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Lamborghini confirms all-new twin-turbo V8 for Urus SUV
Italian Bentayga rival is due in 2017, and it will use Lambo's first ever turbo
Lamborghini’s Urus SUV will almost certainly debut at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show, ahead of full production at a newly expanded facility in Sant’Agata.
That gives diehard Lambo fans around 18 months to get used to the big news: the Urus will use a twin-turbocharged V8, the company’s first blown engine.
According to Lamborghini R&D boss Maurizio Reggiani, the decision is dictated by the unique requirements of an off-road vehicle.
“We have to go to forced induction in order to deliver the necessary torque levels,” he tells Topgear.com. “The engine must be as light as possible, and of course extremely powerful because this is a Lamborghini.
“But what we really need is a lot of torque, especially at the bottom end to give the car the sort of flexibility you need in difficult conditions. The Urus must be as effective in sand dunes as it is on the road.”
Reggiani admits that dealing with a vehicle whose centre of gravity is around five times the level Lamborghini’s engineers are used to is a challenge.
But he insists that, as well as having substantial off-road capability, the Urus will also be the most accomplished SUV both on the road and the track.
“Drivetrain, performance and design: these are the critical factors in differentiating a Lamborghini SUV from other vehicles.”
CEO Stephan Winkelmann says that prototype testing is well under way, and that he and his team have done extensive benchmarking with the Urus’s likely rivals.
He also confirms that the car’s design has evolved considerably from the concept shown at the Beijing show in 2012, and features a distinctive front and rear treatment to maximise the departure angles. It’s the work of departing design boss Filippo Perini, who has left the company to join Italdesign.
Winkelmann acknowledges that a certain quarter of the marque’s client base – “and bloggers!” – will have an issue with the arrival of turbocharging, but insists that the new car will generate the same emotion as normally aspirated Lamborghinis. “But it also needs to be useable as an everyday car,” he adds.
Although the Urus uses the same group platform as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, 500 new jobs are going to be created at the company’s Sant’Agata plant to build the car.
Construction will begin imminently on a new facility which will effectively double the current factory footprint to around 150,000sq m.
Lamborghini is also on course to sell more than 3000 cars in 2015, the first time in its history it has broken that threshold. Such expansion at Sant’Agata is good news as the company prepares to celebrate the centenary of founder Feruccio Lamborghini’s birth.