Lamborghini Could Launch an SUV in 2017, Winkelmann Says
By Nick Gibbs, Automotive News Europe
Lamborghini could launch an SUV in 2017, CEO Stephan Winkelmann told a German newspaper.
The Italian supercar brand will unveil a concept for the vehicle at the Beijing motor show on April 23 to test public reaction, according to a report in the German business daily Handelsblatt on Thursday.
"We definitely need a third line in the mid and long term," Winkelmann told the paper. "An SUV would be the first Lamborghini for everyday use, not just for the race track or weekends. We would have the opportunity to win new customers."
Lamborghini has been losing money since 2009 and is under pressure from parent Volkswagen Group to become profitable, the newspaper report said.
Winkelmann told the paper that he hopes that VW will decide this year whether to allow the brand to build an SUV. "It usually takes 48 months until an all-new vehicle arrives at dealers, so the new Lamborghini would not be available to buy before 2017."
The paper quoted company sources as saying the decision is certain to be positive.
If the car is approved for production, Lamborghini would join VW stablemate Bentley in diversifying into the growing super-luxury SUV market.
Bentley is planning to launch within three years an SUV based on the EXP 9 F SUV concept shown at the Geneva motor show in March. Next year, Fiat's Maserati brand will launch sales of a production version of the Kubang concept unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show.
Lamborghini is expected to use its own engines for its SUV, most likely a revamped version of the Gallardo's V10 gasoline unit.
Last year, Lamborghini sold 1,602 cars globally, an increase of 23 percent on the previous year. China is the brand's second-biggest market after the United States. The U.K. is next, followed by Germany and Italy.
Content provided by Autoweek.
GM received a lot of criticism when they did the same thing with the old Trailblazer platofrm. It will be interesting to see everyone'e reaction to this
No, it's okay when imports do it, didn't you know? That's the reason nobody ever mentions that you get a VW engine in a Bently, an Audi engine in your Lamborghini, or a Toyota engine in your Lexus (that could be a rebadged Camry) or a Nissan engine in your Infiniti (that could be a rebadged Maxima).
But heaven forbid that Cadillac puts a Camaro or Corvette engine in one of it's cars, that would just be ludicrous.
So let me get this straight. The VW Touareg's platform is basis for the Audi Q7 which is the basis for the Porsche Cayenne which will be the basis for the new Lambo SUV which will be the basis for the new Bently SUV.
GM received a lot of criticism when they did the same thing with the old Trailblazer platofrm. It will be interesting to see everyone'e reaction to this.
Then there is "badge engineering". That's the proper sharing of platforms to make truly different cars that share parts commonality. A good example of this is using the Camry platform to make an SUV (the Lexus RX series SUV), or using the Focus platform to make a cargo van (Transit Connect) and an SUV (Ford Escape).
The Q7/Cayenne/whatever is indeed probably on the border or just inside "brand whoring". They definitely have more differences than the Trailblazer clones did, but they are all very similar.
Finally, for the record: I don't mind the idea of a Chevrolet and Cadillac sharing the same engine, or the same for Infiniti/Nissan, or whoever. However, a true luxury car should have its own unique engine that is not available anywhere else. Cadillac, Infiniti, and Audi except for the A8 are all "near luxury" brands right now, not luxury brands. I know there are a lot of fans of US cars here, but at this point Cadillac is most certainly not a true luxury brand. It is just another near-luxury brand. In low level luxury cars like the Cadillac, engine sharing with more common brands is just fine.
Wow, who doesn't know the the Camaro's V-8 and the CTS-V's V-8 are both Corvette LS motors.
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