Enroute to electrification | Autocar Professional

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Italian sportscar and SAV maker Automobili Lamborghini opened a new chapter in its SUV history with the Urus SE — the marque’s second hybrid plug-in model in the line-up. The vehicle was unveiled ahead of the public premiere at Auto China Beijing 2024 on April 25, 2024.

Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini Chairman and CEO said, “With the ICE Urus we changed the paradigms of the SUV world, by ushering in a new segment and in just a few years, the Urus has become our brand’s bestseller, enabling Lamborghini to attract new customers and strengthen its position in the most important markets. With the Urus SE, we’ve taken another step towards the future in line with our DirezioneCorTauri strategy, moving ahead with the electrification of the range and the path toward decarbonisation that began with the introduction of the Revuelto super sports car in March 2023.”

In the Urus SE, the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine has been re-engineered to work in optimal synergy with the electric powertrain. It develops 456 kW and 800 Nm of driving torque and when combined with the electric motor adds 141 kW and 483 Nm of torque to the equation. In delivering maximum output the main focus has been on the calibration strategy between ICE and e-motor. A 25.9-kWh lithium-ion battery is situated below the load floor and above the electronically-controlled rear differential.

The permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor sits inside the eight-speed automatic transmission that can also act as a boost for the V8 combustion engine, but also as a traction element, making the Urus SE a 100% electric 4WD vehicle capable of traveling more than 60 km in EV mode.

Debuting on the Urus SE is the new centrally-located longitudinal electric torque vectoring system with an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch, which distributes driving torque variably and continuously between the front and rear axles. The transfer case works in synergy with the new electronic limited-slip differential installed on the rear axle, giving the vehicle “on demand” oversteering to convey the feel of a purebred super sports car.

The numbers in the Urus SE spec sheet are staggering – 790 hp hybrid powertrain, range of 64kms in electric mode, and acceleration from 0 to 96 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. It’s a bundle that combines power, performance, and efficiency in one vehicle. Chief Technical Officer, Dr Rouven Mohr talked about the brief of the Urus SE by saying: “The underlying mission of the project was clear: to offer state-of-the-art performance combined with the uncompromising character typical of Lamborghini’s DNA.”

Lamborghini says the weight-to-power ratio of the Urus SE stands at 3.13 kg/CV (compared to 3.3 in the Urus S) which helps the SUV sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 312 km/h which is higher than the Urus Ss’ 305 km/h).

Winkelmann’s comments reflect the brand’s confidence in the Urus SE and their commitment to pushing boundaries. The SUV’s design, inspired by the Revuelto, is sure to turn heads on the road, while the interior promises a luxurious and high-tech experience for the driver. The level of customisation options that Lamborghini is offering is also noteworthy for future Urus SE buyers. The Urus SE won’t be cheap at a starting price of USD 258,000. The brand is confident of the Urus SE’s position in the upper echelons of luxury SUVs, given its features and performance credentials.

Way forward

Lamborghini’s electrification strategy, DirezioneCorTauri (“Heart of the Bull”), is indeed gaining clarity as it progresses from hybrid models to the company’s first full-electric model, set to debut in 2028. This strategy represents Lamborghini’s commitment to embracing electric power while maintaining the performance and character that defines the brand’s core DNA. By gradually introducing hybrid technology and ultimately transitioning to a fully electric model, Lamborghini aims to stay ahead in the automotive industry’s evolution towards sustainability without compromising on the exhilarating driving experience their customers expect.

Meanwhile, Winklemann said that the allocation for the hybrid SUV would be driven by close contact with the region, close contact with dealers. “India, we are selling in the big series. There is a big discussion with them on how to manage location and how to define when the car is coming to the market, the customer getting the car. So this is a big way of dealing with it,” he said.  

This feature was first published in Autocar Professional’s May 1, 2024 issue.

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