The fact of the matter is that, love it or hate it, the Urus SUV has much to be credited for in the steady turns of profit Lamborghini have been enjoying. Some may argue that, because it features a platform and an engine and transmission package lifted straight from the Volkswagen Group’s shared repository, it’s not fit to wear the marque of the 'Raging Bull'.
Be that as it may, it is undeniable that the situation at Sant’Agata would be considerably more uncertain if not for it. Despite being an antithesis of what is traditionally thought of as a modern Lamborghini - turbocharged, high-riding, front-engined, and uses a torque converter automatic - the more practical five-door is something of a necessary evil, allowing the company to sell twice as many cars in fiscal 2018 than it did the year prior.
At the other end of the spectrum we have the Aventador, a brash and wholly impractical V12 mid-engine supercar that apologises to no one. Incidentally, we are now just half a year away from its 9 year anniversary, a point where its predecessor - the Murcielago - was about to step down from the top spot in the Lamborghini line-up.
However, according to Automobile Magazine, the success of the Urus doesn’t necessarily mean that focus and resources can be diverted to an Aventador successor, which requires a significant investment to develop and refine due to it being a completely in-house undertaking with nearly zero overlap with anything else within the purview of parent company Audi.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has been pressuring Audi to further increase Lamborghini’s profits to better align with that of Ferrari. To do this, it seems that the Aventador’s successor will need to take a back seat so that more volume vehicles are brought to the fore of the Italian automaker’s priorities.
For now, the Urus is offered in a single engine configuration which it shares with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Bentley Bentayga, and others. In order to put more names into the order sheet, though, more variety is required, resulting in a broader model range that would likely include a plug-in hybrid and less expensive entry-level offering.
More excitingly, the Urus may also spawn a higher performance SV variant that may somehow leverage the 5.2-litre V10 engine found in the Huracan, either left in its normally aspirated state or augmented by a pair of turbochargers.
All of this would take attention away from the Aventador replacement, which is why the project has reportedly been pushed back numerous times with the on-sale timeframe shifting from 2020 to 2022; and now as far back as 2024. Even by that point, when the current Lambo V12 would have crossed the 13 year mark, its successor may not be the revolution we expect.
For one, the atmospheric L539 twelve-cylinder engine will most likely be carried over unchanged, itself the first completely new V12 design since the company’s first production car, the 350GT of 1964, receiving continual updates until it was retired along with the last of the Murcielagos.
Despite it being in production since 2010, the possibility that Lamborghini will replace the Aventador with a car that truly surpasses it in every manner is looking slimmer and slimmer. The likelier outcome would be that a rather familiar set of ingredients will be called upon again to formulate the company’s new flagship, remaining there for the better part of the next decade.
Moreover, the automotive landscape of 2024 may look vastly different than it does now. Expectations of a top-tier supercar may be too high for Lamborghini to merely offer an evolved version of the Aventador without making more drastic, possibly contentious changes.
It may need hybrid assist, it may need a turbocharger or two, even an electric compressor - all changes that would likely not sit well with longtime fans of Sant’Agata.