Lamborghini and Bentley may hold off on SUVs so VW can conserve cash
After surveying the European economic scene, Volkswagen may have decided now is not the time to launch utility vehicles with Bentley and Lamborghini badges. Bentley officials say they will continue to push for support for the EXP 9 F and Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelman has said planning for the Urus will continue until VW tells it to stop.
That decision could come on November 23, when VW's board will vote on the company's budget for equipment, factories and vehicles. With VW's sales slowing and the Euro economy slumping further, some industry watchers say the company is more likely to build its cash reserves than to introduce super-expensive luxury SUVs or crossovers.
"Such vehicles are anything but obligatory during a crisis," says Frankfurt-based Equinet AG analyst Tim Schuldt in a new Automotive News Europe story. "Delaying their launch would be no drama but help save costs."
Lamborghini reportedly confirms Urus for production in 2017
Lamborghini reportedly confirms Urus for production in 2017
The editorial director of EVO, Harry Metcalfe, was at the Lamborghini anniversary gala that saw the launch of the Egoista concept car, and tweeted this bit of news on the Urus: "Lamborghini confirms Urus SUV for 2017 production at tonight's #Lambo50 gala dinner." The Urus, you'll remember, was the concept SUV revealed at the Beijing Motor Show last year and branded "the first Lamborghini for everyday use" by company CEO Stephan Winkelmann. But that would only be if it were produced, and as of December last year it still hadn't been given the green light – even though development had continued.
This year, though, a couple of things have happened to convince some that it's probably on its way. There were patents filed in China in February, and in March Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told Autocar "Lamborghini has to do it. Because of the need to dovetail into production cycles, we should see the Urus in 2017." And since Audi is the official owner of Lamborghini, one would think the CEO knows what he's talking about when he says Lamborghini "has" to do something.
It's predicted that the showroom version will appear in 2016 as a 2017 model, accounting for the time it will take to develop and Stadler's 'production cycle' comment, referring to a slot in the refresh timetable for the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg with which the Urus will share its MQB platform. A report in Car and Driver says the Sant' Agata company will also be looking for the Urus to bolster its sales in China and its coffers in Italy, and cost between $150,000 and $200,000.
It's only a matter of time before Lamborghini is cleared to start producing the Urus sport utility vehicle, and, according to CEO Stephan Winkelmann, that time is expected to be soon, The Detroit News reports.
"We're going low profile now," Winkelmann says. "I can't tell you much on details now, but when we get close to the launch, we will have more." The CEO reportedly said earlier this year that the Urus would start production in 2017, which was backed up by earlier statements made by parent company Audi's CEO, Rupert Stadler, who told Autocar, "Lamborghini has to do it. Because of the need to dovetail into production cycles, we should see the Urus in 2017."
Lamborghini delayed production of the Urus a year ago due to Europe's economic climate while continuing to develop the SUV. But since then China, one of Lamborghini's largest emerging markets, has exhibited a slowdown of high-end luxury item purchases. Winkelmann now reportedly says the biggest opportunities are in "Japan, the Middle East and especially the US."
I'm ready for a Lamborghini Urus SUV. Up until now, X5 M, Cayenne Turbo S, ML63 AMG, JGC SRT8, and Range Rover Sport SC have been arguably the best SUVs in regards to performance. This should change that
Audi boss says Lamborghini Urus will be out in 2018
Will stay true to the concept's styling
Audi chief Rupert Stadler told Autocar the Lamborghini Urus production version is on track for a 2018 market launch.
Lamborghini is sure taking its sweet time coming out with the Urus as initially the model was supposed to be introduced towards the end of 2016. Then it was pushed back until 2017 and now we hear from Audi's boss Rupert Stadler the SUV is slated to come out in 2018. It will stay true to the design of the 2012 concept and "won't be a softie."
The Audi-developed Urus will ride on the same platform as the next-generation Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Bentley's first ever SUV. The spiritual successor of the LM002 will reportedly be offered as a hybrid with a V8 engine working together with an electric motor to churn a combined output of 680 PS (500 kW).
In related news, Stadler admitted Audi could be cooking up a new more luxurious SUV to slot above the Q7. It could possibly receive the Q8 moniker and would not collide with the aforementioned Bentley SUV since "Bentley can't fill the gap." A timetable as to when the Q8 could come out has not been provided but most likely in the second half of the decade.
Lamborghini Urus could get a turbocharged engine - report
Could use an Audi-sourced twin-turbo V8
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann has revealed the company's upcoming crossover could be powered by a turbocharged engine.
Speaking to Auto Express, Winkelmann said the production version of the Urus concept could become the company's first turbocharged model. He declined to go into specifics but the crossover is could use a high-performance version of Audi's twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8.
While the model isn't slated to go into production until 2017, Lamborghini Head of Design Filippo Perini confirmed his team is already working on the crossover. However, he said the design "is changing all the time" but right now it looks "very close" to the concept.
There are still a lot of fans who would have preferred that the Estoque concept was green-lighted instead of the Urus but Winkelmann told the magazine “We showed the Estoque just before the financial crisis, and when we came back to the idea of a third model saloon sales were dying while the SUV market is now hundreds of thousands." He added "My father would buy a saloon, but I would buy an SUV.”