Despite spending the better part of its history hawking just two different model lines, Lamborghini under Volkswagen Group’s care is looking to grow – and big time. Not only will the storied brand add a third, SUV range, but possibly with a flock of new sports cars that draw on the company’s heritage.
Thankfully, the long-rumored Lamborghini crossover to be unveiled at the Beijing show in a few weeks is much prettier and more credible than Bentley’s gaudy EXP 9 F. When the crossover hits the streets in 2016, Lamborghini will firmly establish the much ballyhooed third model range. Lamborghini has figured out that most of their buyers also own a SUV on top of their supercar, so why not give them a Lamborghini SUV to drive every day?
The powerplant for the 21st-century Rambo Lambo has long been rumored to be 550-580 hp 5.2-liter V-10, but more recent reports are pointing toward a high-power quad-turbocharged V-8, unlike its big brother from England with its thirsty 12-cylinder. No matter the engine, the Italian SUV will share its platform with the Bentley crossover, as well as the next-generation Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and Volkswagen Touareg.
Does the SUV deliver the kiss of death to the gorgeous Estoque sedan concept from the 2008 Paris Motor Show? Yes and no. Yes, because Lamborghini cannot simultaneously fund two all-new projects. No, because many design cues of the Estoque have been transferred to all-terrain model. So far, the SUV lacks a proper name, but in the past, MLC, Urus, and Deimos have all popped up as potential monikers for the four-wheel-drive Lambo.
At the Paris show this October, Lamobrghini will take unwrap the facelifted Gallardo, marking something close to the fifth or sixth update of the gracefully ageing sports car. A new model is to arrive in late 2013 or early 2014, assuming it gets board approval – a second-generation Gallardo and Audi R8 have yet to be confirmed by VW Group top brass. Like past Lamborghinis, the new Gallardo will eventually be offered as a coupe and spyder, and in at least one high-performance edition name Performante and Super Veloce, respectively. While the Aventador remains loyal to the V-12, its smaller stablemate will again boast a V-10.
Speaking of big, bad, butch bulls, the crazy Aventador J Concept from this year’s Geneva show is only a one-off, and the carbon-fiber intensive Sesto Elemento due next year is limited to just 20 units. Still a possibility, but far from being a live project, is a front-engined two-door sports car that would be a modern-age Espada, Jarama, or 400 GT.
Mid-term, Lamborghini – which is effectively an Audi subsidiary – will conceive all its sports cars in close cooperation with Porsche, employing VW Group’s new MSB-M architecture that is being developed by the boys from Stuttgart. The only remaining product-related link to Ingolstadt will likely be the SUV.