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Lamborghini joins uber SUV set with Urus

Share and share alike: The Urus shares mechanicals with Porsche, Bentley and Audi, but Lamborghini says it has its own character.

Twin-turbo V8 Urus SUV hits Australia but buyers face year-long wait


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13 Mar 2018

LAMBORGHINI has launched its first SUV, the Urus, in Australia, but a global waiting list and limited production capacity at its new facility in Italy means that buyers here can expect to wait about a year before hitting the road.

Priced from $390,000 plus on-road costs, the V8-powered Urus is claimed to have the same level of all-round performance as its top-class stablemates, the V10 Huracan and V12 Aventador, despite the SUV’s smaller engine size and its classification as high-riding family transport.

Speaking with GoAuto at the Australian media launch of the Urus in Sydney this week, Lamborghini Oceania area manager Andrea Ruggiero said the “super-sport utility vehicle” – which also stands as the Italian supercar marque’s first model with a turbocharged engine – would mark a huge shift for the House of the Raging Bull.

“This car will change the product coming out of Lamborghini,” he said. “It’s a game-changer, and this is going to change the history of Lamborghini.”

With claimed 0-100km/h acceleration of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 305km/h, the 2197kg all-wheel-drive Urus is considered a match for the Aventador and Huracan supercars in the same stable, according to Automobili Lamborghini head of technical project leaders Riccardo Bettini.

“It was a challenge to match the behaviour and the performance values of the brand Lamborghini,” Mr Bettini told Australian journalists.

“Honestly speaking, I drove it at the Nardo track, and to me it seemed like a super-sports (car). It’s something unbelievable.

“Until you drive it, it’s really difficult to understand exactly what we mean, because it has absolutely the performance, acceleration, braking and stability level of the Aventador and Huracan.”

However, Lamborghini’s head of Asia-Pacific Andrea Baldi warned prospective buyers that there would be a long wait for the Urus, with first deliveries kicking in late in quarter four.

“It won’t be just a wait for Australian customers, but worldwide,” he said. “We have two issues – one is the success of the order bank at the moment, and the other is the speed of our new factory.

“We are now a company that has to double our output, and that is a big change.

To reach a total of 7500 units a year we are talking about … it will take us a few months to get up to speed.

“Looking at the order bank, we can say that if you order the car today in Australia, it will take at least one year to get it.”

The five-door, five-seat Urus is available in a single mechanical specification, using a Porsche-sourced twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 478kW of power at 6000rpm and 850Nm of torque from 2250-4500rpm.

It is backed by a traditional eight-speed automatic transmission, which forms part of a multiple drive mode system that includes Strada, Sport and Corsa road settings as well as Terra (land), Neve (snow) and Sabbia (sand) programs that are unique to the Urus.

There is also an Ego mode that allows for a mix of personalised settings to be used.

Built atop the Volkswagen Group’s MLBevo platform – which underpins the Audi A4 and Q7, Bentley Bentayga and VW’s forthcoming third-generation Touareg – the Urus features components and technologies already seen in top-end SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentayga and Q7.

The company’s Sant’Agata factory has been expanded to double its size with a new assembly area and paint shop.

Lamborghini estimates that production of the Urus will reach 1000 units by December, with 3500 planned for 2019. Twenty cars are expected to be built per day.

Carbon-ceramic brake rotors are standard, and measure 440mm in diameter up front. Ten-piston callipers clamp the front rotors, while 370mm carbon rotors in the rear are slowed by six-piston callipers.

The Urus’ three-stage adaptive air spring system is similar in operation to that in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, while the active anti-roll bar is a first for the Italian supercar-maker. Ride height can be increased from 158mm to 248mm where required, and each corner is independently sprung.

Its Torsen centre differential sends 60 per cent of power to the rear wheels in standard mode, but can fire up to 70 per cent of available torque to the front axle or 87 per cent to the rear.

The rear end features both a torque-vectoring rear diff and a rear steering system, similar to that in the Aventador.

The exterior of the Urus has stayed reasonably true to the 2012 concept that made its debut at the Beijing motor show, albeit with lower, more aerodynamically adept bumpers.

The Urus can be specified with off-road-specific front and rear bumpers which improve the vehicle’s approach and departure angles, but the minimum 21-inch wheel size is dictated by the size of the large brake rotors. Rim size can be increased to 23 inches via the options list.

It comes comprehensively equipped out of the box, with 21-inch wheels as standard, leather interior trim, keyless entry/start, hands-free powered tailgate, 18-way adjustable ventilated front seats, dual touchscreen displays, satellite navigation, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, wireless phone charging, a 12.3-inch digital dash cluster, head-up display and a 21-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

The interior features several elements that are shared with Aventador and Huracan, including an aircraft-style cover for the stop/start button, while the drive modes are activated on a barrel equipped with flip levers – known as a ‘tamburo’ – in the centre console.

Measuring 5112mm long, 2016mm wide and 1638mm tall on a 3003mm wheelbase, the Urus has 616 litres of luggage space when the second row – which can be specified as a two- or three-seat layout – is upright, while the volume increases to 1596 litres when the seats are lowered.

Lamborghini has sold 23 cars locally to the end of February, five less than for the same period last year. Annual sales for 2017 totalled 122 units.

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