Volkswagen's (NASDAQOTH: VLKAY ) Lamborghini is known for being iconic, gorgeous, and temperamental. However, considering Lamborghini's Aventador gets an EPA estimated 13 mpg combined, and the Gallardo gets 16 mpg combined, Lamborghinis aren't exactly environmentally friendly. But let's face it: If you're buying a Lamborghini, you're probably more focused on performance and style than gas prices.
However, with its upcoming Urus SUV, Lamborghini is moving into a bit lower price-point -- and the family car arena. Consequently, there are rumors that the Urus might have the option of a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Here's what you need to know.
Lamborghini's first mass-market vehicle ... kinda
Lamborghini doesn't do high-volume sales. In fact, according to TopSpeed, Lamborghini's sold approximately 30,000 vehicles, ever. In addition, almost half of those sales were thanks to Lamborghini's Gallardo -- since 2003, there have been 14,022 units sold. But with the Urus, Lamborghini hopes to sell 3,000 units a year. To help facilitate that, the Urus' price is rumored to be around $150,000 to $200,000. Still pricey, but less than the 2014 Gallardo's MSRP of $191,900-$248,000, and it's nowhere near as pricy as the 2014 Aventador's MSRP of $397,500-$548,800.
The lower price point isn't the only thing that could drive sales. The production vehicle hasn't yet been revealed, but even if it doesn't look exactly like the concept, it'll still be a Lamborghini -- outrageous style is everything. Also, unlike the LM002, Lamborghini's first SUV, the Urus is expected to be sleek and sexy, just like the Aventador -- case in point, according to Digital Trends, "the Urus looks like a jacked-up Aventador."
In addition, the Urus is expected to have the same platform as Volkswagen's next-generation Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne, but it'll have a shorter wheelbase. And, thanks to the use of carbon fiber, the Urus will be lighter and faster. Plus, the standard powertrain is expected to be a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, with 600 horsepower and an estimated 700 pound-feet of torque. But for those who'd prefer to be more "eco-chic," there are rumors that suggest the Urus might have additional powertrain options like a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Lambo goes green?
It's no secret that new emission regulations have forced car manufactures to make changes, and while some manufactures have made hybrid vehicles as a way to meet emission requirements, Lamborghini hasn't. And the reason is really quite simple: Hybrid technology is too heavy, and too big for supercars like the Gallardo and Aventador. The Urus, on the other hand, is just the right size. Indeed, according to Motor Authority, a spokesman for Lamborghini said the Urus would be the right type of vehicle to launch a Lamborghini hybrid.
What's more, according to Green Car Reports, Lamborghini has made a commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions by 35% by 2015, compared with 2009 levels, and Stephan Winkelmann Lamborghini's CEO, has alluded to the possibility of a hybrid powertrain. Before the Urus was officially cleared for production, Winkerlmann stated at the 2012 Paris Motor show, "If there is a third model coming up like the SUV the plug-in hybrid is one of the options we are considering, but nothing has been decided."
Bring on 2016
The Urus isn't expected until late 2016, and right now, the only thing we can count on from Lamborghini is an impressive SUV, that will go head-to-head with Volkswagen's Bentley EXP 9F, Daimler's (NASDAQOTH: DDAIF ) Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, BMW's (NASDAQOTH: BAMXF ) X6 M, and Tata Motors' (NYSE: TTM ) Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged. How it will perform against its competition has yet to be seen, but considering it's a Lamborghini, and Car and Driver named it among the "25 cars Worth Waiting for: 2014-2017," it'll probably do well -- good news for Volkswagen.
Further, if Lamborghini does sell 3,000 Urus' a year that will be great news for Volkswagen's bottom line. Consequently, this is something investors should watch.
Want to know more about Volkswagen as an investment?
U.S. automakers boomed after World War II, but the coming boom in the Chinese auto market will put that surge to shame! As Chinese consumers grow richer, savvy investors can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the help from this brand-new Motley Fool report that identifies two automakers to buy for a surging Chinese market. It's completely free -- just click here to gain access.