During this year’s Thailand International Motor Expo, Francesco Scardaoni, Asia Pacific Region Director at Automobili Lamborghini, and Apichat Leenutaphong, CEO of Renazzo Motor Co Ltd unveiled the cutting-edge Lamborghini Urus Performante to an audience of VIPs and members of the media.
Afterwards, during an exclusive conversation with Prestige, Francesco shared his insights about the future of Lamborghini and his experiences working in one of the fastest-growing automobile markets in the world.
The Lamborghini Urus Performante sets a new standard for the ‘Super SUV,’ raising the bar for sportiness, performance, and prowess on all types of surfaces. Designed to deliver aeronautical dynamism, the car features a sharp, prominent bonnet while its bumper design highlights the car’s super sports genetics.
The Urus Performante’s power has been increased from its predecessor to 666 CV while its weight has been reduced by 47kg, giving it a best-in-class weight-to-power ratio. It is also capable of producing a significant 850Nm of torque, can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in only 3.3 seconds, and boasts a top speed of 306km/h.
Engineered to provide every ‘pilot’ with an intimate driving experience, the Urus Performante also offers several drive modes including STRADA for a smooth and comfortable ride; SPORT for high speed and increased agility; CORSA that enhances stability and damping; and RALLY for extreme surfaces.
Speaking about the car, Francesco says, “The Urus Performante is anything but ordinary. It is a record breaker and bar-raiser that redefines the concept of a high-performance Super SUV, delivering the best driving experience in its class on every road. The Urus has been a big game changer for the brand and with the launch of the Urus Performante at the Thailand International Motor Expo 2022, we believe it will continue to play a very important role in Thailand.”
Apichat adds: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to unveil the Urus Performante at the Thailand International Motor Expo, just three months after the car made its global debut. The Urus Performante sets the benchmark for ‘fun to drive’ performance in the Super SUV segment and we are confident that this model will continue to be well-received by the Lamborghini enthusiasts across the country.”
The launch of the Urus Performante was only one of Lamborghini’s many highlights in 2022, a year that Francesco describes as a record year for the carmakers. “In terms of delivery to customers and hitting financial KPIs, 2022 was an incredibly strong year. This year saw the launch of four cars, which we did in tribute to the last moments in which the internal combustion engine will be the star of the automobile industry. Beyond R&D, a lot of our resources also went into organising landmark marketing activities around the world, including test drives and event launches.”
Looking ahead, 2023 is shaping up to be another landmark year for Lamborghini. “Next year will be incredibly important to Lamborghini’s history and we will be celebrating our 60th anniversary in a big way. We have plans to host a big event at our headquarters in Italy, as well as plan a special country-wide driving tour with some of our valued customers. We will also be commemorating the occasion across the Asia-Pacific region with many activities in each country,” Francesco explained.
He also revealed that Lamborghini have plans to relaunch its race series in Asia next year. “We are organising The Lamborghini Super Trofeo, which will see five races across Asia and then a final hosted in Europe. We are expected to see a lot of countries involved including Thailand, Korea, Australia, Japan, and Malaysia, which is something we are all very excited about.”
The year 2023 will also see the launch of the first-ever Lamborghini hybrid, which will propel the carmaker into new and exciting territory. As Francesco divulges: “We will be introducing our first plug-in hybrid – a reimagined version of the Lamborghini Aventador. This is significant because the Aventador is our flagship product and our masterpiece, so it will be very special to introduce this a hybrid model after a decade.”
With the global automobile industry moving towards an an era of hybrid and all-electric vehicles, I ask Francesco what we can expect of Lamborghini’s transition into embracing electrification, to which he explains: “With rules and regulations changing, 2035 is set to be the last year for the internal combustion engine.
“Our strategy centres on three steps: this year was the celebration of the engine, which is why we launched four cars including the newest Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato that was debuted this month at Art Basel in Miami. The period 2023-24 will focus on plug-in hybrids and the hybridisation of the Huracán and Urus.
“In 2028 we will introduce the first purely electric Lamborghini, which will be a 2+2 body style. We are constantly keeping our eyes on legislation and our electrification plans will continue according to new rules.”
Over its six decades in the automobile industry, Lamborghini’s designers and engineers have worked tirelessly to establish its distinct brand DNA, design codes, and signature roaring engines, which are all things that remain paramount despite Lamborghini’s move into a more eco-conscious era.
“Our designs focus on three pillars: to be brave, authentic, and unexpected. We sell mobility, but we also sell dreams, and we want to keep doing this no matter what,” Francesco clarifies.
“It is important that the cars we design in the future align with our brand DNA. We have a vision where a customer who is blind-folded can still recognise Lamborghini cars because of their design, performance, craftsmanship, and of course, sound, which is something we are constantly thinking about. The reason we pushed back the introduction of our first electric car is because we value research and development. We do not want to be the first, but rather, the best.”
Throughout our conversation, Lamborghini’s commitment to keeping its customer as the primary focus is made very clear. This focus has allowed Lamborghini to find a lot of success within the kingdom, as car enthusiasts here are not only knowledgeable, but they actively seek out opportunities to buy one-of-a-kind cars.
“Thailand is a demanding market as customers here really know what they want to buy. They are stylish and are looking for cars that reflect their mood and fashion. They want to buy a dream and a brand, and this makes it very important to offer the services,” Francesco explains.
“I believe Lamborghini performs well in Thailand because our brand strategy is to keep our customers close; we foster a family feeling with our clientele and we look at them as our brand ambassadors. As a result, our commitment is to meet customer needs and offer a wide range of personalisation options so that every customer can find their dream Lamborghini.”
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