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Future models - Lamborghini - Urus

Lamborghini finally confirms SUV

No bull: Lamborghini is massively expanding its Italian factory to cope with an all-new model that could take cues from the 2012 Urus concept.

High-riding SUV takes Lamborghini line-up to three models by 2018

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Lamborghini logo28 May 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

LAMBORGHINI has confirmed the raging bull brand will no longer exclusively represent the low-slung supercars that have forged its name for more than half a century, with a high-riding SUV joining its ranks by 2018.

In preparation for the new model, the Italian high-performance car-maker will invest “hundreds of millions of Euros,” expanding its Sant'Agata factory and development centre by 70,000 square meters.

The significant boost to its Italian facility will create 500 new jobs and with the introduction of the new model, Lamborghini is forecasting global sales to double from about 1500 per year to 3000.

No details have been released about the milestone model, including its name, but it does make reference to the Urus concept SUV that was released at the Beijing motor show in 2012.

That car promised effervescent performance with a 440kW plug-in hybrid powertrain and lightweight carbon-fibre and aluminium construction.

The concept version measured 1990mm wide, 1660mm tall, 4990mm long and carried a coupe-like profile.

If a production version takes cues from the concept it will have Maserati's forthcoming Levante in its sights, as well as high-performance versions of the Porsche Cayenne and potentially BMW's X6 M and the Mercedes Benz AMG GLE Coupe.

With global auto giant Volkswagen Group as its parent, Lamborghini is not short of platforms or technology to borrow for its new SUV.

Its all-wheel drive layout is likely to share similarities with Audi's quattro all-paw system – a version of which lies under the Huracan – while the 340kW/920Nm hybrid powertrain of the Audi R8 e-tron is also a possibility.

Previous reports have suggested it will be built using Volkswagen Group's PL71 platform that underpins the Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Q7 as well as Bentley's first SUV, the upcoming Bentayga.

At the announcement, Automobili Lamborghini president and CEO Stephan Winkelmann said despite the company's links to its German parent, the new SUV would be all Italian.

“This is a proud moment for everybody in Lamborghini,” he said. “The introduction of a third model line endorses the stable and sustainable growth of the company and signifies, for us, the beginning of a new era.”“The new SUV will be made in Sant'Agata Bolognese, demonstrating our commitment to safeguarding the values of 'Made in Italy' worldwide.”

It won't be the first time Lamborghini has dabbled in the world of off-roaders with a monstrous Countach V12-powered LM002 launched in 1986, but with only 328 made, the company will be planning to make more of an impression with its second attempt.

Lamborghini is yet to specify exact countries in which the SUV will be sold but with the Asia Pacific region included, SUV-hungry Australia is likely to be in on the action.

The current range extends to just two models with an 'entry-level' $428,000, before on-road costs Huracan mid-engined coupe, and its larger $761,000 Aventador sibling, or $795,000 for the topless version.

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