Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti Postponing Automotive Extravagance

October 12th, 2012

Usually, reports of a delayed new Lamborghini would be met with jeers and disappointment. One model, though, could see a delay that will please the passionate Lambo fan-base, if not the overly rich status-happy jet set.

The release of the Urus, Lamborghini’s SUV concept based on the Porsche Cayenne, could be pushed back thanks to the dismal state of the European auto industry.

And if the Urus goes, another controversial SUV goes with it. But at least the super-rich will finally get their 4-door Bugatti, right?

Not so fast.

In 2009, Bugatti released its Galibier concept, a sedan meant to be the most extravagant, luxurious and fastest 4-door ever built. Our eyes have been peeled ever since for signs of an imminent production version. It’s never come, and Bugatti has been nearly silent on its development.

Bugatti 16C Galibier

New reports suggest the future of the 4-door Bugatti is still being decided, hinting that the car remains several years away from launch.

When asked by AutoCar about the progress on the Galibier, Bugatti boss Wolfgang Schreiber said,

We are still working on the Galibier concept, but I would say it is more difficult to fulfil all the requirements for Bugatti customers than Bentley customers.

Because the Bentley customers are an easily pleased bunch, evidently. The launch of the Bugatti 16C Galibier is now not expected until 2015-16.

Speaking of Bentley, its EXP 9 F concept SUV will follow whatever path the Lamborghini Urus goes down, since they are being co-developed. A decision on their fate should come on November 23, when the Volkswagen Group’s board will vote on the company’s budget. (The Volkswagen Group includes Bugatti, Lamborghini and Bentley, among other brands.) With VW’s sales slowing down and the European economy in the toilet, some industry experts say the company is more likely to build its cash reserves than to introduce super-expensive luxury SUVs or crossovers.

That’s certainly the wise choice, but not always the one automakers make.

“Such vehicles are anything but obligatory during a crisis,” says Frankfurt-based Equinet AG analyst Tim Schuldt in a new Automotive News Europe story. “Delaying their launch would be no drama but help save costs.”

No drama!? There’s plenty of drama there. The idea of a Lambo SUV alone invokes drama, and the on-again off-again nature of it only contributes to the essence of mystery and drama surrounding the Urus. Will we ever see one cruising the streets of Beverly Hills and Palm Springs? I guarantee it. It’s just a matter of time.

Should Volkswagen just cancel the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley EXP 9 F SUVs?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    | #1

    Ah, more in the parade of kookie Kutter Kars for the ultra rich. No wonder the auto industry in Europe is in the dumps. With far too much production capacity and a seemingly endless stream of moolamobiles and little Diesel cracker boxes, how can anyone stand out? Toureg and Cayenne are quite enough, please. In some ways, it’s an indictment of the wealthy that will spend that much for a nameplate. Perhaps the economic situation in Europe can be improved a bit if people who spend for the sake of spending are relieved from a bit of that extra cash?

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