If anyone ever asks you how to say “world’s fastest SUV” in Italian, the only thing you need to know is “Lamborghini Urus.” That’s right, Lamborghini Automobili, the company famous for exotic sports cars such as the Miura and the Countach, is jumping into the SUV market with an all-wheel drive SUV featuring astounding performance, seating for four in luxurious comfort, and serious off-road capabilities. Lamborghini calls its latest tour de force “the first Super SUV” and, while it’s not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, the Urus can take you anywhere you want to go at whatever speed you wish to travel.
The Urus – Lamborghini’s Super SUV
Super SUV is the only way to describe the 2019 Lamborghini Urus – what else would you call an all-wheel drive vehicle weighing almost 5,000 pounds that has a top speed of 190 miles per hour? Not only is the Urus fast, it can accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in 3.6 seconds, which is quicker than either the Miura or the Countach. The price of the Urus, recently unveiled at Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese headquarters, will start in the neighborhood of $200K, which if you’re selling something is a pretty nice neighborhood, and Lamborghini expects to sell around 3,500 of them per year.
The heart of all this performance is Lamborghini’s first V8 in almost thirty years and their first turbocharged engine ever. The Urus’ four liter, twin-turbo V8 engine produces 650 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 627 lb-ft of torque, and is coupled to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with a torque converter, also a first for Lamborghini. Although the V8 is the only engine currently available, there’s a plug-in hybrid option coming in 2019. The V8 was chosen because its low-end torque increases the Uris’ off-roading capabilities. Thanks to clever design work, both of the turbos are located between the banks of the V, making the entire engine package more compact.
All-wheel drive chassis keeps power focused
The Urus’ chassis is based on the MLB evo architecture used in the Audi Q7, the Bentley Bentayga and, with a shortened wheelbase, the Porsche Cayenne. All of the Urus’ power is kept under control by the largest carbon ceramic brakes in the industry – 17.3 inch carbon ceramic rotors with ten-piston calipers at the front and 14.6 inch discs with four-piston calipers at the rear. Twenty-one inch wheels are standard, with 22- or 23-inch alloys and Pirelli Corsa tires optional. The driver, with the flip of a switch, can select one of six different driving modes depending on the driving conditions: Strada for regular street driving; Sport for more aggressive street driving; Corsa for the race track; Sabbia for sand; Terra for dirt; and Neve for snow.
The all-wheel drive system gives the driver a helping hand to keep such a powerful beast under control and headed in the desired direction, with rear-wheel steering and torque-vectoring provided by center- and rear-differentials in which the outside rear wheel is accelerated through turns to help eliminate understeer. Also, in normal driving, front-to-rear torque split is 40/60, but up to 70% can be sent to the front and 87% can go to the rear in certain scenarios. A 48-volt active anti-roll system is used in concert with adaptive air suspension and rear-axle steering to make the SUV feel lighter than its 4,850 pound weight. The Urus also features stop-n-go autonomous cruise control.
Questions in the ultra-luxury SUV market
Lamborghini is part of the Volkswagen Group, which also includes VW, Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, SEAT, and Skoda, meaning that the Urus will step on the family toes of the Bentley Bentayga, which has had the ultra-luxury SUV market all to itself since 2016. The Urus may be the first competition for the Bentayga, but it won’t be the last, as other ultra-luxe manufacturers are rumored to be ready to join in the fun, such as Aston Martin with the DBX, Rolls Royce with the Cullinan, and Maybach with its GLS.
The question in the back of everyone’s mind is: Is there enough room in the ultra-luxury market segment for everyone to be successful? The global ultra-luxury car market grew by more than 15% in 2016, fueled mainly by the Chinese market. The importance of the Chinese market was recognized by Lamborghini in the early design stages of the Urus and accounts for the selection of a four liter engine, which will allow buyers to avoid the Chinese tax based on large displacement engines. The sales of the Bentayga showed signs of weakness in 2017, with ten months of sales in 2017 not matching the number of vehicles sold in five months of 2016. Despite the introduction of the Bentayga in 2016, overall Bentley sales fell in 2016, indicating that some Bentayga sales may be coming at the expense of other Bentley models.
What the heck is a “Urus”?
Ferruccio Lamborghini selected the raging bull logo for his new car company, Lamborghini Automobili after visiting the ranch of friend Don Eduardo Miura and becoming fascinated by the ranch’s Spanish fighting bulls. Said Signore Lamborghini, “I visited Eduardo Miura’s ranch in Seville where he raised bulls for bullfighting, and I was so impressed that by the time I got home I had already selected my future emblem.” Not only does the Lamborghini logo feature a raging bull, but most of Lamborghini’s cars, such as the Miura, Jalpa, and Gallardo, were named after breeds of fighting bulls. The Lamborghini Diablo was named after a particularly vicious fighting bull.
Lamborghini’s Urus follows the company’s chosen naming scheme. Urus is another name for the aurochs, an extinct species of long-horned wild ox that once roamed throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa and is considered one of the ancestors of domestic cattle. Aurochs bulls from Denmark and Germany had an average height at the shoulders of 61 to 71 inches – between five and six feet – and their horns could reach 31 inches in length. Should you enjoy strolling through the countryside carrying a red cape, there’s no danger of encountering any stray aurochs – the last recorded aurochs died in Poland in 1627. But, be sure to look both ways before crossing any streets, as you never know when you may encounter a Urus or two.
With prices of $200K or more, ultra-luxury SUVs such as the Urus, the Bentayga, and all the potential newcomers will be dividing up what seems to some to be a limited market into smaller and smaller pieces, unless the world economy keeps expanding. Only time will tell if there is a viable long-term market for ultra-luxury SUVs. And that’s no bull.
All photos credited to Lamborghini
Lamborghini – http://media.lamborghini.com/english/models/urus
Entrepreneurs Way – https://medium.com/…/23-amazing-quotes-by-ferruccio-lamborghini-1f75d33fff9c
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurochs