4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8|
|Horsepower:||641 horsepower||680 horsepower|
|Torque:||627 pound-feet of torque||660 pound-feet of torque|
|Transmission:||eight-speed ZF 8HP automatic||eight-speed ZF 8HP automatic|
|0 to 62 MPH:||3.6 seconds||3.2 seconds|
|0 to 124 MPH:||12.8 seconds||10 seconds|
|Top Speed:||190 MPH||195 MPH|
What the Urus Performante Would Look Like?
It’s not enough for Lamborghini to simply add more power and call it a day.
Aerodynamic upgrades, preferably using lightweight components like carbon fiber, are certainties as far as additions to the Urus Performante are concerned.
These aerodynamic components could range from a redesigned bumper with integrated splitters to carbon fiber side skirts to a motorsport-inspired rear wing. The interior of the Urus Performante could also come with the same forged composite alloy material that Lamborghini used in the Huracan Performante to further reduce its weight.
The Lamborghini Urus Performante, if it does come to pass, will look a lot more aggressive than its standard counterpart. We expect the Urus Performante to benefit from a similar aesthetic and aerodynamic upheaval as the Huracan Performante. The Urus Performante could also receive a new set of wheels and high-performance tires, and over in the back, we can expect something along the lines of a larger rear wing, maybe even of the carbon fiber variety. A new diffuser with larger exhaust pipes should also be in the mix.
It's also possible that the Urus Performante could borrow some bits from the Lamborghini Urus ST-X Concept
. The exposed carbon fiber hood would make for quite the visual statement and those large air intakes should definitely come in handy for an SUV that could pack a 700-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine underneath that carbon fiber hood.
I’m not going to lie. There’s a part of me that wants Lamborghini to develop and build the Urus Performante. If for nothing else, I want to see what the Italian automaker can do with a more radical version of its 640-horsepower SUV. Would the Urus Performante look completely mental with all the aero additions that are expected to be included? Would it pack more than 700 horsepower, and, if so, what kind of suspension upgrades will Lamborghini do to account for that extra power? All of these are fascinating questions, but at the end of the day, I don’t think a high-performance Urus variant is a good idea.
I don’t think it makes sense from a business perspective since Lamborghini’s already making money hand over fist with all the SUVs it has sold and continues to sell. Rolling out a high-performance, 700-horsepower Urus Performante could undercut a lot of what the “standard” Urus stands for. I’d keep the SUV as it is for a few more years, and maybe once sales start slowing down, I’ll revisit the possibility of an Urus Performante. But I won’t do it now, especially with how the SUV has performed in the sales department.