Lamborghini research and development boss says there is zero chance of the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 plug-in hybrid supercar being built by the Sant’Agata Bolognese factory.
“We decide not to do [it],” was the blunt response of Maurizio Reggiani when pressed on the possibility of the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 being approved for production. “It is only really to investigate the reaction against or in favour of plug-in hybrid, and in terms of design,” Lamborghini’s R&D director added.
The Asterion LPI 910-4 is based on the Lamborghini Aventador, but uses Lamborghini’s 5.2-litre V10 from the smaller Huracan. With a battery pack occupying the central tunnel where the V12-powered all-wheel-drive Aventador’s front driveshaft normally goes, the Asterion has a claimed electric range of 50km. With its front and rear electric motors adding to the V10’s output, the hybrid system’s claimed maximum output is 669kW and its 0-100km/h time just 3.0 seconds.
But this is a confusing concept, as it doesn’t seem to point to any near-future model from Lamborghini. “At this moment (there) is no plan to have any kind of additional line,” says Reggiani. “This is really only a technological demonstrator to have your reaction.”
Neither of Lamborghini’s current models can be produced with a hybrid drivetrain, the R&D director explains, for reasons to do with drivetrain cooling. There are no plans to use the Asterion’s drivetrain in a production version of 2012 Lamborghini Urus SUV concept. In fact, judging by the executive’s reaction to such a suggestion, this project may have been canned. “Is not official,” says Reggiani. “We cannot confirm nothing.”
Instead, the Asterion LPI 910-4 seems to be Lamborghini looking for solutions in case governments around the world adopt much tougher CO2 emission regulations. Reggiani said the Lamborghini R&D department was focussed on finding incremental fuel efficiency improvements for its existing models.
At the same time, it’s also testing radical options. “We have really some advanced projects, like Asterion, where we try to explore what can be a new frontier, a big step forward.” Lamborghini has been working on the concept’s hybrid drivetrain for two years, Reggiani says, including testing with a development prototype.