Lamborghini Urus facelift to bring PHEV variant
Visual tweaks are expected to coincide with introduction of V8 hybrid variant
By Sam Sheehan / Tuesday, February 2, 2021 / Loading comments
It’s fair to say that three years on from its launch, the Urus still hasn’t managed to win over everybody, for reasons we need not explain. 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. There’s arguably benefit for us all in that, because more Urus sales means more money to produce fantastic supercars like the Huracan Evo RWD. Which conveniently brings us onto the case of the Urus facelift, and the expected accompanying 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 when. But now, with this sighting of a Lamborghini Urus on a well trodden winter test route, it seems engineers are once again returning their focus to the SUV. It would make sense for their work on the facelift to coincide with the integration of a hybrid V8 powerplant for the second Urus model. Not least because the PHEV is anticipated to arrive alongside the mid-life update, likely sometime early next year.
The recipe will be familiar because Lamborghini will essentially be retuning 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 probable that Lamborghini will get the green light to extract more performance; something nudging 700hp seems likely, to place the Sant'Agata Bolognese firm atop of the super-SUV pile once again. But the basic principles are likely to be the same, so as to appease buyers wanting something ludicrously fast with a miniscule CO2 output on the spec sheet.
Whatever your thoughts of this high-performance powertrain solution (or its real world CO2 output), there’s clearly demand out there. 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 also arguably makes sense from a brand image point of view, what with Lamborghini having produced several hybrid specials in recent months, and been open about its interests in employing hybridisation to ensure survival of its V10 and V12 engines. Still, we suspect there’ll be plenty to label a hybrid Lambo SUV as the devil’s work…
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 in demand. So you have to wonder where the brand will find room to absorb a hybrid Urus, which you might assume would do very well in a significant market like China – a country Lamborghini is just starting to make a mark in thanks largely to its SUV. Either way, it’s a nice challenge to be faced with.
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