by Sommer Thornton
Lamborghini’s Asterion was a showstopper at this year’s Paris Motor Show. The concept whip could rival the Porsche 918 Spyder and the LaFerrari, which changed the game with beastly track performance and hybrid efficiency. With the Asterion, the hyper cruiser is born; a mix of elegance with a car whose powerful engine meets the sustainability of carbon fiber and the efficiency of an electric motor.
The Asterion LPI 910-4’s unique name illustrates its capabilities. The Asterion is the mythical half man-half bull Minotaur. The Asterion echoes the fusion between intellect and unrestricted power; the strength of the bull delivered by the by the naturally aspirated V10 engine combined with the human rationale delivered by hybrid technology. “LP” stands for longitudinale posteriore, the position of the engine. And “I” is for ibrido, “910” for the total output, and 4”” for the permanent 4wd system.
The Asterion LPI 910-4 will, with any luck, be produced in some form. Its design is compelling enough to stand out from other cars in Lambo’s arsenal. Unlike other Lamborghini’s I’ve seen of late, the Asterion is more graceful, with a sultry Blue Electra glittered paint job and smooth flowing lines defining the hood and the rear. Light and shadows accentuate the volumes of the car, highlighting the masculinity of the Asterion yet giving it a more slender elegance. Sophistication and swag marry with the Asterion’s 20 inch carbon rims with Pirelli tires.
The Asterion also has a more sophisticated headlight design made with forged carbon and titanium. The front air intakes aid cooling to the dark layered cooling grid – the first Lamborghini has made. The rear features a clear engine cover with three hexagonal glasses that turn according to the engine driving mode. And the Asterion retains the same carbon fiber monocoque as its Lamborghini siblings.
The innovations of the new mid-engine Asterion are found in its beastly efficient powertrain. The Asterion LP 910-4 boasts a 31-mile electric drive range at 71 mph or less. Though the Asterion is designed for everyday driving and is less track-focused, it boasts a combined power output of 910 horsepower. Its 5.2 liter naturally aspired V10 engine boasts 610 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque.
The Asterion’s hybrid architecture features an electric motor incorporating an integrated starter motor and generator (ISG) placed between V10 engine and the double clutch gearbox, and two electric motors at the front axle that have a torque vectoring system. The three electric motors add 300 horsepower to the V10’s 610 horsepower for a combined output of 910 horsepower -wowwww! With a top speed of 198 mph, the Asterion goes from 0-62 mph in just three seconds.
The Asterion’s V10 engine is matched to a 7 speed dual clutch transmission placed behind the engine at the rear transaxle. The lithium ion battery is located in the central tunnel area where the transmission should be, which allows for optimal balance and high speed performance.
The Asterion’s hybrid system also features three drive modes selectable via the three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel. In hybrid mode or ibrido “I” mode, the V10 engine and three electric motors work in tandem with 4WD. In pure electric zero “Z” mode, only the two front electric motors are used for up to 31 miles. And in termico (T) mode, full power of the 610 hp V10 is realized.
The interior is tricked out with simplistic sophisticated Bianco Calaeno ivory and Marrone Attis brown leather. The interior also features forged carbon fiber, aluminum, and titanium accents. The two seats sit higher than other Lambo whips ensuring everyday cruising. And thanks to longer swinging doors, the interior is more spacious. A cool portable touch screen tablet is used for climate, navigation, audio, and infotainment settings.