It is a drastic step, especially for a brand like Lamborghini which thrives on its emotionality like almost no other, to simply send the two previous V8 combustion engine variants of your bestseller packing and replace them with a hybrid.

So just to be clear, the Urus is now only available as such - electrified. You can't explain that to a Lambo fan. So the whole thing needs to be explained in more detail, and that's why we were invited to the German premiere of the latest electric bull in Kolbermoor. In attendance were plenty of Lambo nobility in the form of Head of Design Mitja Borkert and Head of Development Rouven Mohr. Good for us they speak German at Lamborghini, at least as far as these two gentlemen are concerned, and they had a lot to say. We summarise the most important facts about the new Urus SE plug-in hybrid for you.

1. No downsizing, the combustion engine dominates

The 4.0-litre biturbo V8 remains, even though the power unit has been completely changed apart from the basic engine. The cylinder heads, turbocharger and intake system are new, as is the software. It was possible to modulate the response behaviour via the electric motor so that the turbocharger design is optimised towards higher engine speeds. It now develops 620 PS and 800 Nm. The electric motor contributes 192 PS and 483 Nm. The system output is 800 PS and 950 Nm, an increase of 134 PS and 100 Nm compared to the previous Urus S. The electric motor and battery are "Group goods". This can also be found in the Porsche Cayenne and Co. 

Rouven Mohr emphasises that the new drive unit delivers better figures than the previous one in all speed ranges. The electric motor is also used, "And we have put a lot of application work into this" to improve the response behaviour and make the car more reactive and spontaneous. 

Lamborghini Urus SE Rouven Mohr

Lamborghini Head of Development Rouven Mohr joined from Audi in 2022

2. The goal was better driving performance

"The reduction of CO2 and electric driving components is welcome, because we are also committed as a company to reducing the CO2 fingerprint. But the target for the car was better driving performance," says Mohr. And the chief developer adds, "There were competitors who were a bit ahead of us and we wanted to make a statement. The car is faster and more powerful than its predecessor in all parameters."

Expressed in figures, this means 3.4 seconds from 0 to 62 mph (Urus S: 3.5 s), 11.2 seconds from 0 to 124 mph (Urus S: 12.5) and a top speed of 194 mph (Urus S: 190 mph). According to Lamborghini, these figures make the Urus SE the fastest production car in its class.

3. The weight increases by 180 kilos

The battery and electric motor actually add significantly more weight to the car, but countermeasures have been taken to ensure that the car is "only" 180 kilos heavier than the Urus S. Mohr speaks of the "lightest hybrid car in the segment". Nevertheless, the Urus weighs a hefty 2.5 tonnes empty, making it a featherweight compared to a BMW XM (2.8 tonnes), for example. 

Lamborghini Urus SE (2024) in the first seat test
Lamborghini Urus SE (2024) in the first seat test

4 Lamborghini doesn't want you to run the battery down

A little strange when so much attention has been paid to weight. The battery is very large at 25.9 kWh. The electric range is more than manageable at around 37 miles. But the Urus driver is obviously not supposed to drive that much purely electrically anyway. The stricter regulations make the hybrid unavoidable and now it's mainly about additional performance.

Lambo's hybrid philosophy is that you never actually drive the battery empty. The in-house application and operating strategy are different to those of other manufacturers, says Mohr. This is important in order to have a consistent performance. There is nothing worse than a car that delivers performance with a full battery and feels like it is broken when the battery is empty.

Now there are two ways to charge the battery, of which Mohr clearly favours the recharge mode. Here, the battery is charged while driving. With the Urus, you have to drive a bit, but of course it's quicker on the motorway. The Urus SE charges with 7.2 kW at the wallbox. There are weight reasons why it is not 11 kW. The 11 kW onboard charger would have been 10 kilos heavier. 

4. The new all-wheel drive should make the difference

"The real game changer with the car is that we are changing the entire philosophy of all-wheel drive," says Rouven Mohr. Until recently, a mechanical all-wheel drive with a Torsen-based centre differential was installed, but the Urus SE is the first Lamborghini to feature a hang-on-based all-wheel drive concept in combination with an electronically controlled rear axle differential lock.

The advantage, according to Mohr, depending on the driving situation and driving style is that there is a much greater degree of freedom in torque distribution. The Chief Technological Officer (CTO) thus promises "a whole new level of driving pleasure compared to the predecessor, where a certain basic distribution was always mechanically predetermined".

Gallery: Lamborghini Urus SE (2024) in the first seat test

For example, it is now possible to drive much more rear-biased in Sport mode. Mohr promises "drifting ability, not only on low friction, but also on high friction". So if you've always wanted to drive a 2.5-tonne hybrid SUV sideways until the 315 tyres burst, then the new Urus is the car for you.

In Performance mode, on the other hand, the freedom in torque distribution is utilised to ensure that the car follows the steering impulses much more precisely and drives more neutrally and precisely. And Mohr summarises, "The Urus SE offers the most emotional driving experience in the history of the Urus and, in our opinion, also in the segment." They will now have to measure themselves against this in Sant'Agata Bolognese.  

5. The design SHOULD be less aggressive

If you take a closer look at the new Urus SE, you will recognise that the car looks rounder, less abstract and somehow more well-behaved. For us, the elimination of various edges at the front and rear is not necessarily an improvement. Design Director Mitja Borkert talks about having tidied up the design at the front and rear in the interests of elegance and sportiness, and that the new Urus has been deliberately designed to be less aggressive, as this fits in better with the hybrid philosophy.

The car is now modelled on the new flagship Revuelto, and because this is even more important for an electrified car, the aerodynamics have also been improved. Aerodynamics, brakes and cooling have each been optimised by 15 per cent, and brake cooling by 30 per cent. The lift on the rear axle has been minimised and the value now almost corresponds to that of the previous Urus Performante.

Lamborghini Urus SE (2024) in the first seat test
Lamborghini Urus SE (2024) in the first seat test
Lamborghini Urus SE (2024) in the first seat test

The new large grille at the rear is reminiscent of the Gallardo, one of Borkert's favourite Lamborghinis. In addition, the paintwork has been upgraded again and now offers 400 colours.

Inside, a lot of work has been done on the ergonomics, says Borkert. In addition, the dashboard is now much slimmer. There is a larger screen with new graphics. What's more, you now always touch high-quality materials wherever you go in the car. In the predecessor, you sometimes put your hand on plastic, now you always touch luxury materials.

The electrified Urus SE will start at €260,000 (approx. £222,000 at the current exchange rate), which is 10 per cent more than previously had to be paid for the Urus S. Deliveries will start at the end of 2024 and the quota for the first year is apparently already gone.