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Lamborghini’s first plug-in hybrid super sports car demonstrator debuts at Paris

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Automobili Lamborghini (part of the Volkswagen Group) unveiled its first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology demonstrator, the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4, at the 2014 Paris Mondial de l’Automobile.

Conceived and developed entirely in-house by Lamborghini, Asterion’s hybrid system combines a V10 5.2-liter naturally aspirated engine with three electric motors for total power of 669 kW/910 hp, enough for acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 3.0 s and a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph), or up to 125 km/h (78 mph) under pure electric power. All-electric range is 50 km (31 miles).

Fuel consumption is 4.12 l/100 km (57 mpg US) combined cycle (NEDC).

Asterion is a technology demonstrator representing a Lamborghini model that could be realistically produced today, using technologies currently available and drawing on Lamborghini’s own expertise.

Lamborghini continues to focus on weight reduction as a means to reducing CO2, for example through the investment in carbon fiber engineering, which also contributes to our quest for the best super sports car handling and performance. To significantly reduce emissions on a car in this moment however, plug-in electrification is the best option for us, because for Lamborghini such a car must still provide a truly emotional driving experience.

In the Asterion this is guaranteed through a naturally aspirated engine that is combined with PHEV technology, which not only offers exceptionally low CO2 emissions of 98 g/km, but a practical pure electric driving range of 50 km. 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.

Asterion is based on a monocoque made entirely of carbon fiber. The V10 5.2 liter FSI engine is located longitudinally as a mid-engine, as in Lamborghini super sports cars. The extremely fast shifting 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is located behind the engine at the rear transaxle. The housing of the lithium battery is placed longitudinally in the central tunnel area, normally reserved for the transmission. This allows for better balance of the car and also protects the battery area in case of lateral crash impact.

The Asterion’s hybrid architecture is realized with an electric motor incorporating an integrated starter motor and generator (ISG) which is placed between the V10 engine and the double clutch gearbox, and two electric motors at the front axle fed by the ISG power with a torque vectoring function.

This system allows the Asterion two different driving modes: in hybrid mode it is combining the V10 engine with the three electric motors guaranteeing a permanent four-wheel drive without being dependent on the battery’s state of charge. In pure electric drive mode only the two electric motors in the front are used.

The V10 provides a maximum power output of 449 kW (610 hp) with 560 N·m (413 lbs) of maximum torque available. Combined with the three electric motors providing a further 220 kW (300 hp), total hybrid power is achievable to the maximum of 669 kW (910 hp).

Front air intakes are characterized by an active air cooling system which uses a double layered grid for the first time in a Lamborghini: one metal and one titanium grid are embedded into each other.

A transparent engine cover in the rear is an aesthetic detail linking to the hybrid technology beneath, comprised of three hexagonal glasses that turn according to the engine driving mode: pure electric, hybrid power or pure thermal engine power.

In the name, LP stands for longitudinale posteriore, the position of the conventional engine; I stands for ibrido; 910 for the system power; and 4 for the permanent 4WD system. Asterion is the proper name of the mythical Minotaur, a hybrid figure—part man and part bull. Thus, Lamborghini sticks to its tradition of giving its models a name taken from the world of bulls, but at the same time adding an innovative element.