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Auto Show:  2012 Beijing Auto Show

Lamborghini Urus Concept: Beijing Auto Show

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author photo by Nick Palermo April 2012
  • Lamborghini's sharp signature styling applied to four-seat, fastback SUV
  • Output expected to be around 600 horsepower
  • Light weight achieved with new carbon fiber material

Grazing the grasslands centuries ago, the urus was a particularly large type of wild bovine. It became extinct in the seventeenth century, but that didn't stop the folks at Lamborghini from reincarnating the beast. The company unveiled its wild new Urus SUV concept this week at the Beijing Auto Show. Lamborghini says the luxurious and high-performance four-seater will have a brawny 600-horsepower engine but be able to achieve low emissions, thanks in part to a lightweight design.

Exactly what engine will lurk under the Urus' hood is a mystery. But Lamborghini's output estimate suggests that its engine, coupled with all-wheel drive, will be more than capable of providing stellar performance, especially if Lamborghini's weight-saving measures are effective at keeping off the pounds. The curb weight of the Urus is unconfirmed, but extensive use of carbon fiber and other high-tech materials could result in an SUV that's lighter than competitors with similar proportions, like the BMW X6 M.

Much of the Urus' body and even its interior are built using strong, lightweight carbon fiber. The material reinforces polymer body panels and is a component in the new, patented Forged Composite material employed extensively inside the Urus. All four bucket seats and the central tunnel benefit from the weight-saving properties of the new material. Forged Composite and carbon fiber details inside and out remain unpainted to reveal their nature.

That includes aerodynamic elements like the adaptive front spoiler and the massive rear diffuser. Even the Urus' giant, 24-inch wheels have carbon fiber winglets to help the big SUV slip through the wind. Lamborghini says the combination of light weight and optimized aerodynamics will result in crisper performance and lower emissions than competitors.

Should the concept reach production, the Urus will surely be in a rare class of ultra-luxury SUVs. Still, the premium SUV segment is strong, and the Urus could be the first Lamborghini suitable for use as a family vehicle, albeit an expensive one. The company says they could produce 3,000 units annually; that's nearly twice the total number of new Lamborghinis sold globally last year. The company expects to find buyers for its SUV in the U.S. and U.K. as well as Germany, Russia, the Middle East and China.

What it means to you: Lamborghini revealed its first SUV, a hulking, Hummer-like machine with a wicked V12, back in 1986. Its second SUV, the Urus Concept, is even more powerful but also much lighter on its feet.

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