Revealed at the Paris motor show, the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 — don’t call it the “Asteroid” — is a significant departure for the Raging Bull brand. Not in the least because it’s a (gasp!) plug-in hybrid. Not because it finally skims the vaunted 1,000-hp figure. Not because that for the first time, its interior was actually designed with roominess and ergonomics in mind. But this is possibly the first non-insane Lamborghini since the Jarama, the first Lamborghini since the Miura that hasn’t been styled in an exploding knife factory.
Lamborghini calls the color “Blue Elektra,” a name also shared with the many establishments its owners are known to frequent.
“LPI” isn’t the name of a midlevel insurance company but actually Longitudinale Posteriore Ibrido, or “hybrid” in Italian. The Huracan’s 5.2-liter V10 snuggles up against three electric motors, weighing just 485 pounds in total: two at the front wheels and an integrated starter and generator between the V10 and the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. These three motors provide 300 hp. The Huracan’s engine produces 610 hp.
So, that’s the Lamborghini Asterion, then — a mid-engined, AWD hybrid terror, pumping out 910 total hp, right in the middle of the Porsche 918 Spyder (875 hp), McLaren P1 (903 hp), and Ferrari LaFerrari by Ferrari (950 hp). Like those cars, the Asterion is a manifestation of the hybrid drivetrain as a go-fast tool — two powertrains, need we remind, will almost always be faster than one.
Lamborghini claims that the Asterion can hit 60 mph in exactly three seconds, on its way to 199 mph.
The Asterion’s steering wheel has three modes: “Zero,” for fully electric driving; “Ibrido,” for hybrid mode; and “Termico,” for full power.
Come on — that’s to be expected from Lamborghini. What’s not expected is a Lamborghini that can do 57 miles per gallon, (consuming 4.12 liters/100 km), while emitting just 98 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, a figure more valued by the Europeans than us. The Asterion can operate in electric-only mode up to 50 kilometers, or 32 miles. At this point only the front wheels are driven, rendering this Lamborghini the closest it’ll ever be to a Toyota Prius. Let that sink in for a moment.
Lamborghini’s “hyper cruiser,” as it calls the Asterion, could be realistically produced today, “using technologies available and drawing on Lamborghini’s own expertise.”
Asterion, if you’re wondering, is an obscure name for the Minotaur — with its bull head and human body, it’s a hybrid unto itself, further proof that Lamborghini remains the world’s foremost employer of recent English majors. Borges, meanwhile, remains unimpressed.
About the Paris Motor Show
The Paris motor show — or as it is officially known, Mondial de l’Automobile — occurs every two years, alternating with the Frankfurt motor show in Germany. It’s a spotlight for the latest in design, but automakers will also show off their latest concept cars, green cars and supercars. Check out all the action from the 2014 Paris motor show right here.
The Lamborghini Asterion debuted at the Paris Motor Show.