Legendary automaker Lamborghini has a certain image, crafted over decades and cultivated through practically every channel available, from advertising to product placement to the development of the cars themselves. And that image has absolutely nothing at all to do with packing the family up in the car and dropping them off at soccer practice, then going to the store to load up the back seat with groceries. But at the recent Geneva Motor Show, CNN reports that the company unveiled the production-ready version of a vehicle that's set to change that, even if only a little bit: The Lamborghini Urus, the company's first four-door SUV in decades.
A Lamborghini SUV has been in the works since at least 2008, when the company revealed a concept car then known as Estoque, and now it's finally going into production for sale next year. Many expected it to remain just a concept and never see production, but the commercial prospects for a luxury SUV became too hot for the company to continue ignoring, according to Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali, during an interview in Geneva:
"In a segment where all the automotive manufacturers are present, of course we will be there with our voice, with our product, with our brand."
Despite Domenciali's assertion that "all the automotive manufacturers are present" in the SUV game, the situation is actually more nuanced than that. Ferrari, Lambo's chief rival in the Italian car market, has "sworn off" ever making an SUV with the Ferrari brand, while the people at Rolls-Royce (owned by BMW) are working on a vehicle that looks like an SUV, but they insist should not be referred to as such. So Lamborghini is stepping into this arena at a cost to their reputation, even as they expect to sell so many Uruses (is that the plural of "Urus"?) that it will double its yearly sales figures and for 2019 to be the year that they reach 7,000 vehicles sold worldwide for the first time.
Some, including Lamborghini's own marketing department, will probably be tempted to refer to the Urus as the first ever Lamborghini SUV, but actually it does have a descendant deep in the Lambo archives. That would be the Lamborghini LM002, an uncharacteristically un-stylish chunk of hardware originally developed for the military back in the late 1980s. They can be forgiven for not including this vehicle, though, since not even 330 were ever made.