Lamborghini Urus facelift hints at PHEV variant

Visual tweaks expected to coincide with the introduction of V8 hybrid variant

By Sam Sheehan / Tuesday, February 2, 2021 / Loading comments

It’s fair to say that three years on from launch, the Urus still hasn’t managed to win over everybody – for obvious reasons. But when the SUV accounts for over 50 per cent of Lamborghini’s total sales, having more than doubled the marque’s output from 2018, it’s hard to argue with the business case. It’s been a roaring success. And more Urus sales means more money to produce fantastic supercars like the Huracan Evo RWD. Which brings us onto the case of the Urus facelift, and the expected launch of the long-awaited hybrid variant.

Lamborghini confirmed that it was planning to introduce a plug-in version of the Urus when the car was launched three years ago, but it’s since refrained from giving any steer as to precisely when. With this sighting of a Lamborghini Urus on a well trodden winter test route, it seems engineers are once again back on the case. It would make sense for facelift development to coincide with the integration of a hybrid V8 powerplant for the second Urus model; not least because a mid-life update is due next year.

The recipe will be familiar because Lamborghini is essentially reusing hardware already used to great effect by the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. That car uses its 4.0-litre V8 and electric powertrain to produce 680hp, for a 3.8-second 0-62mph time, or 19 miles of pure EV running. It's likely that Lamborghini will get the green light to extract more performance; something nudging 700hp seems feasible, to place the Sant'Agata Bolognese firm atop of the super-SUV pile once again. But the basic principle is likely to be the same: huge output, low CO2 emissions.

Whatever your thoughts on that (or its real world CO2 output), the demand is real enough. Only yesterday we reported of how AMG will introduce a GT 4-Door 73 with a mix V8 and electric power to take on Porsche’s hot-selling Panamera hybrid. The economic argument is strong, but it's hardly a departure for Lamborghini either, given the introduction of several hybrid specials in recent months. The firm has been open about employing hybridisation to ensure the survival of its V10 and V12 engines.

If all goes as predicted, the biggest challenge for Lamborghini might actually come in keeping up with demand. The marque was running pretty close to capacity last year, with its slight drop in overall output attributed to lockdown closures (the Sant'Agata Bolognese factory shut for 70 days in 2020), rather than any dip customer interest. Still, that's the kind of problem most manufacturers dream of.

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