Friday, April 13, 2012

Lamborghini CEO Says SUV Could Launch in 2017 if it Receives the Green Light from the VW Group

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IThere's no end to the news surrounding Lamborghini's upcoming SUV project, which will be previewed through a thinly disguised concept model at the 2012 Auto China Show in Beijing on April 23 to test the waters in the same way that Bentley did with the EXP 9 SUV study in Geneva this past March.

According to a report in the German business daily Handelsblatt, Lamborghini Boss Stephan Winkelmann believes that the SUV is a crucial model for the brand that has been losing money since 2009, and that VW will most likely give the green light, in which case, it could launch onto the market in 2017.

"We definitely need a third line in the mid- and long term," said Winkelmann. "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. 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 news daily quoted VW Group sources as saying the decision for the production of the luxury SUV "is certain to be positive".

The Lamborghini and Bentley SUVs will share their platforms and select hardware with the next Audi Q7, VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne models. It is believed that the Lamborghini model will use a modified version of the Gallardo's V10 powerplant.

Handelsblatt reported that Bentley did not show the EXP 9 SUV to the VW Group's top brass in Wolfsburg before the big reveal in Geneva, something that did not sit well with the automaker's executives after the hugely negative reactions about the SUV's design from the public and the press alike.

The newspaper says that Winkelmann has been treading the waters carefully to ensure that Lamborghini's model will not receive the same fate.

"For the brand, emotions are important," he told the paper, adding that any new model "must always be immediately recognizable as a Lamborghini", which will be the case with the SUV.

Source: Carscoop
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