Model will join Bentley, Maserati and potential Rolls-Royce rivals

Lamborghini plans to introduce Urus SUV in 2017

Model will join Bentley, Maserati and potential Rolls-Royce rivals

Lamborghini's Urus will be based on the concept that debuted at the Beijing auto show in 2012.

Photo credit: Bloomberg
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DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Lamborghini plans to start building the Urus SUV in three years, the brand's first model in the segment since the LM002 or Rambo Lambo of the 1990s.

"The expectation" is to introduce the SUV in 2017, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said on Monday in an interview at the Detroit auto show. "The luxury SUV market is poised to continue to grow," he said.

Lamborghini discontinued the LM002 SUV, popularly known as the Rambo Lambo, in 1993 after a failed effort to make military vehicles. In 2012, the carmaker unveiled a prototype of the Urus, when Winkelmann predicted the model could generate 3,000 deliveries a year.

The carmaker plans to start deliveries of the new Huracan sports car, which replaces the Gallardo as the entry into the brand's lineup, in the second half of this year, Winkelmann said.

The CEO said supercar market conditions in 2014 would involve "light and shadow," with North American demand probably growing and European sales stable or showing a "slight decline."

Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Maserati rivals

Volkswagen Group's Lamborghini, Bentley and Porsche high-end brands are all adding new SUVs to their lineups.

Last year, Bentley got VW's go-ahead to produce a crossover, which will launch in 2016.

Fiat Group's upscale Maserati division plans to introduce an SUV as part of a strategy to expand sales to 50,000 vehicles in 2015. The model will be built in Italy starting next year, Maserati CEO Harald Wester said on Monday in an interview.

Rolls-Royce too is getting closer to making a decision on whether to enter the segment, CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said on Friday. The executive said the BMW-owned unit was "playing with some drawings'' and looking deeper into the whole issue.

In April, Porsche will start selling the new 57,930 euro Macan crossover. The compact model will join the unit's best-selling vehicle, the larger Cayenne SUV.

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