Article and images by John Grafman
In some weird way, there might not be a better place in this city for Lamborghini Beverly Hills to unleash this new product on it’s preferred customer base than this low-key warehouse, known as Popsicle LA.
The name might not ring a bell, but the low-key Popsicle LA is the location used in the filming of the 2005 motion picture Batman Begins with Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman. In the movie, a coy Lucius Fox, played by Freeman, introduces the inquisitive Bruce Wayne to the go anywhere, river-jumping, military prototype vehicle, the Tumbler. This all takes place deep inside the Applied Sciences Division of Wayne Enterprises, otherwise known as Popsicle LA.
It is fitting that Lamborghini unwraps the bold, consumer Super Sport Utility Vehicle (SSUV) in this off-site building. Clearly, most of us don’t have access to the Tumbler, so this is perhaps the next best thing. And, from what we’ve seen in the Batman flicks, Bruce Wayne has a fondness for attractive ladies. However, it does get a bit tight with three people in a two-seater. This not only solves the issue of interior space, but also provides all the power and agility the supercar brand is known for. Plus, the Urus can go where the current line-up can’t – off-road!
Lamborghini’s efforts on the Urus also does what other OEMs don’t in terms of design. This does share the character of the stablemates from the Italian manufacturer, but it doesn’t look forced. The aggressive styling fits properly, and doesn’t have a cloned, Photoshop-feel about it. The Urus design stands on its own merits, while sharing the flavor and details from the brand’s other supercars.
AutoDesignO interviews COO of Automobili Lamborghini America, and we get his insight into the new SSUV. Take five with Alessandro Farmeschi!
Alessandro Farmeschi, COO: This evening we’re going to unveil the Urus. That is the first super sport utility today. It’s a super SUV as we used to say in Sant’Agata Bolognese in Italy, at our factory. And the Urus represents the third model for the company, and it’s a car that they combine together two different kinds of soul. One is the typical Lamborghini, one that is the super sport Lamborghini behavior. So, Urus is a car that performs at the highest level in terms of agility, in terms of driving motion, sound of the engine. It’s a car that has 650 horsepower with torque of 850 Newton-meters. That’s an incredible achievement.
And has all the technical features to perform on the racetrack, on the snow, on the gravel. It has additional features that you cannot have obviously with the current Huracan and Aventador. And it’s also a car that combines together the characteristics and features of an SUV. So, I mean versatility. I mean, roominess. I mean, the opportunity also to leave a Lamborghini with more people because it’s a car that can offer full five seats. And so you can enjoy it on a daily basis, commuting to work or you can have holidays with your family, with friends. And, offers something completely new to our company.
A car that has, as I said at the beginning, a lot of technology, and when I say technology I say (mean) active dampening system, air suspensions, four-wheel drive system, active torque vectoring so that you can turn the car faster when you turn into sharp curves, so you have a higher speed in the cornering. But, it’s also a car that has an active anti-roll bar system that helps the car to be stabilized and pretty flat when you are on the racetrack, but at the same time the coupling the left and the right side of the bar gives the car the highest comfort when you are on the gravel on uneven surfaces. And, this is the beauty of this car that has different kinds of behaviors.
And, by the way, this is also the car, being an SUV that must be stopped and before we apply the biggest carbon ceramic brake system that is currently available in the market.
AutoDesignO: How many more sales do you anticipate by jumping into this market, just like Porsche did years ago with its SUV?
AF: For us, Urus represents a game changer. Meaning that it’s a car that is a challenge for the company because we had to double the size of the company, and hire new people. So, it was from an organization point of view and the technological point of view very, very important for us. But at the same time, this is a car that we believe is going to double the volume sales of our company, because we believe this is a car that is going to add a new clientele. So far, with the current offer of two cars, two seats very close to the ground, we hadn’t real access to families or to all those who want to enjoy the car on a daily basis and so to have fun driving the car normally. Not necessarily going to a racetrack.
And so for us the goal is exactly that.
ADO: It’s a very strong design. It shares both characteristics of your current models, but it also has some aspects that are unique to this vehicle.
AF: Yes, absolutely, yes you are right. It’s a car that in terms of design takes inspiration from the Countach. If you see the silhouette from the side, you can see that if you go from the front to the back, and that there is basically one unique line. And then you can also recognize other typical design language of our cars of today, the lights, with the “Y” shape, or the interior of the car where you see the hexagonal shapes. And we took also from the very nature from the LM002, also a few design languages such as for instance if you see the wheel arch of the LM002 and we have one inside and the wheel arch of the Urus, both of them are very distinguished and you can see them such as if you pay attention to how they line the design of let’s say the bonnet goes all along the car and then goes down through the windows to the back is exactly the one of the LM002.
And the interior basically has a flat dashboard with essential tuner pretty present. That is exactly like the LM002. So intent of design our engineers made the magic because they are able to put together something that for us is part of our heritage.
ADO: Something old and something new.
AF: Yes, exactly. It’s a combination of the two.