Lamborghini Expect Urus to be Brand's Top Selling Model

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The super-SUV will enter production in 2017; Lamborghini hope to shift 3000 units per year.

Automotive News Europe recently had a sit down with Lamborghini's top engineer to discuss their latest creation, the Urus SUV Concept revealed at the Beijing Motor Show last month. Although production won't start before 2017, Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's r&d director, already has big plans for the super-SUV. "We were given a very challenging target: Make the production Urus the best-performing and lightest vehicle in its category."

Approval to build the SUV should be granted by the end of the year, and Lamborghini expect to shift 3,000 units per annum, which would make the Urus its top-selling model by a significant margin. Last year, total global sales of its current models the Gallardo and Aventador stood at 1,600 units. Parent company Volkswagen AG's new large SUV platform, the PL73, will underpin the production Urus, as well as the next-gen Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg. When Bentley's EXP 9 F concept finally makes it to production, it will also use the same architecture.

However, where the Urus will differ from its competitors is in its weight. "As the unibody structure of the PL73 is made of steel, we need to think of innovative solutions so we can meet the very challenging weight target we were given," Reggiani said. The target weight is less than 2,000kg so 200kg lighter than any similar models currently on the road. Weight-saving measure that could be taken include a T-shaped, forged-carbon composite structure, carbon-fiber reinforced plastic for the seat shell, and an aluminum-magnesium composite in the hood, tailgate and doors.

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A powertrain has yet to be confirmed but Reggiani said a twin-turbo gasoline V8 has a good chance of featuring as the SUV "needs huge torque at low revolutions rather than high peak power, therefore a V-8 twin-turbo is an interesting possibility." An evolution of the 450hp 4.2-liter unit Audi use on its RS models would be able to reach the 600hp Lamborghini want the Urus to generate and which the concept's 5.2-liter V10 makes comfortably. It would also sit nicely up front, which would improve weight distribution without the need for increasing the wheelbase or overall length.

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