When you think about a supercar, it's hard not to think of Volkswagen's (NASDAQOTH:VWAGY) Lamborghini. It's iconic, gorgeous, and temperamental -- in other words, it's an Italian supercar. Unfortunately, if you want to get behind the wheel of a 2014 Lamborghini Aventador, you'd better be prepared to face its $397,500 MSRP. Clearly, the Aventador isn't going to appeal to the everyday consumer -- at least not when it comes to price.
So to help drive sales, and to appeal to the ever growing demand for SUVs in China, Lamborghini came up with the 2017 Urus -- a mind-bowing, super-luxury SUV that'll go head-to-head against some of the most elite brands in the world.
The super-luxury SUV
It's been cleared for production, but the estimated arrival for the Urus isn't until sometime in 2016. But once it does get here, Lamborghini anticipates that the Urus will be its highest-volume model, with estimated sales of 3,000 vehicles a year. However, that doesn't mean it'll be cheap. The Urus' price is expected to be around $150,000 to $200,000 -- not exactly practical for everyone, but more practical than Lambo's $3.9 million Veneno.
Here's what else we know.
Right now, the Urus is still a concept, so the look could change. But keep in mind that this is 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. In fact, according to Digital Trends, "the Urus looks like a jacked-up Aventador."
In addition to being breathtaking, the Urus is expected to have the same platform as Volkswagen's next-generation Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and Volkswagen Touareg. But, thanks to the use of carbon fiber to help boost performance, the Urus will be one of the lightest and fastest SUVs. Speaking of speed, 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.
Even better? For those looking to be more "eco-chic," there are rumors that suggest the Urus might have additional powertrain options like a plug-in hybrid powertrain, or a diesel V8.
Super-luxury brand competition
Demand for SUVs has surged, and with it, intense competition. Consequently, in addition to Volkswagen's other luxury-brand SUVs, the Urus will go head-to-head with 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.
It's not all good news
Lamborghini's Urus looks absolutely incredible, however, Volkswagen is not without its foibles -- the latest one being news of a massive recall involving 2.64 million vehicles. But, in the grand scheme of things, Volkswagen has a lot going for it. According to Volkswagen's latest Interim Report for January-September 2013, vehicle deliveries increased by 4.8%, vehicle sales increased 3.8%, and production increased 3.7%, compared with the same time last year.
Further, Volkswagen has made China a key priority. It stated, "China has become one of the world's most important automotive markets and is now the Volkswagen Group's largest sales market." More pointedly, China is one of the fastest growing luxury car markets, evidenced by the fact that in October, Forbes reported that China beat the U.S. for Volkswagen luxury sales. Moreover, demand for "platinum" SUVs is skyrocketing, and according to Car and Driver, Lamborghini wants the Urus to "beachhead" its sales efforts in China. As such, while there are some concerns surrounding Volkswagen, it also has a lot going for it -- not the least of which is its impressive luxury brand lineup. Consequently, Volkswagen could make a great addition to your investing portfolio.