Geneva Watch 2013: Lamborghini To Unveil Front-Engined V12 Concept
Another day means another automaker confirms their role in the Geneva Auto Show, which is, incredibly, still three weeks away. This time, Lamborghini fires up the old rumor mill by announcing a new concept car that, if produced, would compete against Ferrari’s F12berlinetta. Speaking with Autocar, Lamborghini chairman Stephan Winkelmann confirmed that the concept would not be based on Lamborghini’s range-topping mid-engined Aventador, and a supercar with an engine mounted in the back that isn’t adorned with a Porsche badge would be absolutely unacceptable.
If produced, it would be Lamborghini’s first front-engined automobile since the LM002 (a Hummer-like truck with a Countach V12 stuffed in front) and its first similarly-equipped car since the Espada, last produced 35 years ago. The car would hopefully be shipped with a transmission other than the single-clutch automated manual found in the Aventador, whose shifts, although extremely quick, are violent and uncomfortable. A more focused and drivable GT with classic outrageous Lamborghini styling would sell quite well.
The Urus concept is Lamborghini’s priority at the moment
Winkelmann was quick to reiterate, however, that the concept bowing in Geneva is just that, and the priority right now is convincing parent company Volkswagen to greenlight the proposed Urus SUV that was revealed in Beijing last year. Winkelmann pointed out that the Urus would have to sell between 3,000 and 4,000 units per year to make business sense, a goal he believes to be attainable. As with the Bentley and Maserati SUVs, I find it hard to believe buyers would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a massive SUV whose purchase cost is only rivaled by even higher upkeep and fuel costs. After all, the LM002 only sold a few hundred copies in the seven years it was produced.
The front-engined Lamborghini concept will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March.