Lamborghini 4x4 hangs in the balance

Updated: 
Lamborghini Urus
Newspress

Lamborghini's foray into the world of ultra-luxury off-roaders may be over before it's started, as increasing concerns over the global economy put the future of the marque's Urus model in doubt.

First unveiled in concept form at the Beijing motor show in 2012, the Urus was a hotly anticipated rival to the growing range of performance SUVs, currently dominated by the Porsche Cayenne. With luxury marques such as Bentley having confirmed new high-riding models, it looked certain that the striking Urus would be given the green light for production.

However, fast forward two years and Lamborghini's parent company, Audi, is getting cold feet, with the current unrest in the Middle East – an important market for such an exclusive SUV – meaning it has yet to give the Urus the go-ahead, reports Autocar.

Speaking to the automotive weekly magazine, an anonymous company insider confirmed that discussions surrounding the Urus talked about "a clear view towards eventual production," with the model having already undergone the early stages of engineering at Lamborghini's headquarters in Sant'Agata, Italy.

Autocar's source said: "We are convinced the Urus can significantly boost global sales, but the financial conditions need to be sound. Right now, there are signs we may be heading for a downturn in the markets due to various factors, including trouble in the Middle East, although this is not reflected in the current sales situation, which puts us ahead of 2013."

Should the Urus eventually see production, it is likely that it will be powered by a petrol-electric drivetrain similar to that showcased in Lamborghini's Paris motor show concept, the Asterion.