Not all Lamborghinis are mid-engine supercars, but those are the cars that define the brand. Two-seat, mid-engine cars lend themselves well to the wedge-shaped design Lamborghini first pioneered with the Countach back in 1971, but tall, family-hauling SUVs? Not really.
That meant that Mitja Borkert, the 43-year-old German (pictured above) who heads Lamborghini Centro Stile, had quite a task making the new Urus SUV make like a real Lambo. We spoke with him at the car’s US premiere in Detroit to find out how he did it.
Borkert approaches Lamborghini design with an eye on the past—both the actual shapes that define the company’s cars, but also the philosophy they were designed with. He’s deeply studied in Lamborghini’s early history and Italian design of the 1960s and 1970s.
“Lamborghini stands for extreme proportions,” Borkert told us. “Everybody knows the Countach, it’s still a spaceship, and this kind of spaceship look is important for Lamborghini.”
If you ever see a Countach, especially the early LP400 “Periscopico” version, you’ll be struck by how low and wide it sits. It’s an automotive doorstop in the best way imaginable. Borkert says he and his team tried to recreate this stance with the Urus, and he’s proud of the fact that it’s the lowest SUV on the market, standing under five-feet four-inches, and one of the widest, at over six-and-a-half feet.