Lamborghini SUV project still on ice
A potential future Lamborghini SUV model has still not been given the green light, according to the company's Asia Pacific general manager, Andrea Baldi. Baldi spoke exclusively with CarAdvice at the Australian dynamic launch of the Lamborghini Huracan at Sydney Motorsport Park this week, where he explained that while SUVs are a top trend right now, timing for a tick of approval for a production version of the Urus still remains unclear as it hasn't yet been approved by the Italian brand's parent company Volkswagen Group. "For us, the matter of convincing the VW Group is a different challenge," Baldi said of the Lamborghini SUV project, which is one of many high-end SUVs currently in the works. "There are a lot of brands – everybody is going in to SUV, except Ferrari maybe – Rolls-Royce, Bentley also, everybody’s announcing SUVs," Baldi said. "But I think nobody is really still expressing what, in 2012, the Urus presented: this kind of sportiveness, this kind of powerful brand, already so sporty, associated with an SUV," he said. When asked if the production version may sway more towards a high-riding coupe in a similar vein to the recently uncovered Aston Martin DBX or the previous Audi Nanuk, Baldi was dismissive of the notion. "Aston Martin, I think, has bigger problems," he suggested, cheekily. "But if we do the SUV, I think we will be by far more successful than Aston Martin, and we will be, in any case, positioning ourselves in a niche that doesn’t exist. This is my impression. "Maybe Rolls-Royce and Bentley will be more in the same area, more expensive than a Range Rover or a BMW X6, but still in the same, let’s say, guidelines. Big luxury and design, but not that nice and sporty and light, embodying all the things that are Lamborghini-typical. "We come from different backgrounds, it’s clearly going to be a different output," he said of the Lamborghini high-riding model. "If you ask me, I would really love to see the car on the market," he said, and he would, being the man in charge of the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, where two countries in particular would suit the new SUV to a tee. "There are countries such as India or even China where the ground clearance will be a plus," he said. "But also, let’s say the space inside the car. Because as far as they like the Lamborghini brand [in China] the super sports car culture is not as developed as mature markets such as Australia or the US. "The scale of the super sports car market – Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini – is only one-tenth in China of what it is in the US. And it’s dropping – it’s going down because of the lifestyle and the culture there is totally inconsistent with super sports cars. But also the roads, the traffic, the number of race tracks available and the kind of education you get," he said. "An SUV is much more likely going to be immediately accepted by the emerging markets than a standard super sports car. So the potential is very good," Baldi commented. In terms of the potential for building such a car closer to the markets that are clearly crying out for it, Baldi all-but ruled out such a plan. "Frankly speaking, while we are still at this stage of whether to approve the project or not, I think it’s a bit early to think about where to produce it. But if you ask me, it should be produced in Sant’agata Bolognese," he said, referring to the current location where all Lamborghini models have been built since the birth of the car brand.