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Lamborghini Asterion could be company’s first hybrid

Famed Italian carmaker Lamborghini revealed its first hybrid supercar Thursday at the Paris Auto Show.

Words like exotic, powerful, sleek, and expensive are often used to describe Lamborghini’s cars. However, the Asterion concept pushes each of those qualities to a new level.

The full name for the car is the Asterion LPI 910-4. Asterion is another name for the Minotaur of mythology, which was itself a hybrid, and keeps Lamborghini’s tradition of naming cars after famed bulls.

The 910 in the name refers to the total number of horsepower this car generates. By comparison, Lamborghini’s other hypercar, the Aventador, musters about 700 horsepower.

The Asterion’s brute strength starts with a V-10 engine in the back of the car, powering the rear wheels. The engine cranks out the first 610 horsepower.

Then, there are three electric motors adding the additional 300 horsepower to the car. Two of those motors are dedicated to the front wheels while the third is connected directly to the car’s transmission.

New Lamborghini brings 910 horsepower to Paris

The setup gives the Asterion another interesting characteristic: it’s a 4-wheel-drive car (that’s the extra 4 in the car’s name). While you wouldn’t want to go off-roading in the car, sending power to all four wheels can be advantageous when scooting around a racetrack.

Lamborghini says all that power is good for a top speed of just about 200 miles per hour. However, the car can also get around on electric power alone for about 30 miles with an electric-only top speed of about 75 miles per hour.

“Lamborghini is always looking ahead, investing in new technologies and setting new benchmarks, delivering the unexpected,” said Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Lamborghini.

Then there’s the shape. While Lamborghinis of the last few decades have had very angular, almost wedge-like designs, the new Asterion breaks from that tradition with a longer hood and more upright windshield.

The design is unmistakably exotic, but the proportions are more in line with other GT cars. Lamborghini admits it also looked to its heritage for inspiration – think back to the Miura and Espada of the late ’60s.

In back, there’s a lot of car over the rear wheels, which is not uncommon in a car with a massive engine in the back. That engine is shielded by a transparent cover assembled from three hexagonal shapes.

Inside, Lamborghini said it went with a clean, minimal approach to design. The two seats are positioned a little higher than other Lamborghinis to give the driver and passenger a more comfortable ride on longer drives.

Those inside the car are surrounded by leather, aluminum, forged carbon fiber and titanium. The car also comes with its own tablet to control functions like climate control, GPS and entertainment.

For now, the Asterion is just a concept. However, Lamborghini leaders say there’s nothing about the car that would prevent them from building a road-going model in the coming years. Plus, we’re starting to see more hybrid supercars become reality, like the Porsche 918 and BMW i8, so it may make sense for Lamborghini to join the new trend.

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