How the Lamborghini Urus Will Work

The all-new Lamborghini Urus
The all-new Lamborghini Urus
(Courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.)

The Lamborghini Urus is an upcoming super-luxury sport utility vehicle. The name looks kind of awkward, especially for those who lack an Italian accent, but the Urus follows Lamborghini's typically aggressive naming convention: Like most Lamborghini vehicles, it's an homage to a type of bull, specifically, a breed from Spain. And, just in case you're wondering, the car's name is pronounced "oo-roos."

And even though there was a big announcement in January of 2014 about the Urus' official production schedule, Lamborghini first revealed the Urus (in concept form) at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show -- nearly two years earlier. Brand representatives said then they expected the Urus to sell at a rate of about 3,000 vehicles per year, although they hadn't yet made the definite decision to produce it. Lamborghini chose to reveal the Urus in China because, at the time, economists and auto industry experts predicted that by as early as 2015, demand for luxury sport utility vehicles in the Chinese market would grow by nearly 50 percent. Other auto manufacturers have been entertaining a similar strategy. China is an important market for Porsche's large vehicles, and Bentley, another Volkswagen-owned luxury brand (in addition to Lamborghini), has also enjoyed significant growth in that country. It simply made sense for Lamborghini to reveal the Urus concept vehicle there.

Between the concept introduction in 2012 and the formal production announcement at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Lamborghini waited for Europe's economic situation to improve. But the brand's top decision makers didn't give up on the Urus. The vehicle stayed in development for well over a year, waiting for the right time. And before the formal production announcement in 2014, there were hints that the time was approaching, with reliably sourced rumors circulating in late 2013 [source: Lowney]. What caused the change? Well, it wasn't the European financial news. It was reportedly China's increasing taste for luxury goods that helped drive Lamborghini back into action. The decision was made for the Urus to go into production to help the Lamborghini brand expand into new markets and to meet increased demand in areas where Lamborghini has only recently started selling vehicles. In addition to China, and other relatively emerging markets such as Russia and the Middle East, Lamborghini also expects the Urus to sell well in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, where the market share for SUVs continues to grow [source: Elliott].

The decision to design the Urus was inspired in part by the success of the Porsche Cayenne, an SUV that, upon its 2002 release, was criticized by some for not remaining true to Porsche's motorsports heritage. However, by 2012, the Cayenne accounted for half of Porsche's sales [source: Reiter and Philip]. Porsche, like Lamborghini, is owned by Volkswagen AG. Audi representatives have also said that the brand's growth is due in large part to its SUV and crossover lineup. So Lamborghini is not the only upscale manufacturer to be eyeing these trends. By the time the Lamborghini Urus is finally available (sometime in 2017) it might have a lot more competition. In the meantime, let's take a look at Lamborghini's plans for the Urus.