It’s hardly a revelation to write that the Lamborghini Urus (the Italian brand’s SUV concept revealed here in Beijing) has received a more favourable response than the Bentley Exp 9F with which it notionally shares a platform.
But what may surprise you is that, in the real, this concept is shot through with a deep and impressive level of execution and a set of volumes which are not at first apparent from the photos. For those who were privileged enough to get a peep inside, the interior is really worthy of note. It features some of the same carbon-based material structure we first saw on the Sesto Elemento (and which Lamborghini wants to ‘own’) on the centre console and around the binnacle and works exceptionally well, thematically.
Reminding us from some angles of the BMW X6 and Range Rover Evoque (that low, wide rear view) you’ll not find us and the rest of the design world bemoaning this Lamborghini SUV for the same design failings leveled at the Bentley.
We have two reservations however. Firstly, can Lamborghini as a brand legitimately do an SUV? For two very different answers to that question, see Porsche or Ferrari’s stated aim: “we don’t make SUVs and never will.”
Secondly, while well executed, there’s a part of us that is sad this SUV appears to cement the loss of over-the-top drama and wildness that was once a Lamborghini hallmark. As the change from Murcielago to Aventador suggested and this appears to confirm, Lamborghini is growing up and calming down in its graphics and surface language. The question is, should it be? Or is this a wrong turn for the brand? Answers and opinions in the comments please…
By Joe Simpson
Citroen announced its intention to launch three new DS models due for production at Beijing: an SUV, C-segment compact sedan and an as yet unknown large limousine-style car to sit above the DS5.
In the absence of those production vehicles, it whet showgoers’ appetites with the Numero 9 concept. According to head of advanced design Carlo Bonzanigo, the shooting brake-style large hatch with suicide doors “announces the new face of DS” with its 3D grille fusing into full LED headlamps. The car is large and long at 4930mm, but Bonzanigo says the Numero 9 is actually smaller than the current C6, only looking longer due to its low roofline.
Not based on any existing platform, he told CDN that it is “a true concept and design study” rather than a pre-production marketing exercise, although he did concede that his team had already investigated how a feasible production version could be made by adjusting the proportions suitably. Bonzanigo also said the car’s simple and elegant lines reflected Citroen’s desire “to separate the aesthetic universes of the two brands,” steering the mother brand Citroen more towards simple shapes and classic lines and to tone down the DS line too, making it “less overwrought by using warmer chrome finishes for example”. It’s a shame there’s no proper interior, but that aside, another accomplished Citroen concept.
By Guy Bird
We all know the score – Kia is the industry darling and has been for the last couple of years thanks to its meteoric rise in quality, design and brand image.
Yet here in China – a brand-savvy market don’t forget – someone in the comms department didn’t get the memo. While at the front of the stand sit the (impressive) Rio, Optima, Sportage et al., on the main stage, next to the on-brand Trackster concept, sits a VQ-R, or a 10-year old Sedona to you and I.
As a form of low-cost, dependable transport, that’s fine, but as a piece in a strategic jigsaw in which the final picture is a design-led vista it doesn’t fit. It’s an advert for how miserable and soulless Kias used to be. Its tacked-on tiger nose grille is as unconvincing as its (beige) interior plastics.
By Owen Ready