A senior source at Lamborghini's parent company, Audi, has confirmed reports that the Italian supercar maker is close to revealing a dramatically styled and luxuriously equipped SUV/crossover concept.
"I can't comment in detail but the speculation in the press is largely correct," an Audi manager said when questioned about reports outlining plans by Lamborghini to gauge public response to a successor to the famed LM002 with a new SUV concept.
Set to get its first public airing at the Beijing motor show in late April, the new SUV/crossover will extend the current Lamborghini lineup, joining the successor to today's Gallardo and the recently introduced Aventador in what will at least be a three model lineup beginning in 2016. Lamborghini has not confirmed the reports.
An unprecedented fourth model-- a low-slung four-door sedan previewed by the well-received Estoque concept first wheeled out at the 2008 Paris motor show -- is also under consideration.
Conceived as an upmarket rival for the likes of the Maserati Kubang, the BMW X6 and a similar four-door coupelike off-roader confirmed by Mercedes-Benz, the new Lamborghini SUV was conceived to sell in numbers of less than 1,500 annually.
Key markets for the new performance-orientated, four-wheel drive model are expected to be the United States and China.
The expectation is that a 197-inch-long four-seater will go on sale with a detuned version of the Gallardo's 5.2-liter V-10, developing about 580 hp. Also envisaged is a hybrid version with four-wheel drive. It is said to combine the standard V-10 with a 107-hp (80-kilowatt) electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, providing a system combined output of somewhere near 660 hp.
The new Lamborghini SUV/crossover is expected to share its underpinnings with the next-generation Audi Q7, which is also set to provide the platform for a new Bentley off-roader. The so-called MLB architecture will, in short-wheelbase form, also sit beneath successors to today's Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.
The future MLB structure is planned to undergo a dramatic weight-reduction program, with Ingolstadt officials suggesting savings of up to 880 pounds for the Q7 through the use of added aluminum and carbon fiber. The high-tech construction will be picked up by Lamborghini to ensure that its new SUV/crossover comes in at less than 4,400 pounds.
As with the current Q7, Cayenne and Touareg, the Lamborghini SUV is expected to be partly produced at the Volkswagen Group's factory in Bratislava, Slovakia, with final assembly taking place at Lamborghini's Sant'Agata