• Radical off-road concept showcases new brand direction
• 600bhp and claimed class leading CO2 figures
• Uses innovative Forged Composite materials

This is the Lamborghini Urus, a radical 4×4 concept that points the way to a new third model in the Italian manufacturer’s line-up.

Seeking to broaden the appeal of the Lamborghini brand to SUV loving Russian and Chinese markets, the Urus has just been unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show. It will be based on parent company Audi’s new Q7 platform, which will also underpin the forthcoming Bentley Falcon SUV and the similarly performance oriented Porsche Cayenne.

Lamborghini has targeted the BMW X6M and Range Rover Sport as rivals in the performance 4×4 sector, though it is likely that they will be significantly outgunned in the performance stakes.

It has yet to be confirmed exactly what engine a production version of the Urus will use. With a claimed power figure of 600bhp, however, we’d wager that it’s likely to be a development of the 5.2-litre V10 used in the Lamborghini Gallardo coupe.

Indeed, the performance potential is so great, the Urus could enjoy a unique positioning in the market. With traditional rival Ferrari having previously stated that they will not make a four-door car, the way is open for Lamborghini to define the extreme performance SUV segment.

Being a Lambo, handling and driving dynamics have been at the heart of the concept’s formation. Use of lightweight construction techniques, including a new Forged Composite in some interior elements, mean that despite the large body, the Urus will remain a lightweight amongst its 4×4 rivals.

Lamborghini is so confident in the benefits of the car’s lightweight construction, it claims the Urus will achieve class leading CO2 figures. Easy to say, but it will be a hard promise to fulfil when a production version finally emerges.

Off-road ability has also been focussed on. The Urus is endowed with a permanent four-wheel-drive system and a variable ride height to ensure it keeps going in the rough stuff.

It takes design elements from that other four-door Lamborghini concept car, the Estoque saloon. The deeply scalloped doors and angular front end design also echo the styling of Lamborghini’s current flagship Aventador supercar.

Inside, there is room for strictly four passengers, with Lamborghini likening the ambience to a finely tailored suit. Sharply sculpted seats combine with the minimalist dashboard to create the bold, cutting edge design expected of the firm’s supercars.

The interior is likely to be toned down in any production version, though the exterior is likely to remain largely unchanged, aside from the concept car’s oversized wheels.

This is not the first time that Lamborghini has merged supercar performance and off-road ability. The Urus is the spiritual successor to the 450bhp LM002 of the 1980’s. Though where that car was built in tiny numbers (300 in total), Lamborghini is hoping that with the Urus, they will sell ten times that amount annually.

“The Urus is a very concrete idea for the future of Lamborghini. SUVs make up one of the most successful market segments worldwide. The Urus is the most extreme interpretation of the SUV idea; it is the Lamborghini of SUVs,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Lamborghini.

The Lamborghini Urus is due to go into production in 2016. There is as yet no official word on pricing, but it is likely that it will cost over £150,000.

By Daljinder Nagra

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