A prototype for Lamborghini’s upcoming Urus SUV has been spotted carving up the Nürburgring.
The sighting comes just weeks after Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali confirmed some of the SUV’s details.
The prototype reveals for the first time the shape of the Urus in production trim, and as was expected the vehicle is a bit bulkier than the rakish Urus concept unveiled at the 2012 Beijing auto show. The production model also appears to have lost the concept’s pumped fenders, although at least the Countach-style wheel arches remain.
Lamborghini has done a good job of hiding its prototypes for the Urus. Development is almost complete as the first pre-production examples are already rolling off the line at Lamborghini’s plant in northern Italy. Sales aren’t expected to start until the third quarter of 2018, meaning we’ll likely see it arrive as a 2019 model.
The Urus is based on the SUV-spec MLB platform found in fellow Volkswagen Group SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. However, to extract the performance one would expect of a Lamborghini, engineers are thought to have used lighter carbon fiber in place of some of the steel and aluminum sections.
Under the hood will be the VW Group’s familiar 4.0-liiter twin-turbocharged V-8 which in the Urus will be tuned to deliver 650 horsepower. About a year after launch, the Urus will receive a plug-in hybrid option pairing the twin-turbo V-8 with an electric motor. A similar setup features in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, where it delivers 680 hp.
Lamborghini Urus concept, 2012 Beijing auto show
And though the focus of the Urus will be on-road performance, Lamborghini has confirmed there will be modes to handle off-road conditions such as sand, snow, gravel, etc. The automaker has also hinted that there will be a personalized mode similar to the Ego mode introduced on the Aventador S.
Pricing for the Urus is expected to start below $200,000, and the vehicle is expected to be Lamborghini’s most popular model. Lamborghini is predicting sales of around 3,500 units annually, which is roughly equal to the total number of supercars the marque sold in 2016.
And in case you were wondering, Urus is taken from a form of the name for the aurochs, the ancient wild ancestor of modern cattle.