At this time, actual mechanical information about the Lamborghini Urus is being closely guarded by Lamborghini, although the Beijing concept launch revealed that the Urus would have about 600-horsepower. This benchmark could have changed between the concept reveal in 2012 and the production announcement in 2014, and it can also change anytime up until the vehicle actually begins production in 2017. However, the less Lamborghini reveals, the more people are likely to speculate. First and foremost, what kind of engine could power such a beast? A lot of other sport utility vehicles are offered with a choice of drivetrains, but Lamborghini vehicles are typically produced in such relatively low quantities that, even though the vehicles are seemingly endlessly customizable (in terms of exterior finishes, leather upholstery colors and stitching, and the like) engines tend to be a one-size-fits-all deal, or, if there are options, they are few. With that in mind, a gasoline-powered V-10 engine seems to be the most likely powerplant for the Urus based on Lamborghini's recent engineering developments and the few teaser specs, like the 600-horsepower, the Italian automaker has already revealed [source: Johnson]. However, Lamborghini representatives have stated that the brand strives to achieve best-in-class carbon dioxide emissions for the Urus, meaning the Urus will pollute less than the handful of other premium SUVs on the road. That stated goal might be at odds with the speculated V-10 engine -- but only time will tell. And as far as mechanical details go, that's all that's on the table, so far.
That's a lot of talk for so few actual details, and the timetable for Urus production might seem a little far away, but Lamborghini does have its reasons. Lamborghini doesn't have the production capacity of a larger automaker, so everything must be planned much more carefully. In other words, making the Urus sooner would mean cutting back the production of whatever other Lamborghini models are being produced right now. And that's a move that would upset Lamborghini's well-heeled customers; the same ones who often order their cars (and put down hefty deposits) long before Lamborghini can actually get around to making them. (Larger automakers, with less complicated and less expensive vehicles, have a lot more flexibility in scheduling.) Lamborghini doesn't even know for sure that there will be demand for the Urus, so it might as well keep producing the cars that are on the schedule (the ones that are selling), at least a little while longer. About 3,000 examples of the Urus are scheduled for the first production run, which may sound ambitious, but it took some careful analysis to arrive at that figure. Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann actually addressed the question of the Urus' potential demand during his presentation at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, asserting that the 2017 goal is a well-thought-out move. Winkelmann explained that analysts are seeing growth in the exotic car market, but as of early 2014, there's still not enough to support the launch of a vehicle like the Urus. Three years down the road, the forecast is more promising [source: Automotive News Europe].
Other high end auto manufacturers are seeing the same signs, although they'll probably beat Lamborghini to the punch. Maserati plans to introduce an SUV in 2015, and Tesla is also planning a fully electric SUV [source: Elliott]. Bentley has received 2,000 advance orders for its forthcoming SUV, even though the final design hasn't even been made public (assuming, of course, the design has even been finalized) [source: Ebhardt, et al]. Rolls-Royce is quietly mulling over its options. Porsche is ahead of the game, and, emboldened by the ongoing success of its Cayenne full-size SUV, the brand is adding a crossover to the lineup in the spring of 2014. Perhaps by the time the Urus is released, the upscale SUV market will be a highly competitive scene. Who knows? Maybe Lamborghini will be able to bring something new to the table, and come up with some surprises. There's still a lot of mystery surrounding the Lamborghini Urus, even after a couple years of conversation, so there's a good chance this bull won't go down without a fight.
Author's Note: How the Lamborghini Urus Will Work
It's funny that a lot of the early press for the Lamborghini Urus treated the news as if Lamborghini has never built an SUV before. In fact, Lamborghini built a luxury military-like SUV called the LM002, but it's a bit of a rare bird; between 1986 and 1993, only a few hundred were made. (Lamborghini, to its credit, was quick to point out that the brand was early -- maybe even too early -- to this trend.) Maybe it's just that most of us instantly think the idea of a super-premium and exotic sport utility vehicle is ridiculous, especially now. Rumors of the Lamborghini Urus have been around for at least a couple of years prior this most recent announcement; that is, the news that it would actually be produced. Nothing shows confidence like investing in building a vehicle that few people will ever be able to afford -- not to get all political, or too depressing. What's fun about the Lamborghini Urus, and other vehicles of its ilk, is that we get to see what car manufacturers can come up with when all of their inhibitions have been cast-off. Innovation makes things interesting, even if the results are out of reach for most people.
- Automotive News Europe. "Lamborghini plans to introduce Urus SUV in 2017." Jan. 14, 2014. (Jan. 19, 2014) http://europe.autonews.com/article/20140114/ANE/140119828/lamborghini-plans-to-introduce-urus-suv-in-2017#axzz2qaLo2S9N
- Ebhardt, Tommaso, et al. "Lamborghini Plans SUV in 2017 in Luxury Push Into Segment." Bloomberg.com. Jan. 14, 2014. (Jan. 20, 2014) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-14/lamborghini-plans-suv-in-2017-in-luxury-push-into-segment.html
- Elliott, Hannah. "World Debut: The Lamborghini USV." Forbes. April 22, 2012. (Jan. 20, 2014) http://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahelliott/2012/04/22/world-debut-the-lamborghini-suv/
- Johnson, Drew. "Lamborghini Urus to begin production in 2017." Left Lane News. Jan. 21, 2014. (Jan. 27, 2014) http://www.leftlanenews.com/lamborghini-urus-to-begin-production-in-2017.html
- Lamborghini. "Lamborghini Urus." 2014. (Jan. 19, 2014) http://www.lamborghini.com/en/models/urus/overview/
- Lamborghini. "Lamborghini Urus -- The SUV super athlete." YouTube. April 22, 2012. (Jan. 28, 2014) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdRXli9V5FU
- Lowney, Damon. "Lamborghini CEO says Urus headed to production." Autoblog.com. Sept. 25, 2013. (Jan. 27, 2014) http://www.autoblog.com/2013/09/25/lamborghini-urus-production/
- Reiter, Chris and Philip, Siddharth. "Lamborghini Introduces Urus, Its First SUV in Two Decades." Bloomberg.com. April 22, 2012. (Jan. 19, 2014) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/lamborghini-introduces-urus-its-first-suv-in-two-decades.html