No Bull, Lamborghini Heats up the Horsepower Race with Asterion Concept

Super car maker joins competitor with new hybrid concept.

by on Oct.02, 2014

Lamborghini's Stephan Winkelmann shows the maker's entry into the plug-in hybrid super car segment with the Asterion concept car at the Paris Motor Show.

You might say that Lamborghini is full of bull, each of its sports cars bearing the name of a legendary fighting bull. The maker takes a slightly different turn by manning up with the Asterion LPI 910-4 it’s debuting in Paris this week, the name of the Greek minotaur, a half-man, half-bull.

But whether the maker is serious about this concept remains to be seen. Only a year ago, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann insisted he was determined to stay focused on traditional, large-block internal combustion engines, but the “I” in LPI suggests he has had a change of heart. In Italian, it stands for “Ibrido.” That’s “hybrid” to the rest of us. And it reveals how the new show car comes up with its daunting 910 horsepower.

Stay on the Fast Track!

Following in the footsteps of rivals like Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche, the Asterion mates its 610-horsepower, 5.2-liter V-10 with three separate electric motors, each churning out 100 horsepower. Add it up and you’re up to 910 metric hp, 897 using U.S. measurements.

And like the new Porsche 918 Spyder, the Asterion isn’t just a hybrid, but a plug-in capable of going up to 50 kilometers – about 32 miles – in purely electric mode at speeds of up to 78 mph.

The Asterion puts out more than 900 horsepower between its 610-hp gas-powered engine and four 100-hp electric motors.

With all four sources of power kicking in, however, the manufacturer claims the curvaceous hypercar can top out at 199 mph, while launching from 0 to 100 kmh, or 0 to 62.5 mph, in a mere three seconds.

Oh, and if we’re reading into the show cars nomenclature, the “4” reveals that it puts power to all four wheels. As with any and every Lamborghini, the design is absolutely over the top, though there’s a little more sculpting to the Asterion than we’ve seen in recent years compared with models like the Aventador and the current Huracan models, which are all about straight lines and sharp angles.

(Lamborghini storms into Geneva with Huracan. For more, Click Here.)

Designed and developed entirely in-house, the Asterion uses currently available technologies, which means it could be built … now.

(Click Here for details on Audi’s new TT Sportback concept.)

Will the Italian maker build the Asterion? For the moment, Winkelmann isn’t saying.

(To see more about the Corvette that blasts into sub-3-second zero-to-60 club, Click Here.)

“Lamborghini is always looking ahead, investing in new technologies and setting new benchmarks, delivering the unexpected,” he allowed.

It is quite likely he has received marching orders from the upper reaches of parent Volkswagen AG, however. The German maker was equally reticent about battery power until a few years ago, but facing tough new emissions and mileage standards in key markets like the U.S. and Europe – and with fast-growing luxury market China pushing heavily for battery power, Lambo just might need to switch on an electric vehicle program sometime soon.

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