Immacu-what Conception – running with the Lamborghini Urus Concept in Beijing
The latest bull out of the Lamborghini barn is the aptly-named Urus (pronounced OO-roos, not YER-uhs). The name comes from a now extinct type of cattle that possibly was an ancestor to the modern fighting bull. Now extinct cattle live on in the form of Italian super exotics!
As Lamborghini Prez and CEO Stephan Winkelmann introduced the Urus concept to an eager audience at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, he hinted at the seriousness that Lamborghini has taken in developing this SUV concept. “Uncompromising, extreme and Italian” is how Mr. Winkelmann described the monster SUV that looks like a Gallardo and a Porsche Cayenne got together in some sort of unholy tryst. This concept is the distant successor to the monsterous Lamborghini LM 002, and it’s obviously backed by the Volkswagen Group’s plans on global SUV dominance.
Sporting 600 horsepower and somehow the segment’s lowest CO2 emissions (go figure), the Urus is adrift in contradictions and divergent polarity. It looks mean and low as it rides on its 24-inch rims that feature carbon fiber vents to assist in brake cooling. Lightweight design, active aerodynamics and largely variable ride height all help the Urus remain fast and agile on the freeways, but capable of crossing a river or, more likely, a mall speed bump.
While the design is very distinctly Lamborghini, borrowing the angular cues of the corporate design language, it somehow seems a bit understated for such an extreme vehicle. LED headlights and side rearview cameras, instead of outside mirrors, keep the lines sleek, and the low profile tires ensure that off-road capabilities are more of a style exercise than a utilitarian claim.
Inside you’ll find, bucket seats for four adults crafted out of carbon-fiber-tech Forged Composite® that match the angular exterior design. Instruments and gauges are rendered on a customizable TFT display behind the multi-function steering wheel, that controls vehicle systems along with the center-console-mounted touchscreen. Rear seat passengers can enjoy their own touchscreen for entertainment, mounted low to help encourage them to lean under the inevitable limited rear headroom. Hey, you’re riding in the back of a Lamborghini, what more do you want!
Supposedly, this could be an “everyday driver” vehicle for current Lamborghini owners who maybe need to stick a couple of car seats in the rear and a stroller and grocery bags in the cargo hatch. Somehow, I think the keys to the predicted 3,000 units will end up in the hands of Persian shahs and Russian moguls, rather than some Orange County trophy wife.
Personally, I am slightly disappointed at any effort Lamborghini makes to embrace practicality or sensibility. Call me later when someone has created the first Urus-based monster or trophy truck. I’ll be waiting.