Lamborghini Asterion

This is the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4. The official word is that it’s a ‘technology demonstrator’, and it’s a ridiculously overpowered Lamborghini hybrid, complete with electric motors and the claimed equivalent of 282 miles per gallon. And it’s not just the name that’s big. This is Lamborghini’s big future.

Befitting the “LPI” portion of the name (the “I” is for Ibrido, which is Italian for “hybrid”), this mid-engine two-seater coupe measuring 4.7m (15.4ft) long, uses an adapted Aventador carbon fibre monocoque, mostly in the lower section, with a different roof structure, and its wheelbase has been stretched to create more interior space. It borrows the Huracán’s stunning 607bhp 5.2-litre V10 engine, which is hooked up to a blistering dual-clutch seven-speed rear transaxle auto ’box. It’ll make it to 60 MPH in three seconds flat, on to a top speed of about 198.

But it’s also a parallel hybrid, with an electric motor bolted onto the transaxle that incorporates a starter motor and generator. Like the Porsche 918 Spyder, two other electric motors are located on the front axle to deliver four-wheel drive, as well as torque vectoring. There’s no mechanical connection between the front and rear axles. Between them, they contribute an additional chunk of energy worth 220kW, equivalent to almost 300bhp. And since 300 horsepower alone is clearly enough to power this thing around, it’ll do up to 125 kilometers an hour, or about 77 miles per hour, on the electric juice alone for up to 32 miles. The batteries live in the central tunnel where you’d normally find a propshaft. This benefits both safety and the car’s centre of gravity, Lamborghini claims. Electric power can also be used to fill in gaps in the engine’s torque curve. What’s not to love?

Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren have all jumped into the hybrid game already, but rather than trying to compete with that trio of track-oriented hypercars, the Asterion looks distinctly, well.. comfortable. The seats look to be more highly positioned than in relatively hard-edged Lamborghinis like the Aventador, and the interior’s swathed in inviting brown and ivory leather, for a more luxurious atmosphere, as well as aluminium, forged carbon and titanium.

Three drive modes – zero (for full electric), I (for Ibrido), and T (for Térmico) – are available via buttons on the steering wheel. The main dash binnacle has little leather straps on the side.

Well.. All this techy cleverness results in an unavoidable porkiness. In all, the electrification process adds 280kg (617lbs) to the Asterion’s overall weight. That’s a lot of battery cells, cooling gubbins and control electronics. But this glass is also defiantly half-full. The Asterion’s total power output is a thumping 907bhp. It’ll do 185mph all-out, and accelerate to 62mph in just over three seconds, while coughing out only 98g/km of CO2s. A real-world range of 30 miles on pure electric power is a hell of a party trick. Finally, a claimed overall combined average of 282mpg sounds like silly talk.

Alright, so the younger Lamborghini fans among us will now begin their rage-filled keyboard assault how Lamborghini Is Now Ruined, Everything Is Soft Now, There Are No More Supercars, The World Is Over, Lamborghini Is Over, Down With Lamborghini, How Dare Lamborghini Not Make Something With Silly Doors And That You Can Actually Drive places… but it really isn’t the apocalypse.

While this is still technically a concept, the Asterion looks distinctly production-ready, and we have nothing to fear from a Lamborghini grand tourer. The company was founded upon grand tourers like the original Lamborghini 350GT, and continued the tradition with models like the Lamborghini Jalpa up through the 1980s.

Times are changing and Lamborghini is adapting.