Take it to the track and then straight to the rally race... as long as you’re cool with putting dings on a six-figure car.
Maurizio Reggiani is the head of Lamborghini’s research and development sector, and given the sorts of odd futuristic projects the Italian supercar marquee is adding to its portfolio lately, he’s the sort of man you want to listen to for a trip into the future of one of the most desirable brands on the planet. He recently sat down with Digital Trends to give the topic of the upcoming Urus a whirl and using the SUV as a beacon for Lamborghini’s future, it can be gathered that things will get juiced up.
That’s a reference both to the vehicle’s performance and drivetrain, because though it’s not Lamborghini’s first SUV, the Urus will bring the automaker a handful of technological achievements by being the first turbocharged bull in the lineup (a decision made to offer better low-end torque for off-roading rather than to meet fuel economy requirements) as well as the first hybrid. When it comes to the latter, the Urus is a natural choice given that its size affords engineers more packaging choices for both batteries and the electric motors. Balancing out the weight of such a system will be tough, but not as taxing an endeavor as building the first hybrid Lamborghini supercar, which Reggiani claims will not come anytime soon.
On our hypothetical plug-in hybrid Urus, Reggiani says that the batteries could be mounted near the rear firewall without altering handling too drastically. The added weight and the fact that the computers will have to balance two power sources rather than one will make the hybrid Urus a bit worse of an off-road vehicle than the turbocharged V8 version, but it will be capable of those pavement-free ventures nonetheless. The hybrid Urus won’t be nearly as fun as the 650 horsepower turbocharged V8 Urus in any situation, on road or off, but it will offer electric boost on the track for bouts of heavy competition or temporary insanity and will serve as a case study for the automaker.
This will allow Lamborghini to refine its hybrid technology to one day apply to its next generation of supercars and hypercars. Enabling a bit of the dual Lamborghini nature, one that places an on-road bundle of joy with sports car dynamics onto the capable bones of an off-roader, will be a pneumatic suspension system that can be raised or lowered depending on the drive mode. No mention on whether or not Lamborghini will use the Urus to enter into an off-road racing series such as the famous Paris Dakar race. Our advice? Just go knocking on Audi and Porsche’s door when it comes time to build a hybrid. They seem to have that whole dual powertrain thing down to a science.