Introduced to much praise at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the Lamborghini Asterion concept doesn’t look as aggressive as many of the brand’s other road-going cars. But the gorgeous show car also features another major departure compared to The Charging Bull’s current lineup of supercars: a unique hybrid powertrain. Now, Autocar UK has provided new details regarding where the Asterion stands in terms of production possibility, technology, testing, and more after speaking to the automaker’s head of research and development, Maurizio Reggiani.
To start, the Italy-based and Volkswagen-owned Lamborghini describes the Asterion as a “technology demonstrator”. The car combines the Huracán’s 5.2-liter V10 with a new seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, a lithium ion battery pack and two electric motors that sit on the front axle. The Asterion’s hybrid power plant was tested in a Lamborghini Aventador before making its way into the stunning show car.
“We began with an installation [of the prototype] hybrid drivetrain in a standard Aventador, so we wouldn’t gain any attention,” said Reggiani. “The idea was that we could have [internal] discussions on what type of hybrid would be suitable for Lamborghini. We needed to conduct an investigation of the behaviour of a plug-in system and the mix of the battery electric engine and [internal combustion] engine. We needed to test and exercise it. You can’t judge such a thing in a better way.”
When asked if the introduction of a hybrid powertrain was foreshadowing turbochargers and downsizing engine displacements, Reggiani ambiguous.
“The rules from governments will become more and more severe for CO2,” says Reggiani. “We face new challenges. I think to maintain the DNA of a sports car will need naturally aspirated engines with a high number of cylinders. Maybe one day we will have to downsize and use turbochargers. But I think plug-in is the right solution.”
What isn’t to love about the plug in theory? There’s an electric mode to exercise your economical side and do your part to minimize your carbon footprint, while still having the the ability to open up nearly 900 horsepower whenever you’d like, in the ultimate Lamborghini grand touring experience.
If and when the Asterion reaches production, it would come with a £350,000 price tag, enough to cover the Huracán’s go fast parts and the new hybrid setup.