High ride, low drag: Everything we know so far about Lamborghini’s outrageous Urus SUV

Ever since Lamborghini released the Miura in 1966, the Italian supercar brand has been the name for the most outrageous cars money can buy. Of late, the civilizing influence of Lambo’s German overlords, Audi, has toned down the outrage, even if, on looks alone, Lambos are still Batman’s weekend car of choice. However, the new Urus SUV, set for release in 2017, might just be the car – or rather the truck – to bring some of that panache back to Lambo. Not only is the Urus a surefire gusto grabber; it may just be the most important release from a supercar manufacturer in a while.

Accordingly, we have turned to the Internet in search of all of the rumors we can find surrounding the forthcoming, high-riding Italian fiend.

Keeping the Lineage Alive

Lamborghinis are supposed to be outrageous, angry things. In this sense, without even having been built yet, the Urus is a success. It has single-handedly caused a wave of outrage across the Internet. The internet’s tubes are positively frothing with venom about the idea of Lamborghini sullying itself by releasing something other than a purebred performance machine.

While there are plenty of reasons to question the Urus – the name sounds a bit too much like a certain piece of urinary anatomy for my taste – we would like to remind readers that Lambo has always been more about style and presence than speed. After all, it built the LM002 Luxury SUV in the 1980s, which had the street performance of a particularly sprightly dairy cow despite packing a 5.7 liter V12 under its deformed hood. Heck, even Lambo’s most famous poster inhabitant, the Lamborghini Countach, looked and sounded a hell of a lot better than it ever drove.

Powertrain

Although the Urus may end up more the Lamborghini tractor end of the performance scale than an Aventador or a Miura, it won’t be for lack of power. Proposed engines are either an Audi-derived forced induction V8 producing 600 or more horsepower, or a plug-in hybrid that could make as much as 670 hp from gas engine and electric motors. One particularly interesting theory suggests that a diesel or even a diesel hybrid might be in the offing. This seems an oddly environmentally-conscious choice from Lamborghini, especially considering that the Urus appears to have all of the off-road pretentions of a duck on ice.

Chassis and Capability

Speaking of which, while the Urus will come with AWD – and thank god for that. While upside down, flaming Lambo crossovers might make good YouTube videos, they are hardly good for your daily commute.

The Urus is set to be built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform that will underpin the all-new Audi Q7, VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, and the forthcoming Bentley SUV. With this shared lineage, you would expect competence rather than dominance from this off-road Lambo, but I am afraid its worse than it looks.

For starters, there is the ground clearance. Yes it’s more than you get on, say, a Gallardo or an Aventador, but, then again, so is a stack of 10 sheets of printer paper. Also because Lambo no doubt wants this thing to go fast the bottom of the car is going to have splitters, chin spoilers, and the other sort of carbon fiber clutter that is just begging to get torn off by rocks. Then there are the wheels and tires: they do look good, but even I – a man who doesn’t know much about off-roading – can say that you don’t want tires that look like they have been painted on to your rims when you’re heading off full-tilt into the Mojave, especially when you almost certainly don’t have space for a spare.

Technology and Infotainment

Not much has been released or rumored about the Urus’ tech. But in all honesty, this is where this car will shine. The sort of people who are going to drive the Urus may never go off  road. They may never even go that fast. They certainly are, however, going to make Bluetooth phone calls to their mistresses and tailors.

From the interior shots, it appears to have a pretty straightforward center console mounted touch-screen. The design does seem to trend a little bit towards the ‘stealth bomber weapons console’ school of design, which looks great in concepts but is disappointing when you can’t actually launch any hellfire missiles out of it. Still, unlike a company like Ferrari, Lamborghini has the advantage of turning to the vast resources of the VW Group to get electronics that actually, you know, work.

Pricing, Production Timing, and Scale

And what of production numbers? We know is that Lamborghini plans to sell a lot of these things: 3000 a year starting with the 2017 model year.

This would be a drop in the bucket for most automakers, but considering the entire production run of the Aventador is less than 2,000 units, this is a big deal. The main destinations are going to be the middle east and China, where Lambo is hoping to break into the market in a big way. In this way, the Urus is going to be a pathfinder for a lot of future high-end cars that will be designed specifically with the Chinese buyer in mind. The Urus’ bespoke cousin, Bentley SUV, is a prefect example.

So how much will the Chinese, or anyone else, be paying for the Urus? Well, no definitive price has been stated by Lamborghini brass yet. Estimates put it in the $200,000 price range, making this if not exactly cheap, then at least cheap for a Lamborghini.

In sum, the Urus appears to be exactly what you would expect from any Lamborghini: fast, powerful, terrible off road, and covered in zany styling. This Lambo, though, is just a bit taller than the rest.

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