Lamborghini still wants the Urus SUV, but Audi doesn’t think customers will

The Lamborghini Urus SUV is still on track for a 2017 launch, but corporate parent Audi thinks the Italian carmaker is waiting too long.

According to a recent report from Autocar, Audi still won’t give final approval for the Urus because it thinks customer demand will evaporate by the time Lambo can get it into production.

The main purpose of an SUV is to boost sales, but some Audi officials are reportedly concerned that the global economy is still too weak to support significant demand for the Urus, which will likely be one of the most expensive SUVs on the market.

Audi is particularly concerned that turmoil in the Middle East will curb demand n a key region for high-end car sales.

Related: Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 hybrid unveiled at 2014 Paris Motor Show

This conservative outlook contrasts the views of other carmakers, including within the Volkswagen Group itself.

Bentley is planning to launch an SUV of its own, also in 2017, and is confident it will boost sales. Rolls-Royce sees so much customer demand for an SUV that it’s developing one even though people in charge of the company don’t really want to.

Even if sales turn out to be as low as Lambo’s supercars, the Urus should still prove highly profitable, because it will be based on existing VW Group components.

Based on a concept originally unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, the Urus is expected to share a platform with the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and Volkswagen Touareg.

Instead of the normal Lamborghini V10 or V12, the Urus may also get a more normal powertrain based on something from the VW Group parts bin, with possible diesel and hybrid options.

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