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Forget everything you know about Lamborghini: here comes its first hybrid, with electric-only front-wheel drive (a Lambo first), wrapped in a grand tourer body evoking the iconic Miura’s.
The car is the Asterion, a concept that mounts the Huracan’s 5.2-litre V10 (with its standard 602bhp and 413lb ft of torque) behind the two-seat cockpit. Unlike in the Huracan, power is sent to the rear wheels only: its mechanical four-wheel-drive system makes way for two 150bhp electric motors, with torque- vectoring, driving the front wheels.
You know about Lamborghini: here comes its first hybrid, with electric-only front-wheel drive (a Lambo first), wrapped in a grand tourer body evoking the iconic Miura’s.Color: Black and Blue
Number of gears: 5
Engine: 60° 12-cylinder-V engine (four-stroke), mid-mountedNumber of airbags: 2
The system’s combined output is 910PS (902bhp), hence the Asterion name’s suffix: LPI 910-4. That in theory delivers a 3.0 sec blast from stand still to 62mph, two-tenths superior to a Huracan, despite an extra 250kg of batteries and electric motors. The Asterion uses the Aventador’s carbon fibre construction to offset the heavy plug-in components, and the batteries are located centrally to ensure a low centre of gravity and boost safety.
The plug-in hybrid system offers two driving modes: 31 miles of electric-only range at up to 78mph, and ‘hybrid’, which combines the V10 and electric motors for permanent four-wheel drive.
Asterion is an ancient Greek name for the Minotaur, a mythical half-man, half-bull, helping the concept meet Lambo’s bovine naming convention.
Bull also applies to the 67.2mpg and 98g/km of CO2 figures: blame the daft NEDC cycle, biased to urban speeds taken in EV mode by the Lambo. The Asterion is a ‘technology demonstrator,’ says R&D chief Maurizio Reggiani. ‘It’s the way we think a car which is a plug-in hybrid could possibly have the Lamborghini name on it.’ Sources suggest the first application could be in the Urus SUV, although that will depend if Bentley is thinking along similar hybrid lines: VW surely won’t allow the brands to engineer two competing hybrids for the pooled SUV. Reggiani emphasized this was an in-house project with no input from other VW outposts; only the batteries have been with an unnamed outside partner. ‘[The system] is really innovative and the best for us in terms of packaging, power and stored energy.’
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The softer, more curvaceous design is a step away from extreme, angular Lambos, and there are hints of the Miura in the rear view and its character: Asterion’s more upright windscreen gives the GT concept an extra 100mm over a low-slung Aventador (or Miura!).
‘Asterion has the look of a more comfortable car with a higher seating position, more head clearance and better front
view which is suitable for a car that is driveable every day. It’s a Gran Turismo
rather than for someone who measures a car by the best lap time.’ The doors open like ‘wings’ to optimise access too.
Aventador push-rod suspension is combined with the Huracan’s Magneride damping system, but tuned more for ride comfort than out-and-out handling. The carbon-ceramic brakes are also from the Aventador.
The two-seater interior is finished in ivory and brown leather with aluminium and forged carbon fibre features, as well as titanium inserts on the Miura-inspired three-spoke wheel. This houses buttons for selecting full electric (‘zero’), I for ‘ibrido’ and ‘T’ for ‘termico’ or thermal (engine power).
‘We have to find a balance between upcoming emissions for the group, and what the Lamborghini brand is all about,’ concludes Reggiani. How can he square that circle? Turbocharged engines that ‘don’t jeopardise the sound and emotions of a naturally aspirated engine’ are one option. And Asterion shows that, if the weight and cost issues can be solved, hybridisation will play a role in Sant’Agata’s future model range.