While a thinly disguised SUV concept is expected at the Beijing Auto Show, the CEO has claimed a production model could be launched by 2017.
Lamborghini's hotly discussed SUV project is slowly gathering momentum and according to CEO Stephan Winkelman, a super-luxury SUV could be launched in 2017. In January we caught wind that Lamborghini would be heading to Beijing with an SUV concept to gauge public opinion and only this week the name 'Deimos' was filed for trademark, leading some people to conclude this would be the moniker for the upcoming SUV.
Speaking with German business daily Handelsblatt, the CEO said "We definitely need a third line in the mid- and long term. An SUV would be the first Lamborghini for everyday use, not just for the race track or weekends. We would have the opportunity to win new customers." Lamborghini has been running at a loss since 2009, and is now under pressure to become profitable from parent company VW Group who will decide this year whether to go ahead with the SUV's production. The paper confirmed that company sources claim 'the decision is certain to be positive.'
"It usually takes 48 months until an all-new vehicle arrives at dealers, so the new Lamborghini would not be available to buy before 2017," said Winkelman. Along with Bentley, Lamborghini will diversify into the super-luxury SUV market using the new platform that underpins the Audi Q7, VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. It is believed that a modified version of the Gallardo's V10 powerplant will power the car. To avoid the fate of the poorly-received Bentley EXP 9 SUV, Winkelman said Lamborghini are treading carefully. "For the brand, emotions are important," he told the paper.
Any new model "must always be immediately recognizable as a Lamborghini." Let's see if the concept in Beijing lives up to such expectations.