First Porsche, Now Lamborghini Adds a Luxury SUV in Its RangeBy
Adding Urus model set to double size of the VW group brand
Aston Martin, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce also working on SUV plans
Lamborghini is unveiling a high-performance crossover that could double the size of the brand as the Italian manufacturer enters an increasingly crowded segment that’s attracting Aston Martin, Ferrari and BMW AG’s Rolls-Royce.
Lamborghini’s Urus and other hulking sports utility vehicles from racing icons like Ferrari might send shivers down the spines of die-hard sportscar aficionados, but shareholders tend to benefit. Global demand for two-seater supercars is stalling, and even the top-end of the segment is succumbing to the broad customer shift toward more-rugged vehicles. The move is particularly pronounced in emerging markets vital for growth.
“Lamborghini is a hidden gem, and adding the Urus SUV will propel volume closer to Italian rival Ferrari,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Michael Dean said in a note on Friday. Assuming a 175,000-euro ($207,000) selling price, the model could lift the brand’s earnings by more than 50 percent in 2019, he said.
Seeing limited appeal for Lamborghini Huracans and Aventadors in markets like China and Russia, German parent Volkswagen AG pushed to expand the lineup with a model capable of taking on trickier road conditions. Lamborghini last year sold only 188 cars in the world’s largest auto market, China, compared with 303 in the U.K., a market that’s 90 percent smaller.
The Urus will be Lamborghini’s first SUV since production of the LM002 -- the so-called Rambo Lambo -- ended in 1993. It had unveiled a prototype five years ago. Lamborghini officials have said there’s potential to sell at least 4,000 performance crossovers a year, which would more than double sales. They also indicated a partly battery-powered hybrid variant of the vehicle could be offered.