Automotive

Lamborghini goes plug-in hybrid with 910-hp Asterion concept

The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Stephan Winkelmann and the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4
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Stephan Winkelmann and the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4
Lamborghini showed the Asterion on the eve of the 2014 Paris Motor Show
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Lamborghini showed the Asterion on the eve of the 2014 Paris Motor Show
The interior uses contrasting ivory and brown leathers
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The interior uses contrasting ivory and brown leathers
The three-panel transparent engine cover represents the three driving modes: electric, hybrid and gas power
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The three-panel transparent engine cover represents the three driving modes: electric, hybrid and gas power
The Lamborghini Asterion uses three motors and a V10 engine
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The Lamborghini Asterion uses three motors and a V10 engine
The Lamborghini Asterion shows some fresh styling elements
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The Lamborghini Asterion shows some fresh styling elements
The Lamborghini Asterion can travel at all-electric speeds up to around 77 mph (125 km/h)
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The Lamborghini Asterion can travel at all-electric speeds up to around 77 mph (125 km/h)
A look inside the two-seat Asterion
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A look inside the two-seat Asterion
Stephan Winkelmann and the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4
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Stephan Winkelmann and the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4
Lamborghini goes ibrido
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Lamborghini goes ibrido
The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Asterion detail (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Asterion detail (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Asterion detail (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Asterion detail (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Asterion detail (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Asterion detail (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Inside the Lamborghini Asterion concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Inside the Lamborghini Asterion concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Inside the Lamborghini Asterion concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Inside the Lamborghini Asterion concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Inside the Lamborghini Asterion concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Inside the Lamborghini Asterion concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Lamborghini Asterion at the 2014 Paris Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Asterion features a tri-panel transparent engine cover (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The Asterion features a tri-panel transparent engine cover (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Lamborghini has long been on the cutting edge of auto technology in terms of potent powertrains and lightweight materials. However, its colleagues over at McLaren and Ferrari have it beat when it comes to electrification, each having introduced a hybrid flagship at last year's Geneva Motor Show. In Paris, Lamborghini officially surpassed those marques, presenting its very first hybrid, a 910-hp plug-in with more than 30 miles (50 km) of all-electric driving range.

Lamborghini's Asterion LPI 910-4 offers power on par with the LeFerrari (we still cringe at referencing that model name) and McLaren P1, but its plug-in hybrid drive provides a respectable all-electric range of 31 miles (50 km). That range is more on par with the 38-mile (61-km) Chevy Volt than it is with the 6.2-mile (10-km) P1 (the LeFerrari doesn't have a full-electric mode).

For those well-versed in Lamborghini nomenclature, the "I" inside the familiar "Longitudinale Posteriore" HP-4WD format stands out like a sore thumb. It stands for "ibrido," Italian for hybrid, and as Lamborghini's first hybrid, it's the first model to need the I.

As to that ibrido, the Asterion packages the Huracán's 610-hp 5.2-liter V10 engine, mounted longitudinally amidships, with two front-mounted electric motors and a third sitting between the V10 and the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. That last unit incorporates a starter motor and generator, and works with the engine and front motors in hybrid 4WD mode. There is also an all-electric FWD mode and gas engine mode. All in, the four power plants offer 910 horses and combine to get the car rolling from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a flat 3 seconds, on to a top speed of 199 mph (320 km/h). Lamborghini lists the fuel economy at 4.1L/100 km (57 mpg).

The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The Lamborghini Asterion in Paris (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

"Lamborghini continues to focus on weight reduction as a means to reducing CO2, for example through the investment in carbon fiber engineering, which also contributes to our quest for the best super sports car handling and performance," says Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann. "To significantly reduce emissions on a car in this moment, however, plug-in electrification is the best option for us, because for Lamborghini such a car must still provide a truly emotional driving experience. In the Asterion this is guaranteed through a naturally aspirated engine that is combined with PHEV technology, which not only offers exceptionally low CO2 emissions of 98 g/km, but a practical pure electric driving range of 50 km."

Lamborghini refers to the Asterion as a technology demonstrator, but the car also puts on a demonstration in styling, experimenting with more rear-slung proportions than we're used to seeing from Sant'Agata Bolognese. In fact, when Lamborghini released a shadowy teaser of the profile a couple weeks ago, speculation suggested it might be a new take on the Estoque sedan concept. Instead, it's a two-seat two-door with an extended roofline that arrows straight back into a muscular rear-end.

