Lamborghini's new $200,000 SUV boosts automaker's sales by 51 percent in 2018

  • Lambo's total global sales jumped 51 percent in 2018, with the company delivering 5,750 cars.
  • Much of that gain was from the 1,761 new Uruses delivered to customers during the last half of the year.

The Lamborghini SUV might seem like the ultimate four-wheeled oxymoron. Like low-fat ice cream or soft rock, Lambos and SUVs just didn't belong together.

But so far, the experiment is paying off in the Lamborghini Urus. Lambo's total global sales jumped 51 percent in 2018, with the company delivering 5,750 cars. Much of that gain was from the 1,761 new Uruses delivered to customers during the last half of the year.

The company — part of Volkswagen Group — sold 1,595 total cars in the U.S., its largest single market.

Details on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Details on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.

The combination could have been the worst of both worlds — all the sloth of an SUV combined with the outlandish curves and price, starting at $200,000, of a raging bull.

This summer this reporter had the chance to drive Lambo's new Urus. Initially skeptical as I climbed into the cockpit of the giant yellow wedge of a truck, I came away convinced. The engineers at Sant'Agata Bolognese have somehow managed to supersize the Lambo sports car. It accelerates and corners and races like a Lambo but has the space, comfort and smooth ride of an SUV.

Details on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Details on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.

The Urus has been so successful that Lambo's chairman and CEO, Stefano Domenicali, says he plans to cap production at 8,000 cars in 2020 (about half of that from the Urus) to ensure that the company's famed exclusivity and quality doesn't suffer.

And this week the Urus gained another accolade, being named The Robb Report's car of the year. It edged out the Ferrari 812 Superfast and Bentley Continental GT.

Details on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Details on the 2019 Lamborghini Urus.

Even more surprising is that about 70 percent of Urus buyers have never owned a Lamborghini. And for a brand where more than 90 percent of buyers have always been men, the Urus is attracting more women. Kylie Jenner and rap artist Cardi B are now proud Urus owners. And that could help sales to women even more than any corporate ad campaign.

WATCH: Lamborghini's luxury SUV named 'Car of the Year'

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