Urus: Lamborghini's first SUV revealed

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Konstantin Sheiko
January 18, 2018

After much anticipation and gossip, Lamborghini has unveiled Urus its latest creation that blends in the functionality typical for an SUV and a soul of a super sports car. It's also faster than a Gallardo.

Expected to make up to half of Lamborghini's sales as early as 2019, the Urus sees the Italian carmaker stray away from its current market and venture into the SUV space to challenge strong incumbents such as the Porsche Cayenne.

Urus displays the distinctive Lamborghini super sports car silhouette balanced against dynamic coupe line and extreme proportions, making it absolutely unique. Lamborghini’s signature performance is, as always, outstanding. 

A full technical breakdown of the car includes its 641 hp power figure, a top speed of 304 km/h and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 3.6 sec. A twin-turbocharged 4-liter V8 is responsible for the Urus’s astonishing performance. It comes from the same line of engines that are found in other cars of VW Group, including the Porsche Panamera Turbo.

“Of course you’ll have some people that will say ‘it’s not a Lamborghini.’' commented Lamborghini CEO, Stefano Domenicali, "Just listen and you will understand. Just hear the engine, the sound and you will feel it is a Lamborghini.”

All of this power drive helps counter the car’s weight of just less than 2200 kg, making it capable of achieving a supercar-like acceleration of 3.6sec to 100 km/h. That’s 0.1sec faster than the Lamborghini Gallardo.

Urus’s outstanding performance figures have encouraged Lamborghini to classify this car as a ‘Super SUV’. To underline that performance focus, the Urus comes with carbon-ceramic brake discs as standard; 440mm diameter fronts with ten-piston calipers.

Continuing drawing similarity to the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the Urus also uses the same three-chamber air suspension that can alter ride-height and spring rate. It also shares an eight-speed automatic gearbox, a torque vectoring rear differential, electromechanical variable rate anti-roll bars and a rear-wheel steering system. 

Basically, it's the ideal Cayenne competitor.

Lamborghini has accumulated plenty of experience designing and producing four-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering, and even off-road vehicles. However, dealing with turbocharged engines and automatic gearboxes has been a new experience so far. Consequently, it has been challenging for the engineers to be able to transfer the Lamborghini spirit into the Urus, but the engineers are satisfied they have infused the SUV with the right attitude. 

"When we made a product profile, we recognised that talking about an SUV - a car that must be able to go off-road, or go in a situation where you have asphalt that’s not flat - it was more and more fundamental to have high level of torque at low rpm." explained Lamborghini's CTO, Maurizio Reggiani. 

"Otherwise, you cannot climb; you cannot go on the sand. For this reason, the only physical dynamic machine that can release high-level of torque at low rpm is the turbo engine.”

Although the Urus model is utilizing much of the same hardware as other large VW Group SUVs, all are designed to allow the individual attitudes of each manufacturer to be reflected in each car’s calibration and final set up. Another reason why so many SUVs in the VW Group use a lot of similar hardware components is the need to counter the negative aspects of a high-riding SUV.

Reggiani explains in detail which Lamborghini elements have been maintained: “The most important parameter is the DNA related to the performance, what you feel when you sit in the car, the emotion. The sound, vibration and the connection between you and the road. How it moves when you steer, the accelerator, the brake and the way that you perceive the road. You have too much filter, normally [in an SUV] - it is too artificial. When you are in a super SUV you get the perception of a super sports car.”

The driver can further change and influence the Urus’s performance by using six modes in the car’s ANIMA (Adaptive Network Intelligent Management) system. Each setting represents an option of recalibrating the SUV's engine mapping, suspension and traction management systems to help it adapt to different situations. Strada, Sport, and Corsa are found on all current Lamborghinis, but there is a trio of new off-road modes for the Urus: Terra, Neve, and Sabbia, allowing it to garner its best performance on land, snow, and sand.

There’s a final ‘Ego’ mode that allows the driver to select his or her own steering, engine and suspension combination. Rather than a button on the steering wheel, the Urus’s ANIMA controls are located on a barrel-like device with small aircraft-style levers called the tamburo (stands for “drum” in Italian) in the center console.

The Urus’s exterior bears the signature Lamborghini design touch despite the car’s height and its five doors. There’s the same iconic Y-graphic in its headlights, only it has been flipped horizontally for the Urus. The sharp angles and creases that adorn the Huracan and Aventador models are all over Urus’s bodywork. 

There is not a square foot that is not broken up by converging lines or an abrupt crease. It is bold, rugged and aggressive, just as an iconic Lamborghini should be. An optional off-road package features less prominent lower front and rear bumpers for better ramp and departure angles. Overall, the Urus’s outstanding proportions convey strength, solidity, and safety. 

The car’s interior is luxurious yet cohesive. The blend between the ‘out-of-space’ design and the driver-oriented instrument concept puts ultimately enhances the driver’s and the passengers’ experience alike. The dashboard architecture follows the “Y” theme inspired by iconic Lamborghini models. 

A pair of screens in the center console is located above the starter button with its trademark Lamborghini flip-up red cover and the new tamburo, or the central drive mode controller where you select the driving modes. Probably the tamburo is the coolest and the most comprehensive controller on the market today.

Lamborghini is convinced that Urus will be a commercial success, and expects it to make up 50 percent of all Lamborghini sales by 2019. To help accommodate the boost in sales the Sant Agata factory has been expanded with a new paint building and an assembly facility just for the Urus that can pump out 20 cars per day. 

Although final prices have not been confirmed yet, the new Urus will likely be expensive: the expected cost will range from just about $200,000 and go up to about $250,000 .

The added revenue from the Urus might fund the continued and greater investment in the company’s line of supercars and hypercars. But rather than just funding them, the development of the Urus will aid Lamborghini’s other cars from a technical perspective. 

So far, Urus’ success factors have definitely originated from the combined strengths in car’s design, its driving dynamics, and superior performance. All these features allowed Lamborghini to launch a Super Sport Utility Vehicle remaining loyal to its trademark DNA. 

Urus is a versatile car perfectly suited for everyday driving, but it also provides the distinct engine sound, all of the thrill and the high performance of a real Lamborghini.

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