The front windshield stands more upright than on the typical Aventador or Huracán, and the resulting dimensions give the car the proverbial "pouncing cat" look that is ever-popular with auto designers. We think Lamborghini would do well to incorporate such styling into its production line, providing a bit more visual distinction between models.

Other styling elements worth mentioning include the "eyes with eyebrows" headlights, double-grid front air intakes, embedded mud guards and transparent engine cover. The car is painted in "Blue Elektra" and rides on Pirelli tires on 20/21-in rims.

Inside the Lamborghini Asterion concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Inside the Lamborghini Asterion concept (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Inside, the two seats are set higher than on a typical Lamborghini sports car, a detail added to enhance the everyday nature of the hybrid design. Ivory and brown leather combine with carbon fiber, aluminum and titanium to give the minimalistic interior the premium feel of a 900-hp supercar. A portable tablet provides climate and infotainment control, while driving mode is controlled via buttons on the Miura-inspired three-spoke steering wheel.

Lamborghini's press release doesn't list a weight for the Asterion, but it does say that the car is built on a carbon fiber monocoque. The lithium-ion battery is mounted lengthwise in the central tunnel area, providing superior weight balance and better crash protection.

Lamborghini gives no indication on the possibility of getting an Asterion-derived hybrid supercar into the driveways of its customers, but the show car is a lucid first step if it has such a plan.

Source: Lamborghini

9 comments
Freyr Gunnar
What's the point of turning those cars into hybrids? Gasoline is not an issue for people who can afford those cars, and they don't care about CO2 emissions either (or they wouldn't drive those gas guzzlers in the first place).
Daishi
@Freyr Gunnar the answer to that could best be described with the phrase "torque fill". It's not really about fuel costs, combustion engines produce low power and torque at low RPM and more at higher RPM. Even powerful engines suffer from low amounts of power at low RPM. Here is an example dyno run of a Gallardo: http://i.imgur.com/t7GubC7.jpg Electric engines on the other hand produce lots of torque and its all available instantly from 0 RPM so its useful (for performance) to pair them with combustion engines to fill in during this period of time. With the Porsche 918, LaFerrari, and McLaren P1 hybrids are the latest new hotness in supercars/hypercars delivering performance like nothing that has come before them. All those cars have sub 7 minute Nürburgring lap times. Improved fuel efficiency is never a bad thing either but its more of a side effect in this case than the actual goal (which is raw performance).
Murgatroyd
LA Ferrari. But who cares - ridicule trumps accuracy.
Michael Erdmier
@Freyr Gunnar, automakers have a required "combined" efficiency their lines have to reach in order to avoid government penalties. For brands with nothing but sportscars, some kind of a hybrid in the line (or hybrid system) is one way of getting around that. Several years ago Aston Martin sold a Toyota (Scion) iQ model under the name of "Cygnet" in order to lower their overall company efficiency/CO2 profile. It's dumb and it's based on fear-mongering pseudo-science, but at least the engineers are finding ways to make it enjoyable The Porsche 918 Spyder is (imho) one of the best cars ever made,
Marc Bieri
Nicest looking Lamborghini since the Miura. Why do it? The reality is it is a step in the evolution of the automobile. ICEs don't have the torque of electrics. Audi's proving it at LeMans, and others are beginning to see it. The next step in Ultra performance will be Electric. People will miss the purr of the V12, but when they start outperforming everything else, it will not be missed. Sure, we think that the people who can afford this don't care about CO2 and fuel economy... This was made for actors like George Clooney and other who do care, and don't want to be seen in big poluting cars. Remember the pressure put on Arni to convert his Hummer to biofuel. Any which way, it's a sweet looking car, and performs like a monster.
Stephen N Russell
Love it, produce some for sales & rent, Id drive one aside the other classic Lambo models.
TeeWee
A grand total of 30 miles on all electric power. Gee, things haven't really improved much since the early electric trucks of the late 1800s.
Michael Wilson
regulations in european cities will ban cars outputting certain amounts of C02 by 2020. Manufacturers are building vehicles like this partly to comply with upcoming regulations. The other reason is that as said earlier, electric motors generate 100% torque from rest so its useful to supplement high revving, low displacement turbocharged or naturally aspirated engines when they're out of torque peak or the turbo has not yet reach efficiency range. I love seeing cars like this, as it is the evolution of technology and the trickle down effect at work. Fast cars and racing advance automotive technology like few other things. As auto companies work to outpace one another on the track, things will only get better.
Andrej Radoš
At last, a beautiful Lamborghini, first not kitcar looking since Miura.