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Paris show: Lamborghini plugs in Asterion

Electric blue: The Asterion is Lamborghini's first hybrid vehicle and uses a combination of three electric motors and a V10 to produce electrifying performance. You can plug it in a home too.

Lamborghini goes green with all-new Porsche-hunting Asterion hybrid concept

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Lamborghini logo2 Oct 2014

By DANIEL GARDNER

LAMBORGHINI has unveiled its first foray in to hybrid technology – a mid-engine two-seater plug-in hybrid concept named Asterion LPI 910-4.

Little detail has been released with the concept's unveiling at the Paris motor show, but if its designated code is in accordance with the traditional Lamborghini system, the concept has a four-wheel drive and a whopping 678kW (910 horsepower).

On pure electric power, the Asterion is claimed to have a range of up to 50km, drawing power from three electric motors. But if full-noise performance is required, a petrol V10 – likely the same unit the engine in the Huracan – adds 455kW.

While Lamborghini is referring to the Asterion as a concept, the vehicle that rolled out under its own electric power at the pre-Paris motor show event appears to be further down the development-line than a pure show-pony.

The Italian car-maker is also describing the Asterion – named after mythical Cretian kings who took the form of bulls – as a “technology demonstrator”, implying it is fully functional.

If a production version were to result, the high-performance model would doubtless have the similarly sized champion of the two-seater sports segment – Porsche 911 – in its sights.

Lamborghini’s plug-in hybrid powertrain would give the Asterion a performance advantage over the dominating German sports car, but with better fuel-consumption and emissions.

“The Asterion defines a solution to significantly reducing CO2 emissions through technologies available today, guaranteeing the unique Lamborghini driving feel with a smooth and reactive driveability and with superior power,” says Lamborghini.

The technology to create Lamborghini's first hybrid is likely to have originated from the Italian company's owner – Volkswagen Group, which has developed a PHEV system for the Passat GTE, which is also on show at Paris.

The image of the Asterion’s interior appears to be computer generated but shows a less extreme cabin than that of the new Huracan, focusing on more GT comfort rather than hardcore supercar support.

The concept's defining features are butterfly-opening doors, large engine bay air-intakes and an unusual segmented rear-window/engine cover that reportedly changes shape depending on the driving style.

The unveiling follows a teaser image from the Italian supercar-maker last month, which showed only the profile of the mysterious vehicle, and was accompanied by the line: “Once perfection is achieved, you can just double it.”

It now appears the reference was referring to the vehicle's “doubled” power units, not that the car would be a two-plus-two seater as some had speculated.

By calling its latest concept Asterion, Lamborghini has broken from the tradition of naming its vehicles after famous fighting bulls. According to Greek mythology, Asterion were the two kings of Crete who ruled the stars but took the form of a bull.

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