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Asterion Concept Hybrid Signals New Direction for Lamborghini

RMAutoBuzz

Lamborghini debuted its jaw-dropping Asterion Concept hybrid supercar at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, the jewel-blue coupe showing an all-new styling direction for the Italian luxury brand. The Asterion features smoother styling that is a marked departure from the much brasher look found on the current Aventador, Huracan and Estoque.

Lamborghini Calls It a “Hyper Cruiser”

The Asterion, which shares subtle design touches with the classic Miura and Espada, features an upright windshield, softly curved side flanks, and a slightly taller profile than the impossibly low Aventador. Its prominent side air intakes show off its mid-engine layout, although its sharply angled grille displays some shared DNA with the rest of Lamborghini’s modern lineup.

The new car is designed to be easier to drive and live with on a daily basis. Its greenhouse is taller, its seats are mounted higher, and visibility is quite a bit better both front and rear than on the company’s other models. Even a passable amount of cargo space makes an appearance thanks to a front trunk plus extra storage behind the seats.

Lamborghini’s First Gas-Electric Powertrain

Though the Asterion proudly showcases an advanced gas-electric powertrain, Lamborghini’s system packs quite a bit more punch than the typical hybrid. Powering the rear wheels, a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 makes 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Sandwiched between the engine and 7-speed dual-clutch sequential manual transmission is powerful electric motor that boosts output to the rear wheels, also functioning as the car’s generator and starter.

Each front wheel gets a dedicated electric motor to provide instant on-demand torque whenever additional traction or full-throttle acceleration is required. When combined, these electric motors produce an additional 295 horsepower. The entire gas-electric hybrid AWD system outputs 897 combined peak horsepower, enough to dash from 0 to 62 mph in 3.0 seconds.

Contrary to Lamborghini’s gas-guzzling image, the Asterion can also run for up to 31 miles continuously on electric power alone, all the while capable of reaching 78 mph before it needs to engage the V-10 at all. This puts the car in hot company along with the likes of the Posche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1. Federal fuel efficiency regulations in the United States are set to tighten in 2017, which would force Lamborghini to fork over huge annual cash penalties until it improves its fleetwide fuel efficiency to a more-acceptable level.

Production Plans?

While Lamborghini has not yet confirmed production for its new Asterion Concept, the V-10 hybrid system will most certainly fitted onto one of the brand’s production cars by 2017. Initial response to the car by the press and auto-show-going public has been positive, improving the likelihood that it will see production mostly intact after making the transition from a concept car to showrooms.

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