About a week ago, a very conceptual and un-revealing image appeared out of Lamborghini; a teaser that gave nothing away other than we could expect big things at this year's Paris Mondial De L'Automobile. The automotive world was instantly set a light by ideas of what the mysterious silhouette could be; but, even through all of our guessing, in the end all we could do was patiently wait.
On 1st October the mysterious car was revealed to the world and we must say; it was definitely worth the wait. Named the 'Lamborghini Asterion LPI910-4', this is the first plug in hybrid that the Sant'Agata based company have ever made. The Gran Turismo focused car is being used by the company as a demonstration of future technology that the brand may be working with and, in true Lamborghini form, it has some explosive technical specifications.
Sitting in the back of the Asterion is a naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 that creates 610bhp and 560nm of torque. Lamborghini aficionados will recognise that this doesn't add up to the 910bhp that is suggested by the vehicles name; supporting this monstrous V10, and supplying the additional 300bhp, are three electric motors. Combined, the two systems create a hybrid team that launches the car from 0-62mph in just over 3 seconds and up to a top speed of 185mph.
Lamborghini have placed a large priority on keeping the weight of the car down and creating a car that still feels like a proper Lamborghini. Lamborghini's R&D boss Maurizio Reggiani told Top Gear:
“At 1800kg, we are at the upper end of the range of what we feel is acceptable [in terms of weight]. But we have worked, and are continuing to work, very hard to create a true Lamborghini feeling"
Unlike other Lamborghini models, the new Asterion can boast more than power and handling however; this comfortable GT car will do an overall combined average of 282mpg! To achieve this the Asterion utilises three different driving modes that are accessible through steering wheel buttons – Zero, I and T.
Putting the car into 'Zero' moves the car into full electric mode, switching off the potent V10; running on just the cars battery range is a very impressive 30 miles. Putting the Asterion into 'I' or 'Ibrido' mode turns the potent V10 back on and changes the car so that it runs the same as a classic hybrid. The final mode, 'T' or 'Thermico' is the cars most potent mode and turns the Asterion into a classic Lamborghini supercar.
There's a lot about this Lamborghini concept car which is very different to what we're used too from the brand. One striking difference is the cars styling; past Lamborghini concepts have always had incredibly obtrusive and remarkable exterior styles that shock and amaze their audience. The Asterion, on the other hand, was created as a hybrid demonstration that almost exactly shows us how the hybrid Lamborghini or Lamborghini GT car of the future could look. Speaking about the styling, Lamborghini's design boss, Felippo Perini, said:
“The best suit for this car was the tailored elegance of a Gran Turismo. It's not all about power…I don't like creating concepts that aren't ready for production. The Asterion proposes a real future Lamborghini, not a fake one…We're not telling lies with this car. It will be driveable."
The cars GT nature continues when you step the cabin, instantly you're greeted by a luxurious interior that utilises materials like ivory leather and forged carbon. Lamborghini have created a much more human and usable vehicle with the Asterion; providing the driver with additional storage space and a detachable tablet that handles the infotainment, climate control and GPS.