A lot of rumors were going round in the internet in the days and weeks before the 2014 Paris Mondial de l'Automobile about the new car Automobili Lamborghini SpA was going to unveil, talk about a third model line over the Huracan Spyder and the Aventador SV were all over the place ... until the evening before the official press release in Paris when Stephan Winkelmann unveiled the Asterion LPI910-4 ... an extremely powerful Hybrid Bull.
For the first time in the 50 years of Automobili Lamborghini SpA a hybrid propulsion was shown on a Lamborghini, and not just some electric gadgets that were added ... the Asterion LPI910 features the well known V10 engine derived from the Huracan LP610-4 pumping out 610hp to the rear wheels, while for the 'Ibrida' setup a duo of electric motors have been added t the front wheels with a third electric engine in the transmission driving the rear wheels with a combined power output of 300hp ... making the total power delivery in the Asterion concept a massive 910hp ... to most powerfull Bull ever.
Public response during the Paris Motor Show and after that were mainly positive, but the Asterion was intended to be a concept car ... a show car to demonstrate a totally different vision from Lamborghini, this wasn't an ultra low exotic super car, instead the Asterion still put the engine in the middle but the style of the car was more towards a Gran Turismo.
That GT feeling was also evident inside the Lamborghini Asterion LPI910-4 with light shaded leather covering just about everything in the cockpit of this Raging Bull, combined with a warm, darker brown shade of leather and the Lamborghini trademarked Forged Composite material the view from the driver's seat was immediately recognizable as being in a Lamborghini, but still on a very high, luxurious level ... not as much a sporty, race car inspired feeling.
The reactions to this completely new Lamborghini model have been so positive the idea of actually putting the Asterion into production has been heard around Sant'Agata recently, studies into the actual cost of production for a hybrid system and how to handle the extra weight of the batteries and motors that influence driving have been ongoing for a while now.
The large lithium battery pack required for the electric motors is in fact mounted in the space normally used for the front propshaft on the Aventador and Huracan, in fact the Asterion used the lower section of the carbon fiber monocoque from the Aventador while the front and rear subframes are probably derived from the Huracan model.
The entire hybrid development was kept a secret for several years by Lamborghini, in fact people were thinking the Raging Bull would have to revert to smaller displacement engines with turbo charging to prepare for the more stringent emision rules ... but a hrybrid setup is the way to go according to Maurizio Reggioni, Head of Research and Development at Lamborghini.
Before the first sketch of the Asterion was even made a hybrid system was installed into a regular Aventador to be tested on the open road, how would the supercar cope with the additional weight and the combination of electric and combustion engines ... the only way to be sure was to actually drive it on the open road and on the track ... remember the black Aventador with the fins many people imagined being the SV during testing ... looks like this was in fact a hybrid Aventador instead.
With the future looking more and more like regular cars will no longer be allowed into city center the decision was made to have an autonomy of at least 50km on electric power only for the new Lamborghini hybrid while the CO2 emmision would be lower than 100g/km ... a combination that requried a set of motors and batteries adding a hefty 250kg to the overall weight.
With only the front, electric motors at work the Lamborghini Asterion can reach a speed of 125Km/h (78Mph) but when the V10 comes into the equation the top speed is set at 320Km/h (199Mph) with acceleration figures of only three seconds from a standstill to 100Km/h (62Mph) ... that is super car teritory suitable for a Lamborghini.
The exterior styling of the Lamborghini Asterion makes it instantly recognizable as a Raging Bull, but with a Gran Turismo feel about it, we are still talking about a mid-engine V10 car but with the twin electric motors and batteries up front I guess the weight distribution is just about perfect, and the long nose section together with the more upright windshield and the slighty upward opening doors with very low side sills make entry and exit into the Asterion a lot easier compared to the more exotic Huracan and range topping Aventador.
Even when using the V10 combustion engine only the two front mounted electric motors aren't idling around, they actively contribute to the handling of the Asterion as they can independently power the front wheels running at different speeds and torque ... enter a corner and exiting at speed will be that much easier with the help of these electric units.
Still according the Maurizio Reggiani this hybrid showcase is the road to follow for future super cars, at the moment the idea of an electric Aventador is nonsense ... such a system would be too heavy and require batteries way too large to be used in the hyper exotic range like the V12 flagship, too much added weight and too expensive ... hence the Asterion approach makes much more sense.
In fact sources have already mentioned the Lamborghini Asterion LPI910-4 could make it into a limited production run in the near future, and at a price setting that will be slightly above the Aventador msrp ... the Asterion could be listed at €440,000 (US$ 550,000) in fact, which will make it a lot cheaper when compared to the closest competition from McLaren with their P1 and Porsche with the 918 while the Asterion would be more of a GT model instead of track inspired super car.
If you would like to see how the Lamborghini Asterion LPI910-4 looks in other shades than this bright blue metallic hue take a look at our renders we've done a few months ago : Lamborghini Asterion LPI910-4, the shades