The Italians seem to have it out for Porsche when it comes to Nurburgring lap records. Not only did the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio recently claim victory over the Porsche Panamera as the fastest four-door around The Ring, but the Lamborghini Huracan Performante angrily bit the smugness off of the much more expensive 918 Spyder and became the fastest production car around famed race track. But what about some Italian on Italian action? Alfa Romeo claims the Stelvio QV will soon be the fastest SUV around the Nurburgring.
That will only be true once it beats the Land Rover Range Rover SVR’s record, but the utility vehicle we’re all training our eyes and ears for is the Lamborghini Urus, set to go on sale a year from now. Speaking with Motoring, Lamborghini Asia Pacific boss Andrea Baldi mentioned that the Urus will attempt no such Nurburgring record lap. The reason, says Baldi, is that the Urus is being built to take on a completely different set of challenges than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, namely those that require no pavement. “The Urus will have a target that will also be contemplating some off-road [strengths],” he mentioned. “If you go to the Nurburgring, you go to be the fastest. The Urus is a different concept so it’s not really going to be the place to set a record.”
The Urus’ lack of race car prestige is a bit odd of a proposition given that the Lamborghini name stands for all things adrenaline, octane, and now, world-beating high performance engineering that can be proven on the race track. However, this would place the Urus closer (in capability, not design) to the original Lamborghini SUV, the LM002, aka the “Rambo-Lambo.” Baldi even likens the Urus to a luxury vehicle with a powerful engine and striking design rather than a track day special, much like the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne, and upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan. And once again we heard about the likelihood that the Urus would come in two flavors, hybrid and turbocharged V8.
Baldi said, “We are considering hybridization. There is a general discussion about that.” The main reason for the decision to go hybrid, surprisingly, isn’t emissions standards. It’s Chinese tax laws, which go up by a substantial bit based on engine displacement. “If you go to one of the most important markets in the future for us given we’re producing an SUV, China, every time you increase the engine capacity by one liter, you pay many more taxes,” said Baldi. “So the difference between a three liter and four liter is huge, between a four liter and the six liter of the Aventador is about 50 per cent.” We should learn more about how the decision making process works out for the Urus as news leaks out prior to the SUV’s official reveal this December.