The first plug-in hybrid vehicle ever from this legendary Italian supercar maker, the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Concept made its much-anticipated debut in Paris. Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, called the car a technology showcase that the company could realistically build today using existing technologies and the automaker's own expertise

Engineered to deliver outstanding overall performance worthy of its Lamborghini pedigree, Winkelmann noted that the Asterion was intended "more for comfortable luxury daily cruising than for ultimate track performance." Although continued weight reduction will remain a corporate priority, he believes plug-in hybrid powertrains are the most realistic solution to create vehicles with significantly lower CO2 emissions levels that still can meet customer expectations for a Lamborghini driving experience. The Asterion Concept, he says, delivers on both counts. 

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Mid-engine 2-seater

Based on a full carbon fiber monocoque like the Aventador and Huracán, this 2-passenger mid-engine coupe matches a 602-horsepower version of Lamborghini's naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 that can operate independently or with three electric motors. One is located in the rear-mounted 7-speed dual-clutch transaxle to help drive the rear wheels while the other pair is up front. These forward motors can further supplement the V10's formidable muscle or torque-vector the front wheels to enhance handling when the Asterion is in hybrid mode. The motors also provide all drive power when it the vehicle operates as a pure EV. Fed by a lithium-ion battery pack fitted in the center tunnel, the three motor/generator units add another 296 horses to the output total - which brings the collective figure to 910 of the slightly weaker Euro-spec metric "PS" ponies or 898 of SAE horsepower. Although the plug-in hybrid kit adds 250 pounds to the Asterion's curb weight, it still can streak from 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds and reach 199 mph when fully unleashed or travel 31 miles on electricity alone and hit a speed of 78 mph. Equally important, the setup reduces CO2 emissions to just 98g/km. 

Aggressively elegant style

Exhibiting a retro flair, the car's styling recalls the classic Miura. The Asterion LPI 910-4 Concept was penned at Lamborghini's styling center and reportedly may hint at a direction the automaker may pursue in the years to come. Finished in a bright Blue Elektra metallic, this distinctive "hyper cruiser" matches an aggressive front end that features an active air cooling system with an equally bold tail punctuated by dramatic LED lamps and dual paired chrome hexagonal exhaust tips. Other details include large swan-style doors, prominent radiators ahead of the rear wheels, staggered-size 21-/22-inch forged composite wheels and a transparent engine cover composed of three hexagonal glass elements. The Asterion's cabin is done in ivory and brown leather set off with aluminum, titanium and forged-carbon accents. A Miura-look steering wheel contains drive-selector buttons while a console-mounted portable tablet lets those on board operate the infotainment, climate control and navigation systems.   

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The Asterion gets its given name from the Greek word for the mythical Minotaur, itself a half man/half bull hybrid and Lambo expanded its traditional LP - "longitudinale posterior" - designation with the letter I which is short for "ibrido," the Italian word for hybrid. The 910-4 refers to its aforementioned Euro power stat and number of drive wheels. So far, there's no official decision about whether the Asterion will transition from concept to production. But don't be surprised to see its hybrid powertrain make an appearance in a future Lamborghini model. 

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