PART TWO: The Roadster
When off-roading, why not have the wind in your hair and a bit of breeze above your head? All the better to see the amazing terrain this XGT could sail through...
This Roadster evolved from one of the best-received concepts of all time from ItalDesign Giugiaro: an off-road Gallardo called the Parcour.
Very rarely is the crossover and SUV trend so elegantly bottled into a super-high-performance package like this. With a completely fresh design, the Parcour looks truly ready to bounce off rocks down any rally track tomorrow.
In fact, the machine was so thoroughly engineered that the hardtop Parcour was sold at Pebble Beach last year by Giugiaro for about $600,000. Its mechanical package is rock-solid, primarily because it shares the mid-engine chassis, transmission and AWD system of the well-proven Gallardo supercar.
The combined design and mechanical package shut any naysayers up in a hurry: who could argue with a mid-engine, two-seat SUV package? The height of the car is thanks to extra-tough lifted suspension arms and long-travel shocks, while the body design is to allow the huge wheels and much-taller Vredestein tires to fit under that shapely shell.
Brutally functional and even including a half-inch black gap between the body and fenders -- much like the F40 and many exotics of the past -- but this time on a vertical plane versus on the side of the body as on those cars.
Unique, fresh, menacing and ready to race. This is a concept for the ages.
CARS IT INFLUENCED AND REINFORCED?
Despite the Lamborghini URUS concept coming out a year before the Parcour, this Giugiaro concept really proves the theme thanks to the mid-engine V10 above. Even the front-mounted LM002 Lambo Rambo and its Countach V12 cannot really compete: that was a front-engine layout and therefore far more conventional in many eyes.
2012 Lamborghini Urus
The Parcour was extra helpful getting Audi executive brass on-board with the Lamborghini SUV idea. It showed the eager and willing market for the car in bold relief.
Will this help the production URUS, which we predict is on a Macan chassis with a turbo-charged Porsche V6 under the hood? Certainly a bit less authentic than the Parcour - but then again, it does seat four people versus just the Parcour's two. An SUV should be a bit practical, after all!
A very blatant copy of the Parcour showed up just six months later via the Audi Nanuk, itself an R8/Gallardo-based rock hopper SUV coupe.