Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4: Hybrid hyper-cruiser revealed at Paris Motor Show 2014
Weight still a focus
Lamborghini’s quest to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions has to date focused on extreme lightweight construction, despite its trio of hypercar rivals, the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari, opting for plug-in hybrid power. With the Asterion LPI 910-4, the Italian Audi subsidiary has finally brought its hybrid technology to the fore. Lamborghini’s CEO Stephan Winkelmann defends the company’s previous practices, however, confirming that weight reduction and investment in carbonfibre technology remains an essential step towards reducing CO2 emissions (while maintaining ‘the best handling and performance’) in the long run.
More GT than hypercar
Conceptually, the Asterion is no competitor to the aforementioned hybrid hypercars, offering more in the way of comfort and practicality – Lamborghini calls the car a hybrid ‘hyper-cruiser’. The idea of a long-distance cruiser from Sant’Agata isn’t a new one: the four-door Estoque concept revealed at the 2008 Paris Motor Show sadly never got the green light. Although visually similar, the Asterion is thoroughly revised, with just two seats (as opposed to four), a steeper windscreen and a taller roof in order to maximise comfort and space inside.
Under the transparent engine cover
Located tantalisingly beneath a transparent engine cover is the Asterion’s 910HP heart, or rather four hearts. The current 5.2-litre V10 remains the core powerplant, while three lithium battery-powered electric motors combine to generate another 300HP. And in case you were wondering, the ‘I’ in LPI 910-4 stands for ‘Ibrido’ or ‘hybrid’ in English. With a staggering 780Nm of torque, the Asterion travels from 0-62mph in just three seconds. Perhaps more impressively, the car will travel some 50km powered purely by electricity, hence producing no harmful tailpipe emissions and significantly increasing overall efficiency. Sadly, this elegant GT won’t be seen on the urban scene time soon – the Asterion LPI 910-4 is merely a ‘technology demonstrator’. For now. Go on Lambo… we dare you.