Super Sports Car Maker Makes a Grand Entrance to the Hybrid Fray
On 1 October 2014, at the 2014 Paris Mondiale de l’Automobile, Lamborghini unveiled its new plug-in hybrid concept car, the Asterion LPI 910-4.
Asterion is the first Lamborghini plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and is what the company calls a “technology demonstrator.”
Demonstrator or not, the Asterion fully lives up to the Lamborghini ideal. The car’s V10 5.2 litre naturally aspirated engine coupled with its three electric motors delivers an impressive total power package of 669 kW (910 hp). In real terms this translates to 0-100 km/h in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 320 km/h. Fuel consumption is just 4.12 l/100 km, combined cycle.
Of course limiting carbon emissions is the defining ideal of hybrid vehicles, even if that hybrid is a Lamborghini, and here too Asterioncontinues to impress. The car emits just 98 g/km of CO2 and yields an impressive 50 km pure electric range, which places it firmly at the top of the class for hybrid super sports cars.
Lamborghini devotees and purists can heave a collective sigh of relief at the news that Asterion was indeed conceived and developed entirely in-house by Lamborghini. The marque’s distinctive lines and thoroughbred DNA are moreover evident in every sharp angle and sensual curve.
Asterion’smonocoque is comprised entirely of carbon fibre and, as with other Lamborghini super sports cars, the V10 engine is alongitudinally located mid-engine.
The seven-speed dual-clutch engine gearbox is located behind the engine at the rear transaxle and the lithium battery housing is placed lengthwise in the central tunnel area, where the gearbox would typically be. According to Lamborghini, this placement yields better balance, while protecting the battery from the worst effects of a lateral crash impact.
An electric motor incorporating an integrated starter motor and generator (ISG) is located between the V10 engine and the gearbox, while a further two electric motors at the front axle are fed by the ISG power with a torque vectoring function.
In hybrid mode, Asterion uses all three electric motors together with the V10 engine, while in pure electric mode it uses just the two electric motors in the front.
What’s in the name?
In keeping with Lamborghini tradition, where vehicle names are derived from those of bulls, Asterion rather cleverly draws its name from the proper name of the mythical Minotaur, a hybrid beast said to be part man, part bull. The LP in LPI 910-4 translates as “longitudinal posterior,” representing the location of the mid-engine; I stands for “ibrido,” the Italian for hybrid; 910 for the system’stotal power; and 4 represents the permanent 4WD system.
Stephen Winkelmann, President and CEO of AutomobilLamborghini, sums the car up thus: “The Asterion LPI 910-4 is a true Lamborghini: emotional, with a stunning design, powerful, yet conceived more for comfortable luxury daily cruising than for ultimate track performance.”
Naturally Aspirated Engine
Size: V10 5.2 litre naturally aspirated
Power: 449 kW (610 hp)
Torque: 560 Nm max.
Electric Motors (x 3)
Power: 220 kW (300 hp)
Top Speed: 125 km/h
Range: 50 km
Total power: 669 kW (910 hp)
Top speed: 320 km/h
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 3.0 seconds
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch