Lamborghini’s long anticipated move into the premium passenger car market is set to become reality, with the company today confirming plans for a new SUV.
Talk of a return to the SUV market - which it last played in with the LM002 of the 80s and early 90s - has surrounded Lamborghini for years now, but it was the 2012 unveiling of the Urus concept that offered the first true hint of new plans.
Since then, reports of a production future for the Urus have been an on-again off-again affair, but no longer. Today, the carmaker has told press in Rome that its range will include an SUV from 2018.
“This is a proud moment for everybody in Lamborghini. The introduction of a third model line endorses the stable and sustainable growth of the company and signifies for us the beginning of a new era,” Lamborghini brand boss Stephan Winkelmann said at a special press conference.
He did not confirm whether the new model’s styling or mechanicals would be based on the now three year-old Urus concept, or whether that name would continue.
The company is known to have trademarked the name ‘Deimos’ in 2012, possibly hinting at a final production name for the new SUV - if not a forthcoming secret supercar or simply nothing at all.
"The new SUV will be made in Sant’Agata Bolognese, demonstrating our commitment to safeguarding the values of ‘Made in Italy’ worldwide,” Winkelmann said.
The ‘Made in Italy’ deal is understood to be thanks in part to a huge AU$142 million in tax breaks and other incentives from the Italian government, contributing to the creation of another 300 to 500 jobs.
Its Sant’Agata Bolognese will be doubled in size to accommodate the new model’s production, growing to around 150,000 square metres.
Lamborghini expects to sell 3000 of its new SUVs each year, which will comfortably double the company’s current sales figures.
“The extreme supersports segment was very sensitive to new product launches and economic downturns. It is very clear that Lamborghini needs a wider customer base to ensure long-term profitability,” Winkelmann told the UK’s Autocar in Rome today.
The company follows sporting stablemate Porsche into the premium passenger car market, where the German brand already offers the Cayenne, Macan and Panamera.
Fellow Volkswagen Group marque Bentley will add an SUV in the next year, sharing its platform with this new Lamborghini model.
The VW brands are not the only sports marques moving into premium SUVs, with Aston Martin confirming in recent weeks that it too will offer a high-riding passenger car in the near future.
Watch for news on the new Lambo, and spy photos, to surface in the months and years ahead.