Lamborghini’s ST-X will likely spawn a super-Urus with the soul of a race car

Lamborghini ST-X concept

With four seats, four doors, and up to 9.8 inches of ground clearance, the Urus isn’t the type of low-slung, wedge-shaped Lamborghini you’re used to seeing on Instagram.

It’s a different kind of bull developed to withstand the trials and tribulations of commuting while carrying a family and their gear. This mission doesn’t exempt it from the need to deliver the raw, jaw-dropping performance buyers expect from a car wearing the Raging Bull emblem, and Lamborghini wants to prove what its SUV is capable of by launching a race series openly only to Urus drivers. Maurizio Reggiani, the head of the company’s research and development department, told Digital Trends that turning a Urus into the ST-X race car is easier said than done, but his team is up to the challenge.

“We needed to identify the components that can remain exactly the same, and the ones that must be modified in order to be suitable for racing.”

Lamborghini has a history of channeling the lessons it learns on the track to its regular-production models. Much of the hardware found in the physics-defying Huracan Performante (which Digital Trends called “the ultimate in street-legal excitement”) trickled down from the GT3-spec race car, for example. Asked if the ST-X can spawn a super-Urus, Reggiani smiled and said simply “yes” without giving us additional details. In other words: There is clearly much more to come. Sounds to us like an SV Urus will drop soon.

Reggiani explained Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali asked him to make something cool with the Urus shortly after the model made its debut in 2017. “My response was that it must be cool, but it must also be able to prove what we say every time: It’s a car that performs well on the track and off-road,” he reminisced. This condition set the course the project ultimately followed.

The Lamborghini ST-X concept.

Lamborghini undeniably knows how to make a car that performs well on the track. It also gained a sizeable amount of insight into how to make a true, no-nonsense SUV when it developed the short-lived LM 002 released in 1986. Wedding these two opposite ends of the same spectrum is easier said than done; it’s like trying to clone a mountain goat with the speed and stamina of a cheetah.

The ST-X concept unveiled online in late 2018 accurately previewed what the end result will look like. Starting with a regular Urus plucked from the assembly line, Lamborghini’s in-house team of race car alchemists removed equipment considered frivolous on the track (like much of the sound-deadening material) and replaced metal parts with carbon fiber components until it achieved a 25-percent weight reduction. Weighs-saving measures aside, the modifications made to the ST-X are relatively minor.

“We began contacting the organizers of RallyCross, but we think our car is too wild for that.”

“The hardest part of the project was deciding the level of common components shared by the Urus and the ST-X. We needed to identify the components that can remain exactly the same, and the ones that must be modified in order to be suitable for racing. The target is to change as little as possible,” Reggiani affirmed. It’s an on-going process; Lamborghini has already built one prototype which is “going up and down everywhere,” he added.

He wasn’t set on creating a Urus-specific race series from the get-go. “We began contacting the organizers of RallyCross, but we think our car is too wild for that,” he told us. Besides, starting from scratch lets Lamborghini decide precisely where and when to hold each race. Some will take place on asphalt, others will take competitors through gravel, sand, and mud. And, some events will even feature a mix of different terrains that promises to be demanding to drive through and entertaining to watch.

Enthusiast looking forward to seeing a Lamborghini jump a sand dune will need to wait a little bit longer to find out when the ST-X will line up on the starting grid for the first time. The series – whose name hasn’t even been revealed yet – is scheduled to launch in 2020. It will take participants on a tour of tracks located in Europe and in the Middle East.


Don’t let the SUV bodies fool you, BMW’s X3 M and X4 M are bona fide M cars

BMW is launching the first M versions of its X3 and X4. The 2020 X3 M and X4 M Competition pack a new 503-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six and BMW’s usual array of performance tech.

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.

Watch as Volkswagen’s ID R racer wins the ultimate EV bragging rights

The Volkswagen ID R has set a lap record for electric cars at Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife. The electric race car's lap time of 6 minutes, 5.33 seconds beat the previous record by 40 seconds.

You don't need an epic budget to shoot epic photos with the best cheap cameras

You don't need a huge budget to shoot epic photos with the best cheap cameras. There are great deals to be found on both lower-end cameras and older versions of high-end cameras that you can still find new.

Kia draws inspiration from Greek mythology to create a crossover for millennials

Kia will expand its global portfolio of crossovers and SUVs when it unveils a model named Seltos on June 20, 2019. Developed for milennials, the Seltos is a small, high-tech model named after the son of Hercules.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Intel hates that your car is dumber than your phone. Here’s how they’ll fix it

Motorists are often underwhelmed and/or frustrated with their car's native infotainment system, so millions of them rely on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Intel is helping Google and Volvo change that by bringing phone-like tech to the…

After years of Le Mans misfortune, Toyota becomes impossible to beat

Toyota scored a one-two finish at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, its second win a row at the legendary French race. Toyota is the first Japanese automaker to win Le Mans twice, but its wins came without any real competition.

Uber drivers reportedly triggering higher fares through Surge Club

Uber drivers are reportedly participating in a so-called Surge Club to artificially trigger higher fares. Many drivers said that they do not want to join the shady practice, but they are forced to do so due to pay cuts.

Fisker wants to make sure Tesla’s Model Y isn’t in a class of one when it lands

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.

Could a high-performance Nissan Leaf steal the mighty GT-R’s lunch money?

Nissan developed the electric Leaf with range and practicality in mind, but the hatchback could lend its hardware to a high-performance flagship. One of Nissan's chief executives announced a four-motor, 850-hp model could arrive during the…

Forget turrets. Hummer could fight its next war in the electric SUV segment

General Motors is considering resurrecting the Hummer brand it axed in 2010 to make electric off-roaders. The plan hasn't been approved yet, and it risks alienating some die-hard Hummer fans, but it makes sense on several levels.

This futuristic driverless pod will soon be delivering pizza in Texas

Pizza delivery using driverless pods is about to become a thing. Domino's has partnered with autonomous-tech specialist Nuro to use the futuristic pods for a trial delivery service starting later this year.

Flat-six makes a brief but triumphant return in Porsche’s hot-rodded 718 duo

Porsche unveiled a pair of 718-based sports cars that brazenly buck the industry's downsizing trend. The 718 Cayman GT4 and the 718 Spyder ditch the turbocharged flat-four in favor of a naturally aspirated, 4.0-liter flat-six rated at 414…