Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali hit the road this week, addressing an audience of industry experts and students at Stanford University and talking to the automotive press about the company’s future.
And during his travels, he finally revealed the magic number — 650hp. That is the official output of the twin-turbocharged V8 that will be powering the Urus — the company’s long-gestating SUV — when it goes on sale in Europe early in 2018.
That headline figure will make the car the most powerful production SUV on sale, anywhere, and, considering it’s being built from ultra-lightweight materials by a company that can create cars that can lap the Nürburgring in under seven minutes, it’s also safe to say that the Urus will be the fastest SUV money can buy.
There is a huge amount riding on the Urus’s success. It is going to be the vehicle that secures Lamborghini’s future and allows the marque to expand sales drastically, but without diluting exclusivity. But only if it can really blow the public’s minds in the same way its V10 and V12 supercars do.
The car has been spotted this week, highly camouflaged, flying around the Nürburgring in its final stages of development. And this is because as well as confirming the headline horsepower figure, while taking with Automotive News Europe, Domenicali confirmed that the production car will be revealed before the end of 2017.
The Urus is expected to reach North American shores before the end of 2018 and will be followed in 2019 with a plug-in hybrid version, another first for the Italian marque that until now has shunned engines with fewer than 10 cylinders, forced induction and battery assistance.
But as Domenicali told the audience at Stanford‘s Center for Automotive Research on Wednesday “Lamborghini embraces innovative thinking and seeks collaboration with institutions who are the collectors of great ideas. Lamborghini’s drive is to improve and continuously pave a pioneering road ahead.”