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Lamborghini Gears Up For 2018 Urus SUV, Its First And Only Plug-In Hybrid

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The rollout of the Lamborghini Urus in 2018 will be a milestone for its Italian maker for the simple fact that it will be its first ever plug-in hybrid vehicle.

If reports are to be believed, the vehicle could also be the only hybrid in the Lamborghini stable.

The recent development was made known after Maurizio Reggiani, research and development chief at Lamborghini, confirmed that the Urus SUV range will indeed get a variant that will be outfitted with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. It will be launched as a version to the twin-turbo V8 Urus.

"The design [of the Urus] is pure Lamborghini," Reggiani stressed. "It has evolved considerably since the [2015] concept and the finished car is much better inside and out."

Hybridization: SUV vs. Sports Car

The flurry of reports is lacking one key detail: why the Urus or why Lamborghini's SUV range is going the hybrid route.

Fortunately, there are several clues that could provide the reasons for this move.

First, one should remember that the Italian supercar manufacturer has already teased a plug-in concept during the 2014 Paris Motor Show. This was called the hybrid Asterion concept and it was a sports car. However, not a few enthusiasts were not pleased.

This crowd, which has been increasingly labeled as purists, is reportedly unhappy about the hybridization of Lamborghini's supercars because of expectations that it will undermine the brand's exclusive and extroverted image.

This is best depicted in the crowd's reactions when the Asterion took the stage during its debut. Its engine was utterly silent, disappointing spectators who were expecting a ferocious sound from the vehicle. After its brief turn under the spotlight, nothing more was heard of Asterion.

A year later, Stephan Winkelman, former CEO of Lamborghini, flatly denied that the company is making a hybrid supercar.

SUV Opportunity

Now, Lamborghini is also angling to introduce an SUV range, recognizing an uptick in demand within this market segment. A concept car has already been unveiled back in 2012. But it also encountered resistance from purists since the concept of a family car is perceived as a risk to the supercar brand.

As electric vehicles become more popular today, especially with the ascendancy of Tesla, Lamborghini seems adamant to enter the market. Choosing to introduce its hybrid vehicle as part of the new Urus range, therefore, is not unlike shooting three birds with one stone.

The Italian automaker will finally get its SUV range but with the plug-in hybrid vehicle at the same time. In the process, it will also be able to maintain some semblance of distance between Urus and its supercars.

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