Lamborghini is expecting to double its sales after it launches its first SUV in 2018.
The Italian supercar manufacturer plans to be turning out at least 7,000 cars a year by 2019, and according to Lamborghini’s head at least half of them will be the SUV.
This would mirror the effect the Cayenne had on Porsche when the sports car manufacturer became the first to join Range Rover in the premium SUV market in 2002. Today Porsche sells far more Cayennes than its signature sports car range.
The Lamborghini SUV has been long planned and is expected to be based on the Urus concept, which was unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show in 2012. The brand is owned by Volkswagen and Lamborghini will be able to call upon the all-wheel-drive technology of sister brands Audi and particularly Bentley, which has just launched its Bentayga SUV.
Industry sources speculate that the Lamborghini will be priced from around $200,000.
Speaking to Reuters, Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali describes the SUV as a “game charger” for the brand and adds that interest in the model is high particularly in the United States. More than 1,000 of the 3,245 vehicles sold by Lamborghini in 2015 went to US buyers.
Domenicali, who formerly ran the Ferrari Formula One team, has headed the Italian sports car brand since February. He is overseeing a doubling in size of Lamborghini’s plant and expects the brand’s global dealer network to grow from its current 132 outlets to 160.
A plug-in hybrid version of the SUV is expected to join the line-up by 2020, and could be followed by a full electric vehicle.