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Opinion: Lamborghini’s Urus racing series is a symptom of SUV-madness

By Chris Thompson, 22 Nov 2018 Features

Opinion Lamborghini Urus racing series symptom of SUV-madness feature

Plans for SUV racing might not have happened if people didn’t buy so many of them

Are SUVs the new sports cars? Of course not, but the market seems to think so.

The laws of physics haven’t changed, so low-slung cars with lower weights will almost always be more fun to drive – or to watch.

So why does Lamborghini – a company we would normally trust to make decisions in the interests of enjoyable driving – want to create a racing series just for its Urus SUV?

The answer is relatively straightforward. People can’t get enough of SUVs, even the ones that cost upwards of six-figures.

Why this is happening is unknown to those of us who live in cities and enjoy a dynamic drive. SUVs take up more space, are less efficient, are slower, and don’t corner like a car.

Yet in 2020 there will be a one-make series of Urus racers, prepared by Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse motorsport division, and driven by ‘arrive-and-drive’ customer racers.

Granted, the series aims to include ‘race circuit and off-road track’, likely to show off the Urus’ USP amongst its siblings. Plus, the Urus ST-X Concept (pictured) is claimed to be 25 per cent lighter than the 2200kg production version. But 1650kg is still a fair bit of bulk for a race car.

If Lamborghini wants to aid the narrative that SUVs are good drivers’ cars, they’ll probably be successful. Does it mean we’ll see Nissan Jukes battling Kia Sorentos at track days? We can only hope not.

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Having said that, I’d probably still watch it if it’s televised or streamed – with genuine interest.

The suggestions that these massive clumsy vehicles could become the ‘new sports cars’ is terrifying, but the idea of two 478kW twin-turbo V8-powered Italians rubbing doors is still enough to pique my curiosity.

In fact, can we get the Trackhawk or the Cayenne involved?