Well, this is pretty cool. Whatever your opinion of performance manufacturers jumping on the SUV bandwagon might be, everyone is doing it (except McLaren, definitely not McLaren). What everyone isn't doing, though, is giving those SUVs the walk to match the nauseating marketing talk. Except Lamborghini. Definitely except Lamborghini.
The Sant'Agata-based marque has announced the creation of "an unprecedented single-brand championship that will mix track with off-road racing" coming to FIA-licensed circuits in Europe and the Middle East in 2020.
To take part in it entrants will need this - or something close to it - the Urus ST-X Concept. Fitted with an FIA-licensed steel roll cage, fire extinguishing system and FT3 fuel tank, it's been "mechanically optimized" with larger vents, a carbon-fibre bonnet, side-exit racing exhausts, a new rear wing and 21-inch single-nut rims with Pirelli tyres. It's also a noteworthy 25 per cent lighter than the roadgoing model, though shares the same twin-turbo V8 putting out 650hp and 627lb ft of torque. It's hideous. And yet wonderful.
While the Urus may not be popular among purists, it does feel as though, of all of the hallowed supercar makers, an SUV arguably fits with Lamborghini's ethos most comfortably. Though it continues to produce marvels like the Huracan Performante, the marque is arguably more about glorious excess, striking design and bonkers performance than conventional race-bred sporting focus. Yes it may share its underpinnings with other VW group products, and no it doesn't have a V12, but there's no denying that the Urus deviates less from the 'Lamborghini way' than, say, Ferrari's upcoming Purosangue 'not-SUV' does from its heritage.
Moreover, Squadra Corse has already enjoyed plenty of success with its customer-based Huracan Super Trofeo calendar. If an off-road-on-track series can give the Urus a little more authentic Lamborghini credibility amongst potential customers, whilst providing the thrills and spills for viewers that an 640hp SUV racing series suggests, then we're looking at a win win.