In a recent interview, Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Automobili Lamborghini SpA, confirmed the production of the new SUV will start in April 2017 at the new assembly line in Sant'Agata, and the car will be called Urus, just like the Concept prototype shown at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.
The first units to be completed at the factory will be pre-production models, intended as a test run of the assembly line and to supply cars to train the engineers at the local dealerships, keep in mind Lamborghini intends to build up to 3,500 Urus per year, that is effectively doubling the current number of cars being built in both the Huracan and Aventador range, this will need a serious commitment from dealers all over the world.
Rumor has it the actual production version of the Lamborghini Urus SUV could be unveiled at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, which would make sense as the Concept was shown in Beijing five years ago, and judging from the test mule that has been spotted during winter trials in Northern Europe the styling has been modified since then.
Those first photos of the Urus test mule do unveil the fact Lamborghini is targeting a much larger group of customers with their new SUV, practicality has been taking into consideration during development from the Urus concept into a viable production model.
The Urus Concept used small rear-view cameras instead of mirrors, for the production model these have been replaced with normal size, exterior rear-view mirrors, the test mule also shows normal handles to open the doors and wheel that remind me of those used on the original Gallardo Superleggera.
The front grille of the Lamborghini Urus seems to take the hexagonal design to the next level with a grid of large hexagon shaped holes, right in the center it seems they installed a large camera while even with the camouflage on the test mule it is evident the sides on both front and rear bumper house some kind of sensor or camera too ... most likely this is a 360° surround camera vision for easy parking.
The Urus Concept showed some very nice, small LED lights in the lower part of the bumper, these don't seem to have survived into production, instead, a pair of hexagon lights can be seen on the lower intakes of the front bumper, while those little air intakes on the lower part of the headlights are gone too on the Urus production model, if the air vents on the engine cover have survived isn't sure yet either.
It does seem the air vent on the side, just behind the front wheels, is gone on the production model, perhaps this could return on a more powerful edition later on, keep in mind the Urus will initially receive a V8 engine with twin-turbo installation ... it is believed this is the only configuration at the moment that supplies to amount of low rpm power and torque that is needed for an SUV while keeping the weight down ... the large V12 and even the V10 were deemed too heavy for off road use.
The rear of the Lamborghini Urus has also been significantly redesigned, those stunning hexagon exhaust tips have been replaced with round units and are mounted lower into a more conventional looking rear bumper that also received an additional pair of lights ... with the Urus having to be a more practical Lamborghini we could even imagine a towing hook on the option list now.
The Urus test mule also shows a pair of roof rails now, while the Concept had a very low, clean roof line the actual production model will offer rails on top so people can install a ski box more easily for extra storage ... the Urus will be a four seater instead of a 7 seater like the Audi Q7 for instance, rumor has it one option on the Urus list could be for a five-seat configuration.
From the photos showing the front of the Lamborghini Urus test mule, we can also determine those amazing looking seats from the Concept didn't make it into production either, instead a more conventional seat with a separate headrest on two struts is visible now, but some sources did confirm the interior will still be high-tech and the Urus will be off-road capable, with special suspension and transmission settings for ice, snow, rocks and sand ...
When the Lamborghini Urus production is up and running, and sales figures are showing a success the new SUV will probably become the first Lamborghini with hybrid power, the additional weight required would be less of a problem in the Urus than on either the Aventador or the Huracan.